Stating that the petition was a “copy-paste”, the Delhi High Court, on Thursday, 23 September, adjourned the hearing of a PIL challenging IPS officer Rakesh Asthana’s appointment as Delhi Police Commissioner to 27 September.
As reported by The Indian Express, this came after the petitioner’s counsel advocate BS Bagga could not successfully explain the meaning of the term ‘super time scale’, which refers to the seniority of an officer.
The PIL was filed by Sadre Alam, a lawyer, along with an intervention application by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), which was filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan, reported Hindustan Times.
“All these things you have copied from the memo of the senior advocate (Prashant Bhushan)," the bench of chief justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh told the counsel.
"If you are copying, you do it 5% and write 95% of your own. Here, 97 to 99% is copied even with all the full stops and commas."
Further, stating that they have "tolerated it this time,” the bench asked Alam to not do this in the future.
The bench also addressed Prashant Bhushan and said, “You people are also distributing your copies (of the petition) everywhere. Don’t do this. He does not know what super time scale is. You are doing it in good faith but it becomes a weapon. I have asked the question deliberately.”
The Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) had alleged that the petitioner was copying contents of their petition which is pending before the Supreme Court.
Centre Defends Asthana's Appointment
Defending Asthana's appointment, the Centre, meanwhile, stated that he has been brought in to provide “effective policing” on recent law and order situations in Delhi, which have "national security and cross border implications".
The Centre also sought a leeway in appointment of Delhi Police Commissioner, claiming that any “paediatric approach” would not be in national interest.
Asthana, in his affidavit, specified a sustained social media campaign against him and stated that the legal challenge to his appointment was an abuse of process of law.
He also said that his appointment as special director, Central Bureau of Investigation, has let to proceedings being consistently filed against him by certain organisations as part of a “selective campaign”.
(With inputs from Hindustan Times and The Indian Express.)
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