Rakesh Asthana Update: Case May Soon Become Infructuous

Rakesh Asthana’s Appointment as Delhi Police Commissioner

The challenge to the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as the Delhi Police Commissioner was listed today before Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Surya Kant, and P.S Narasimha. However, for the 11th time, the matter was adjourned. Mr. Asthana was set to retire in July 2021 after turning 60. However, a mere four days before his retirement, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by the Prime Minister, relaxed the retirement age rules—extending his tenure by one year. The case challenging this decision was filed in August 2021. 

Since then, the matter has been adjourned over 10 times. The delays are significant—Asthana has already completed a majority of his extended tenure. He is set to retire from the post of Delhi Police Commissioner 82 days from now, on 31st July 2022. 

The case has been listed again on 18th May 2022. The Court will be on its summer vacation between 23rd May and 9th July 2022. When the Court reopens, Mr. Asthana will be on the last month of his tenure. If the SC does not hear the matter in time, it may soon become infructuous.