Delhi Demands Reversal Of Rakesh Asthana's Appointment As Top Cop

The resolution of the Delhi Assembly sought the reversal of Rakesh Asthana's appointment.

Rakesh Asthana got the appointment on Tuesday, just three days before his retirement.

New Delhi:

The assembly of Aam Aadmi Party-ruled Delhi has passed a resolution against the appointment of former CBI officer Rakesh Asthana as the Delhi Police Commissioner. The resolution has sought a reversal of the appointment from the Union Home Ministry, which controls the Delhi Police.Mr Asthana got the appointment on Tuesday, just three days before he was to retire.

The ministry order said he was getting an "inter cadre deputation" from the Gujarat cadre to AGMUT, from where Delhi Police chiefs are picked. The order also said his service was being extended "initially for a period of one year beyond the date of his superannuation... as a special case in public interest".

"I think the appointment of Rakesh Asthana is against the order of the Supreme Court. It is the duty of the Central Government to obey the orders of the Supreme Court and make appointments accordingly," said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Pointing to news reports about Mr Asthana being disqualified from the race for the CBI chief's post, Mr Kejriwal said "He was not eligible for that... for the same reason he is not even eligible for this post".

"The BJP wants to say that all the commissioners appointed by the Modi government so far were useless, and for the first time in 7 years, they have brought a good officer," said senior AAP leader Satyender Jain at the assembly.

"Supreme Court gave the ruling -- six months should be left in the appointment of DG level, Rakesh Asthana had 4 days' tenure left," the  Delhi minister added.

The Congress has also slammed the appointment, saying it is in "direct contravention" of a Supreme Court judgment and questioned if any "quid pro quo" was involved in it.

"Not just is it an issue of inter-cadre appointment; the issue expands to another instance of blatant disregard towards the Supreme Court of India and the laws of the land," senior Congress leader Pawan Khera has said.

The Supreme Court order these leaders cited came into the picture two months ago, when Mr Asthana was ruled out of the race for the post of CBI Director because he was about to retire.

At a meeting of the panel -- headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- to select the CBI chief, Chief Justice NV Ramana reportedly cited a Supreme Court decision that officers with less than six months left in service should not be considered for police chief posts.

This ruled out at least two names on the government's shortlist, including Mr Asthana, who was to retire on July 31.