Delhi HC Issues Notice on Plea Challenging top Cop’s Appointment

The high court allowed Bhushan's intervention application and issued notice in the matter. The matter is scheduled for further hearing on September 8.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice on a plea challenging the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as Commissioner of Delhi Police.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), submitted before a bench comprising chief justice D.N. Patel and justice Jyoti Singh that the petitioner has directly copy pasted from its plea filed at the top court. He stressed that this is violation of the Delhi High Court Rules. The counsel for the petitioner denied any copy paste job. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, contended that it seems too much of a coincidence, even typographical errors are the same. Mehta added professional PIL petitioners often move the court challenging such appointments. He said: “petitioner seems to be following Bhushan’s path, which is a dangerous one.. They have no business to challenge this appointment… What are the sources of this inspiration to challenge appointments?”

The high court allowed Bhushan’s intervention application and issued notice in the matter. The matter is scheduled for further hearing on September 8.

Bhushan submitted he does not wish to argue his petition pending in the apex court. He cited the petition filed in the Delhi High Court by Sadre Alam, challenging Asthana’s appointment, which raised similar grounds.

On August 25, the Supreme Court had asked the Delhi High Court to decide within two weeks the plea against the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as Delhi Police commissioner.

A bench headed by chief justice N.V. Ramana had said: “There are issues, one is about my participation in the matter as one ground. I have expressed my views about this gentleman in CBI selection.”

The chief justice cited second issue that somebody had filed a plea against his appointment, which is pending in the high court. The chief justice, while participating in the High-Powered Committee, had objected to the appointment of Asthana as the head of the CBI. The top court was hearing a petition filed by Centre for Public Interest Litigation challenging Asthana’s appointment.

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