The Center on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that it cannot be allowed to challenge the appointment of Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as the Delhi Police Commissioner.
“This is not Jantar Mantar or Ramlila Maidan,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said before a bench headed by Chief Justice DN Patel.
The bench was hearing a PIL by Sadar Alam against Mr Asthana’s appointment, as well as an intervention application by an NGO, which challenged the appointment before the Supreme Court.
“Both have no business challenging the appointment. No arbitrator can come to court,” he said.
The bench, also comprising Justice Jyoti Singh, has sought the stand of the Center and Mr. Asthana, listing the matter for further hearing on September 8.
Mr Mehta said the petition before the High Court “seems to be copied” from the NGO’s petition filed before the apex court.
“It appears that Mr. Alam has imitated Mr. Bhushan (the NGO’s counsel) and followed a dangerous path. The debutant should be stopped,” said the lawyer, who is opposed to the “prepared petitioners” and the “systematic”. went on to express his misunderstanding. The pattern of criticizing all appointments made by the government”.
He said, “(the petitioner) should be investigated. It is very serious. It is too much for coincidence that the same typographical error was possible.”
Mr Mehta sought time to respond to the petition on merits and said the court would also have to hear the “affected officer” before passing any order.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, Center for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), said Alam’s plea is malicious and a “complete copy-paste” of the petition pending in the Supreme Court.
He clarified that he did not intend to argue before this court as the NGO’s petition was pending before the Supreme Court.
BS Bagga, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that the petition was not a product of “copy-paste”.
The petitioner has sought quashing of the July 27 order by the Ministry of Home Affairs appointing Asthana as Delhi Police Commissioner and granting him inter-cadre deputation and extension.
The petition has also sought to take steps for the appointment of Delhi Police Commissioner strictly as per the directions issued earlier by the Supreme Court.
“The orders imposed (of the MHA) are in clear and blatant violation of the directions passed by the Supreme Court of India in the Prakash Singh case as the respondent No. 2 (Athana) did not have a minimum residual tenure of six months; no UPSC panel Delhi Police was constituted for the appointment of the Commissioner; and the norms of minimum tenure of two years have been ignored,” the petition said.
It claimed that the high-powered committee consisting of the Chief Justice of India, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in its meeting held on May 24, 2021, rejected the Central government’s attempt to appoint Mr. Asthana as CBI Director. The six-month rule set by the Supreme Court in the Prakash Singh case.
It states that the appointment of Mr. Asthana to the post of Commissioner of Police, Delhi should be annulled on the same principle.
The petition with a similar prayer, which has been filed by the Center in a PIL before the Supreme Court, has urged the Central Government to issue the order dated July 27, seeking direction to Mr. Asthana from Gujarat cadre in the AGMUT. Inter-cadre deputation has been approved. cadre