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'So Called Integrity Keepers Challenge Every Govt Appointment': ASG Tells Delhi HC In Plea Against Appointment Of Rakesh Asthana As Delhi Police Commissioner

Akshita Saxena
18 Aug 2021 12:14 PM GMT
So Called Integrity Keepers Challenge Every Govt Appointment: ASG Tells Delhi HC In Plea Against Appointment Of Rakesh Asthana As Delhi Police Commissioner
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Opposing the plea challenging appointment of IPS Officer Rakesh Asthana as the Delhi Police Commissioner, ASG Chtena Sharma today said that it has become a practice of the "so-called integrity keepers" to challenge any and every government appointment.Sharma also questioned the locus standi of the Petitioner and submitted that a PIL is not maintainable in service matters.A Bench of Chief...

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Opposing the plea challenging appointment of IPS Officer Rakesh Asthana as the Delhi Police Commissioner, ASG Chtena Sharma today said that it has become a practice of the "so-called integrity keepers" to challenge any and every government appointment.

Sharma also questioned the locus standi of the Petitioner and submitted that a PIL is not maintainable in service matters.

A Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh was hearing a plea filed by one Sadre Alam through Advocate BS Bagga, challenging the order dated July 27 issued by the Central Government granting inter-cadre deputation and extension of service to Asthana. It emphasized that Asthana was appointed as Delhi Police Commissioner four days before he was due to retire on his superannuation on July 31.

Making his submissions before the Bench, Bagga submitted that the impugned appointment is only contrary to the statutory prescriptions on retirement age. He highlighted that Asthana does not fall in any statutory category (Fundamental Rules 56 of DoPT) where appointment can be extended beyond age of retirement.

He further submitted that Asthana's appointment is also violative of the authoritative pronouncement made by the Supreme Court in Prakash Singh v. Union of India.

"His appointment is made for 1 year. Prakash Singh judgment provides a minimum tenure of 2 years. So there is non-compliance of a Supreme Court judgment," Bagga submitted.

As the Bench pointed out that the said recommendation is made with respect to the DGP and not the Commissioner, Bagga stated,

"the post of Commissioner of Police in Delhi is akin to the post of DGP of a State and he is the Head of Police Force for the NCT of Delhi and therefore, the directions concerning the appointment to the post of DGP passed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in Prakash Singh casehad to be followed by the Central Government while making the impugned appointment."

ASG Sharma on the other hand argued that the Delhi Police operates very differently and the Prakash Singh judgment is not applicable in the case.

Bagga also argued that appointments to the said post have to be made 6 months prior. However, in the present case the same was done only 4 days before. "His retirement is on 31 July. On 27th he has been appointed to this post," Bagga said. He added that inter-cadre deputation of Asthana from Gujarat cadre to AGMUT cadre is impermissible and must be set-aside.

The Bench has asked the Government to apprise the Court if any other petition raising similar issues has been filed. The matter has been adjourned to August 24.

The Court has however not issued notice as of yet.

Case Title: SADRE ALAM v. UNION OF INDIA & ORS

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