Centre submits 288-page document in Delhi HC justifying Rakesh Asthana’s appointment as Delhi Police chief
"Rakesh Asthana was appointed in accordance with and after scrupulously following all the applicable rules and regulations," the Centre said in its affidavit filed in Delhi High Court
The Centre has submitted a 288-page document in Delhi High Court justifying the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as Commissioner of Delhi Police.
This was in response to a petition filed in the court challenging the same as illegal and an affront to laid-down conventions.
The Centre told Delhi High Court that the decision was taken keeping in mind "the diverse law and order challenges faced by the national capital, which have national security implications as well as international and cross-border implications", as per a report carried by NDTV.
"Delhi being the capital of the country has been witnessing diverse and extremely challenging situations of public order/law and order situation/policing issues which not only had national security implications but also international/cross border implications," it said in an affidavit.
"As such, a compelling need was felt by the Centre to appoint a person as a head of the police force of Delhi, who had diverse and vast experience of heading a large police force in a large state having diverse political as well as public order problem/experience of working and supervising Central Investigating Agency(s) as well as para-military forces," it said.
"A search was done in AGMUT (Arunachal, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories) cadre, which is the IPS cadre for GNCT (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi). However, since AGMUT cadre being a cadre comprising of Union Territory and small north-eastern states, it was felt that requisite experience of working and supervising the central investigating agency/para-military force and police force of a large State having diverse political and law and order problem was lacking in the present pool of available officers in AGMUT," the Centre said.
"Hence in public interest, a decision was made by the Central Government to have an officer who had experience in all the above fields to supervise Delhi Police force and to provide effective policing on the recent law and order situation which arose in the National Capital Territory of Delhi," it said.
"Rakesh Asthana was appointed in accordance with and after scrupulously following all the applicable rules and regulations," the Centre said.
On the allegation that Asthana was appointed in violation of Supreme Court's judgment in Prakash Singh case on appointments of the head of police forces, the Centre argued: "The said judgment is only applicable for the appointment to the post of "DGP of a State" / chief of the police administration of the entire State. The said judgment has no application for appointment of Commissioners/Police Heads of Union Territories falling under the AGMUT cadre."
Defending the move to grant extension in tenure to Asthana for one year just days ahead of his retirement, the Centre has argued, "The competent authority is duly entitled to grant extension to members of All India Services which include IAS and IPS officers."