Rakesh Asthana, a former officer of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), was appointed as the Commissioner of Delhi Police.
On Tuesday, Union Home Ministry issued an order saying Rakesh Asthana, a 1984-batch Indian Police Service officer from the Gujarat cadre and currently the Director-General of the Border Security Force, would be appointed as the Commissioner of Delhi Police.
Rakesh Asthana, who was set to retire on July 31, will now get an extension for a year till July 31, 2022, after being appointed as the Delhi Police Commissioner. As per a Union Home Ministry order, his retirement date was July 31, 2021, but it has been extended by one year “as a special case in the public interest”.
Currently, IPS officer SS Balaji has been holding the additional charge of Commissioner of Police Delhi after SN Srivastav retired from his post.
In an official order, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs also stated that Indo Tibetan Border Police Director General SS Deswal would hold the additional charge of BSF Director-General until further orders are issued.
Earlier, it was speculated that Rakesh Asthana would be appointed as the CBI chief. However, Maharashtra cadre officer Subodh Jaiswal was appointed as the CBI chief earlier in May this year.
Rakesh Asthana has investigated some high-profile corruption cases and had also arrested Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in the fodder scam in 1997 during his tenure as the superintendent of police in the CBI. He earlier worked as the Director-General of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
Asthana has also served as the DG of the Narcotics Control Bureau. Under his leadership, the NCB had unearthed Bollywood’s drug nexus, bringing the bureau into the spotlight.
Rakesh Asthana had come into the spotlight in 2018 with the “CBI vs CBI” controversy. During his tenure as the special director, Asthana had engaged in a controversial fight with then CBI director Alok Verma. Later, Asthana was removed from the CBI in 2018 after a case of bribery and extortion was lodged against him.