Advocate seeks urgent hearing of plea against Asthana’s appointment as Delhi Police chief

Three days before his retirement, the ACC had on Tuesday announced Asthana’s appointment as Delhi Police commissioner

Advocate seeks urgent hearing of plea against Asthana’s appointment as Delhi Police chief

Rakesh Asthana. File photo

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 3

Advocate ML Sharma on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to urgently take up his petition seeking contempt action against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for allegedly appointing Rakesh Asthana as the Delhi Police chief in violation of the court’s ruling on such appointments.

“I have filed a contempt petition against the appointment of Rakesh Asthana,” Sharma told a Bench led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana.

“If it is numbered, we will post it for hearing,” the CJI told Sharma.

A day after the Delhi Assembly passed a resolution against Asthana’s appointment as Delhi Police Commissioner, Sharma had filed a petition in the Supreme Court on July 30 seeking contempt action against Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Shah for allegedly violating the court’s ruling on such appointments.

Sharma—who is known for filing PILs on various issues – contended that Asthana’s appointment by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) went against the court’s ruling in Prakash Singh’s case on police reforms.

The candidate should have had a minimum six months tenure left to be considered for being appointed as police chief, Sharma pointed out.

A 1984-batch IPS officer from the Gujarat cadre, Asthana was the Director General of the Border Security Force (BSF) before being appointed as Delhi Police Commissioner.

According to the judgment, as far as practicable the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) should consider officers with two years of service for such appointments and merit and seniority should be given due weightage, Sharma said and demanded that notification on Asthana’s appointment should be declared “illegal”.

Three days before his retirement, the ACC had on Tuesday announced Asthana’s appointment as Delhi Police commissioner.

“The respondent no.1 (PM Modi) is the head of the ACC and respondent no.2 (Amit Shah) is the Minister of Home Affairs who jointly decided and did impugned appointment against the judgment of the Supreme Court. Hence, they are party to this for contempt of court,” Sharma submitted.

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