A contempt plea has been filed before the Supreme Court against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah along with the Ministry of Home Affairs, challenging the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as the Commissioner of Delhi Police. The plea was filed by Advocate ML Sharma.
Sharma, in his plea, stated that Asthana’s appointment amounts to ‘wilful denial’ of the Supreme Court judgement related to the Prakash Singh case dated July 3, 2018. Notably, the Supreme Court had in March 2019 laid down detailed guidelines in the Prakash Singh case, making it clear that no officer with less than six months to retirement should be appointed as police chief. On the other hand, Rakesh Asthana was about to retire on July 31, but was given a year’s extension after being appointed as police Commissioner of Delhi.
ML Sharma, in his plea, contended that criminal contempt can be invoked as the decision by the PM and the Home Minister ‘have created a serious question of constitutional system itself under the Constitution and it is liable to be resolved by the court constitution bench whether these two individuals have any legal and moral right to continue in the constitutional office for the rest of their life’.
The plea also states that the question which arises is whether the Constitution will survive the “dictatorship of government servants” and whether the PM and the Home Minister have any constitutional right to remain in their office.
Sharma has filed many PILs in the Supreme Court over various issues including recent Pegasus snooping allegations and matters like the Rafale deal, Article 370, Hyderabad police encounter in the past.
The Supreme Court had imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on him in 2018 for filing a frivolous PIL against Arun Jaitley. The court had also pulled him up in 2019 for filing a shoddily drafted petition challenging the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Delhi Assembly yesterday passed a resolution urging the Union Home Ministry to recall its decision of appointing Asthana as Delhi Police Commissioner and saying that the Centre should look for any other candidate.