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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Didn’t get ok for CBI post, Rakesh Asthana is new chief of Delhi Police

Rakesh Asthana is currently the chief of the Border Security Force and holds additional charge of the Narcotics Control Bureau

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi |
Updated: July 28, 2021 1:40:33 am
Rakesh Asthana, Delhi police news, Delhi Police commissioner, Rakesh Asthana Delhi Police, Rakesh Asthana CBI, CBI Rakesh AsthanaGujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana. (File)

Four days before his retirement, the central government Tuesday appointed 1984-batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as the new Delhi Police Commissioner until July 31, 2022. Just 27 days ago, Balaji Srivastava, an IPS officer of the 1988 AGMUT-batch, was given additional charge of Commissioner of Police, Delhi.

Asthana is currently the chief of the Border Security Force (BSF) and holds additional charge of the Narcotics Control Bureau. Now, additional charge of the BSF has been given to DG, ITBP, S S Deswal.

“The approval of the appointment committee of the Cabinet has been conveyed, dated July 27, 2021, for the Inter Cadre deputation of Rakesh Asthana, from Gujarat cadre to AGMUT Cadre and extending his service initially for a period of one year beyond the date of his superannuation on July 31,2021, or until further orders, whichever is earlier, in relaxation of Rule 16 (1) of the All India Services (death-cum-retirement benefits) rules, 1958 as a special case in public interest. In pursuance of the said approval, Asthana is hereby appointed as Commissioner of Police, Delhi, with effect from the date of taking over charge up to July 31, 2022 or until further orders, whichever is earlier. This issues with the approval of the competent authority,” wrote B G Krishnan, Deputy Secretary, in a Home Ministry notification.

 As special director in the CBI, Asthana was involved in a bitter feud with the agency’s then director Alok Verma.

At the peak of the turf war within CBI, Verma had registered an FIR against Asthana on October 15, 2018, alleging that a suspect in the Moin Qureshi case had been forced to pay Rs 2.95 crore to Asthana through two middlemen to water down the case against him. Asthana was eventually cleared of all charges and the CBI had submitted in the High Court that there was no evidence to support the charges against him.

The incident precipitated such a crisis that the government swooped down on the agency at midnight on October 21, 2018, and forced both to go on leave. Nageswara Rao was then handed over the charge of CBI temporarily.

Asthana has had diverse experience in service, having served both in state government and at the Centre, where he served twice in CBI. During his first stint in the agency, he investigated the fodder scam, which resulted in conviction of former Bihar chief minister Lalu Yadav.

In Gujarat, he served in crucial posts such as Vadodara’s police commissioner under then Narendra Modi, who was Chief Minister at the time.

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