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SC dismisses petition against Rakesh Asthana’s appointment to aviation body

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi refused to entertain the petition challenging Asthana’s appointment to the civil aviation security body.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2019 13:15 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
rakesh asthana,former cbi special director rakesh asthana,cbi no 2 rakesh asthana
TheSupreme court has dismissed a petition challenging ex-CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana’s appointment to the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition against the appointment of former CBI special director Rakesh Asthana as director general of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).

The petition was dismissed by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

“You can’t bring everything under the sky of a PIL. You have mixed multiple issues,” Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi told petitioner ML Sharma while refusing to entertain his petition against Asthana’s appointment as BCAS chief.

Rakesh Asthana was appointed as the BCAS chief on January 18 by the Centre. The BCAS comes under the ministry of civil aviation that handles coordination and monitoring of civil aviation security matters.

Asthana was involved in a feud with then CBI director Alok Verma with both leveling charges of corruption against each other. Both Verma and Asthana were removed from their posts in October in a late night drama. On January 8, the Supreme Court had reinstated Alok Verma after he had challenged the government’s order. However, two days later, a PM-led selection panel that included Justice AK Sikri and Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge had removed him from the post of CBI director.

The order of Asthana’s appointment to the BCAS said that he was being appointed there for two years.

Asthana, a 1984-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer from the Gujarat cadre, will retire on July 31, 2021. This means he will be eligible for consideration for the CBI top job after his BCAS stint, provided his name is cleared in the corruption case registered by the CBI. Asthana had sought quashing of the FIR in Delhi high court but to no avail. He is likely to move court again against the high court order.

On January 11, the Delhi High Court had refused to quash the FIR lodged against Asthana on bribery allegations and had set a 10-week deadline to complete the investigation.

First Published: Jan 31, 2019 12:20 IST