Rakesh Asthana was on Tuesday appointed as the new Delhi Police Commissioner, replacing Balaji Srivastava. Asthana was holding the post of director general of the Border Security Force (BSF).
While clearing his appointment as the CP Delhi, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the inter-cadre deputation from Gujarat to AGMUT cadre.
The ACC also extended his service initially for a period of one year beyond the date of his superannuation on July 31 or until further order, whichever is earlier.
Asthana is a 1984 batch Gujarat-cadre IPS officer.
In an official notification, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that Director General of ITBP SS Deswal has been given the additional charge of the post of BSF DG, and that he will hold the position till the appointment and joining of the regular incumbent or until further orders.
“Consequent upon appointment of Shri Rakesh Asthana, IPS (GJ:84), Director General, BSF, as Commissioner of Police, Delhi, the competent authority has approved that Shri S. S. Deswal, IPS (HY:84), Director General, ITBP shall hold additional charge of the post of DG, BSF vice Shri Asthana, till the appointment and joining of the regular incumbent or until further orders whichever is earlier. Accordingly, it is requested to relieve Rakesh Asthana immediately to enable him to join as the Commissioner of Police, Delhi,” it read.
This is one of the very few instances when an IPS officer outside of the AGMUT cadre has been appointed as the Delhi Police chief.
Usually, an officer belonging to the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre is appointed to the post.
Asthana had earlier served as the Special Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
During his stint in the CBI in 2018, he was engaged in an unsavoury spat with the then CBI Director Alok Verma with both of them levelling allegations of corruption against each other.
Both the officers were later removed from the central probe agency by the Union government and Asthana was subsequently cleared of the charges.
Asthana was appointed chief of the BSF in August 2020. He was also holding the additional charge of the head of the Narcotics Control Bureau.
Asthana had also served as the DG of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
The police officer has served in various capacities in Gujarat Police apart from serving in various ranks of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Senior IPS officer Balaji Srivastav is currently holding the charge of CP Delhi, after the retirement of S N Shrivastava in June-end. (With PTI inputs)