Arvind Kejriwal urges Najeeb Jung to reconsider removal of DERC chief
| Friday, September 23, 2016 - 22:01
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday urged Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung to "reconsider" his order removing Krishna Saini as Chairperson of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC).
He also expressed his willingness to meet Jung to discuss the issue at Lt. Governor's convenience.
Declaring DERC chief's appointment as void 'ab initio' after a period of six months may lead to serious setbacks as all DERC decisions taken during this period will also become "null and void", the Chief Minister said in a letter to Jung.
This will, in turn, lead to serious problems for the power sector in Delhi, especially huge adverse impact on the consumers, he said.
Former Chief Income Tax Commissioner Krishna Saini was on March 5 appointed the new DERC chief succeeding P.D. Sudhakar, who retired on January 29.
The Chief Minister said that since his appointment, Saini -- a 1981-batch Indian Revenue Service officer -- had taken various measures in the interest of consumers, including making provision for compensation by discoms for unscheduled power cuts, allowing individual metering in group cooperative societies and imposing penalties on discoms for various lapses.
Kejriwal said the entire selection process for DERC chief was conducted in a fair and transparent manner.
"The Selection Committee was headed by a retired High Court judge and included the Chairman, CERC (Central Electricity Regulatory Commission), and the Chief Secretary as members... The only infirmity observed by the Lt. Governor is the lack of approval by him," Kejriwal wrote in the 29-page missive.
Calling it a "curable defect", he requested the Lt. Governor to review his order.
"Copies of both the appointment order of the Selection Committee and appointment order of Chairman was duly sent to the Lt. Governor. Neither any objection was raised by the Lt. Governor nor were the relevant files called," he said.
Referring to the Delhi High Court order that held that the Lt. Governor was the administrative head of the Delhi government, Kejriwal said the judgement has since been challenged in the Supreme Court.
"Since the matter is sub judice, it would only be appropriate that we await the final orders of the Supreme Court," he said.
Jung on Wednesday scrapped the appointment of Saini as DERC chief and asked the Delhi government to start the selection process afresh as per law.
A statement from the LG office had said that the Delhi government had constituted a selection committee to select the chairperson and members of DERC without the approval of Lt. Governor, which is mandated as per rules.