Delhi Assembly to discuss police chief appointment

The Delhi Assembly will Thursday discuss Rakesh Asthana’s appointment as the Commissioner “in violation of directions” of the Supreme Court.

In March 2019, the Supreme Court had said that only officers who have at least six months of service left before retirement should be considered for the post of Director General of Police (DGP). While in Delhi Police, the head of the force is the Commissioner, in most states, the head is the DGP.

The bench had said at the time that the “recommendation for appointment to the post of DGP by the Union Public Service Commission and preparation of panel should be purely on the basis of merit from officers who have a minimum residual tenure of six months i.e. officers who have at least six months of service prior to retirement.”

Asthana was set to retire on July 31, and has been given a year-long extension.

In Delhi, which has a special character as a state on account of it being the national capital, the police force does not come under the elected government but under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Aam Aadmi Party government has been at loggerheads with the police on several occasions.

At present, there is friction between the police and the Delhi government over appointment of lawyers for the police in cases registered for violence at the Red Fort on Republic Day.

While the police has suggested a panel of lawyers that it wants, the Delhi government has not acceded.

Prior to this, a similar standoff has emerged in the case of lawyers for cases registered in the Delhi riots.

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