Rakesh Asthana, Gujarat cadre officer of the fabled Indian Police Service (IPS), has been appointed Delhi Police Commissioner three days before his superannuation. Union Home Ministry says Asthana, currently the Director-General of the Border Security Force, would head the Delhi Police with a year’s extension in service granted “in the public interest”. Asthana has been given an “inter cadre deputation” from the Gujarat cadre to AGMUT from where Delhi Police chiefs are picked and his service was being extended “initially for a period of one year beyond the date of his superannuation as a special case in the public interest” as per the order. His predecessor Balaji Srivastava, was given additional charge as Delhi Police Commissioner about a month ago after SN Shrivastava retired.
A 1984-batch IPS officer, Asthana was moved out of Gujarat to the CBI as Special Director after the BJP-led government came to power in 2014. Ranchi born Asthan, an alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), completed his education from Netarhat Residential School at Netarhat and at the St. John’s College in Agra and completed higher education from JNU and had the distinction of clearing the civil services examination in the first attempt. His first important assignment was an investigation into the 2002 Sabarmati Express fire incident in Godhra, which led to the death of at least 59 persons. Asthana was given the responsibility to investigate the 9.4 billion Fodder Scam involving then Bihar CM Laloo Prasad Yadav and others. He had headed the special investigation team (SIT) formed by the CBI to investigate Vijay Mallya in the alleged loan fraud and money laundering case amounting to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore. However, his short tenure in CBI headquarters created controversy in political circles. Edited by PKC with Courtesy to FPJ