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AAP govt moves High Court against LG scrapping DERC chief’s appointment

The AAP government moved Delhi High Court seeking direction to Lieutenant Governor (LG) to reconsider his decision scrapping appointment of Krishna Saini as the Chairperson of Delhi's power regulator DERC.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: September 23, 2016 8:25 PM
The application was moved before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath who were hearing two pleas challenging the appointment process of the Delhi government. (PTI) The application was moved before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath who were hearing two pleas challenging the appointment process of the Delhi government. (PTI)

The AAP government today moved Delhi High Court seeking direction to Lieutenant Governor (LG) to reconsider his decision scrapping appointment of Krishna Saini as the Chairperson of Delhi’s power regulator DERC.

The application was moved before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath who were hearing two pleas challenging the appointment process of the Delhi government.

Citing Transaction of Business Rules (TBR), the Delhi government said the LG should be directed to “reconsider his decision on the request of Council of Ministers of GNCTD”.

The court has listed the application on November 25.

LG Najeeb Jung had on September 21 set aside Saini’s appointment in March to the top post of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), as it was done without taking his approval as mandated under the rules and procedure.

The Delhi government has said that “the order of the LG has only found fault with the process that was followed leading upto/culminating in the selection of the DERC Chief and has not otherwise found him unfit for the post”.

The application said the high court, in its August 4 judgement interpreting the inter-relationship between the LG and the Council of Ministers, had said that if the LG does not agree with a decision taken by Council of Ministers, he was required to refer the matter to the President of India.

It further said the “Cabinet of the Delhi government is proposing to request the LG to consider the matter once again and grant ex-post facto approval, which would be in the interest of the seamless and unhindered supply of electricity to the citizens of the national capital of Delhi and hence undeniably in public interest”.

The government had appointed Saini in March after the high court gave conditional permission during hearing of the pleas.

The first petition against the appointment was filed by Raman Suri, challenging Delhi government’s December 2015 notification seeking applications for the post of DERC chairperson and one member.

Suri has argued that the chairperson of the commission should be a former high court judge, since the adjudication of disputes between generating companies or transmission licensees was a “judicial function”.

His PIL also challenged Section 84 of the Electricity Act 2003, arguing that the provision that a judge “may” be appointed should be read as mandatory.

The second petition was filed by lawyer A Mishra seeking scrapping of the appointment by the AAP government as it was made without LG’s approval.

Mishra had alleged that Saini’s appointment violated a February 20, 2004 notification issued by the ministry of home affairs under Article 239 of the Constitution, read with provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003.

The LG and AAP government have been at loggerheads over a range of issues, including appointments, and fighting it out in court.

The Delhi High Court had last month held that LG is the administrative head of Delhi which was a union territory, following which the AAP government had challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court.

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