Rakesh Asthana appointed Director of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security

The government has issued formal orders appointing Rakesh Asthana Director of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), a department under the Ministry of Civil Aviation that handles coordination and monitoring of civil aviation security matters.
The order was formally released a day after the government curtailed Asthana’s tenure in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) following an approval by the appointments committee of the cabinet.

Asthana was involved in a bitter feud with his then boss in the CBI, Alok Verma. Both levelled charges of corruption against each other resulting in both being divested of their respective responsibilities by the government in October. The SC reinstated Verma on January 8 after he challenged the government but the PM-led selection panel, which recommends names for the appointment of CBI director, removed him two days later.

A Union Home Ministry order said Asthana was being appointed chief of the BCAS 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.

Two more CBI officials – Joint Director AK Sharma, and Deputy Inspector General MK Sinha were also moved out of the CBI by the government. They too have got new assignments at the Centre — Sharma has been appointed ADG, in the CRPF, and Sinha, DIG in the Bureau of Police Research and Development