Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday urged Lt Governor Najeeb Jung to reconsider in public interest his decision to scrap appointment of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission’s chairperson.
In his 27-page note to Jung, Kejriwal said all laid down procedures were followed by the AAP government during the selection process to appoint Krishna Saini as the DERC chief, and that cancelling the appointment will only lead to “serious problems” for the power section, and have a huge adverse impact on the consumer, which could not be the “intention” of the Lt Governor. The Delhi CM has also offered to meet Jung to personally request him to revoke scrapping of appointment of Saini as the chairperson of power regulator body.
In the note, Kejriwal cited Transaction of Business Rules (TBR) and said all laid down rules were followed by the Delhi government while appointing Saini. “The entire selection process was conducted in a fair and transparent manner and in full conformity with law while bearing public interest in mind. There is not an iota of mala fide, bias or other irregularity in the process,” Kejriwal said in the note.
The LG’s office had on Monday said Saini was appointed to the top post of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) in March without Jung’s approval, as mandated under rules and procedures. The Delhi CM said that since the AAP government has challenged the High Court order stamping the primacy of LG in the city administration, the matter is sub-judice and it would be appropriate to await the final orders of the Supreme Court.
The Kejriwal government had constituted a selection committee to appoint the chairman of DERC this year. The CM said that the committee was headed by a retired high court judge and included the chairperson, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and the chief secretary as members.
The panel of the two names recommended by the committee was considered and a reasoned decision was taken for final selection of Saini, the CM said.
Kejriwal said the government had sent the copies of both the appointment order of the Selection Committee and appointment order of chairman to Lt Governor office, adding that neither was any objection then raised nor the relevant files called by Jung.
“Lt Governor is aware, this is a curable defect, even if we assume that it was a defect. Thus, I would urge him to review his order in public interest,” he added. He also said that since Saini became the chairman of the power regulatory body, several decisions have been taken in public interest, including imposing a penalty on discoms for unscheduled power cuts, and a proposal to allow individual metering in co-operative societies so that individual consumers can avail the benefit of the Delhi Government’s subsidy scheme.
The LG and AAP government have been at loggerheads over a range of issues including appointments and have even been fighting it out in court. The Delhi high court had last month held that LG is the administrative head of Delhi following which the AAP government had challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court.