Saturday, Oct 21, 2017 | Last Update : 01:10 AM IST

Najeeb Jung prevails, DERC chief shunted out

Published : Nov 5, 2016, 2:10 am IST
Updated : Nov 5, 2016, 2:10 am IST

Following lieutenant-governor Najeeb Jung’s directions, the AAP government on Friday removed former Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer Krishna Saini from the post of chairperson of the Delhi Electri

Following lieutenant-governor Najeeb Jung’s directions, the AAP government on Friday removed former Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer Krishna Saini from the post of chairperson of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC). Mr Saini was appointed as the DERC chief by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal without seeking prior approval of the L-G.

“Under Section 82(5) of the Electricity Act 2003, read with notification no. 217(E) and dated February 27, 2004 of the ministry of home affairs, government of India, the lieutenant-governor of Delhi is competent to appoint the chairperson of DERC. However, the appointment of Krishna Saini as chairperson of DERC was not made with the approval of the lieutenant-governor of Delhi,” deputy secretary (power) Sudhir Sharma said in an official order.

The order stated that the lieutenant-governor has declared the appointment of Mr Saini as chairperson of the DERC as void ab initio and has withdrawn the said appointment order.

The appointment of Mr Saini as chairperson of DERC had become a bone of contention between Raj Niwas and team Kejriwal as the former’s appointment had been made without seeking prior approval of the L-G. The Delhi high court, in its judgment on August 4, had declared Mr Saini’s appointment illegal. After the court judgement, Mr Jung had set aside the appointment of the DERC chairman on the grounds of “illegal infirmities.” In a statement, the L-G’s office had stated that the appointment made by the AAP government was void as it violated rules and procedures. Mr Saini, a former chief income tax commissioner, is a 1981-batch IRS officer. The statement said that the Delhi government had not sought the approval of the L-G before constituting a selection committee to appoint the chairperson and members of DERC, as mandated by law.

“As per Section 85 of the Electricity Act, 2003, the selection committee is to be constituted by the state government. The power and functions of the state government have been delegated to the lieutenant-governor vide govt of India notification dated February 20, 2004. Further, the council of ministers appointed Krishna Saini as chairperson, DERC, without the approval of the lieutenant-governor,” the L-G’s office said.

Taking a serious note of the L-G’s order, Mr Kejriwal had shot off a lengthy letter to Mr Jung, asking him to reconsider his decision in public interest. The CM had opposed the statements made by Mr Jung that the selection committee and Mr Saini’s appointment were not in accordance with law, by insisting that the “L-G’s approval was not mandated.”

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi