The Delhi Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution against former Central Bureau of Investigation officer Rakesh Asthana’s appointment as the Capital’s commissioner of police, the Aam Aadmi Party said.
The resolution asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to reverse Asthana’s appointment. It was moved by Aam Aadmi Party MLA Sanjeev Jha, according to The Hindu.
The home ministry had announced Asthana’s appointment as the Delhi police commissioner on Tuesday. He was set to retire as the director general of the Border Security Force on July 31. The Centre said in its order that Asthana’s service was extended for a year in public interest, NDTV reported.
Asthana had been posted as the director general of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security in 2019 after his controversial stint as the CBI special director. Asthana’s name cropped up in a major controversy related to a bribery case in 2018.
On Thursday, the AAP said in the Delhi Assembly that Asthana’s appointment violated a Supreme Court judgement, IANS reported.
“In 2019, the SC ruled that no officer with less than six months of tenure left should be named for a top job,” Jha said. “In fact, Asthana was the front-runner for being the CBI chief in May, 2019, but was dropped after the top court pointed the same in its ruling.”
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Ramveer Singh Bidhuri, who is the leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, defended Asthana’s appointment by elaborating on his service record.
“This House must welcome Rakesh Asthana as Delhi police commissioner,” Bidhuri was quoted as saying by IANS. “His service period and works have set an example in this country. He will work for the betterment of Delhi. Those who are honest should not worry from Asthana’s appointment because he takes tough action against those who are corrupt.”
The Congress had also opposed Asthana’s appointment, describing it as “downright illegal”, PTI reported on Wednesday.
“With just four days left before the retirement of Rakesh Asthana, this notification by the Modi government issued under the seal of approval by Amit Shah is downright illegal and in direct contravention of the judgment of the Honourable Supreme Court of India,” Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera had said.