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We do not find any violation of statutory Rules, says Delhi HC on Rakesh Asthana appointment

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| October 12, 2021 11:16:38 PM IST
New Delhi [India], October 12 (ANI) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed the petitions challenging the appointment of Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as Delhi Police Commissioner and extension of his service by a year.

While dismisses petitions Court said, "we do not find any violation of the statutory Rules and are thus not persuaded to issue a writ of quo warranto to quash the appointment of Rakesh Asthana, as Commissioner of Police, Delhi, as prayed for by the Petitioner/Intervener.

The bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh also said we see no reason to interfere in the decision of granting Inter-Cadre deputation to Rakesh Asthana. Needless to state that Office Memorandums are Guidelines, to effectively regulate the services of the employees and bring uniformity therein.

"In changing conditions or peculiar circumstances, Government may require to deviate from a certain condition and it is for this reason that provisions for relaxation of the Guidelines are incorporated in the Rules and Executive Instructions. The present case is no different or solitary, where the power of relaxation has been exercised by the Government, in the public interest. The contention is therefore rejected and the prayer of the Petitioner to declare the Executive action, null and void cannot be acceded to," Court said.

"We have examined the contentions of the Petitioner/Intervener with regard to violation of Rule 16(1) of Rules, 1958 and FR 56(d) and given a detailed finding that there is no violation of the said Rules, in view of the power of relaxation exercised by the Central Government". Court noted.

Court also noted the centre's contentions that Delhi, being the Capital of India, has a unique, special and specific requirement. It has witnessed several untoward incidences and extremely challenging law and order situations/riots/crimes, which have an international implication, which in the wisdom of the Central Government necessitated the appointment of an experienced officer possessing diverse and multifarious experience of heading a large Para-Military Security Force apart from other factors.

Court also noted that as brought out in the counter affidavit by the centre, the impugned order was passed keeping in background the aforesaid factors. The Executive, which is responsible for the law and order situation in the National Capital, must have a reasonable discretion to select an officer it finds more suitable, based upon the career graph of such an officer, unless there is anything adverse in the service career of such an officer.

The petitioner Sadre Alam through the plea sought direction for quashing of the July 27 order issued by the Union home ministry appointing Asthana as the Delhi Police commissioner, and the order granting inter-cadre deputation and extension of service to him.

Meanwhile, the NGO Centre of Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) through Advocate Prashant Bhushan had also filed an intervention application in the matter and challenged the same appointment.

The Court was hearing a petition filed by Sadre Alam seeking direction for quashing the order issued by the central government appointing Rakesh Asthana, IPS as the Commissioner of Police, Delhi and for quashing the order dated July 27, 2021, of the ACC granting inter-cadre deputation and extension of service. Advocate Prashant Bhushan had also filed an intervention application in the matter. (ANI)

 
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