Days after the AAP government appointed a new chairperson of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), the move has been challenged in the high court. The HC on Friday sought a response from the Centre and the Delhi government on a plea seeking scrapping of the appointment, alleging it to be in violation of the rules.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice V P Vaish also issued notice to the DERC on the petition, which claimed that the AAP government made the appointment without seeking the lieutenant governor's approval that is mandatory.
The HC has asked all the authorities concerned to file an affidavit before April 21 on the plea that seeks quashing of the appointment of Krishna Saini.
The plea alleged that the appointment was in violation of the February 20, 2004 notification issued by the ministry of home affairs (MHA) under Article 239 (1) of the Constitution read with section 2 (5) (b) and section 85 of the Electricity Act, 2003.
A 1981 batch Indian Revenue Service officer, Saini took charge as DERC chief on March 4.
Senior advocate Chetan Sharma, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that in the past all DERC chairpersons have been appointed with the consent of the LG, but the Delhi government made the present appointment without seeking the LG's approval.
"The MHA notification of February 2004 has delegated and enabled the LG to discharge powers and functions of the state government under the Electricity Act 2003. The delegation of power contained in the notification will continue to operate unless superseded or the Parliament bylaw provides otherwise. The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act 1991 does not in any way affect the validity of delegation contained in presidential notification issued under Article 239," the petition added.
Earlier, the HC itself had given conditional nod to the Delhi government to go forward with the appointment of the DERC chief while clarifying that the final appointment will be subject to outcome of a PIL on the issue.
The Delhi government has maintained that notification had been issued under the existing provisions, which allow for the appointment of a sitting or former judge as the chairperson if so decided by the government.
Source - TOI