Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has once again sent the name of Justice (retd) Rajiv Kumar Srivastava to the Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena for his appointment as the new chairperson of the power regulator Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC). The move comes in the wake of the Supreme Court May 19 order that directed Lt Governor of Delhi to act on the aid and advice of the council of ministers and to appoint DERC chairperson within two weeks.
“Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has once again sent the file for the appointment of the DERC chairperson to the LG of Delhi. This action follows the stern reprimand issued by the Supreme Court of India on May 19, which directed the LG to fulfil the appointment within a two-week time frame,” the government said. The appointment of the DERC chairperson is crucial to effectively regulate the electricity sector in Delhi.
“The recent decisions handed down by the Supreme Court on May 11, 2023, in the Services Matter and May 19, 2023, in the DERC matter, reaffirmed the constitutional framework that requires the LG to act upon the “aid and advice” of the state government, except in matters pertaining to land, law and order, and the police force,” it said.
In January this year, the Delhi Chief Minister had approved appointment of Justice (retd) Srivastava as the DERC chairperson.
“The appointment of the DERC Chairperson is crucial to effectively regulate the electricity sector in Delhi. Four months ago, the Kejriwal government approved the appointment of retired Justice Rajiv Kumar Srivastava as the DERC Chairperson. The proposal of his appointment was presented by then-Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was in charge for the Power Ministry. Prior to this, the appointment of the two previous DERC Chairpersons was carried out through the same process outlined in the Electricity Act”, the statement said.
On May 19, the Supreme Court ordered the Delhi Lieutenant Governor to make a decision on the matter within two weeks while hearing the case. The Supreme Court also stated that the LG of Delhi is obligated to work in cooperation and on the aid and advice of the elected government. In light of the Supreme Court’s order, the Kejriwal government has once again sent the file to the LG, recommending the appointment of retired Justice Rajiv Kumar Srivastava as the DERC Chairperson.
The Delhi government had earlier filed a petition in the top court over the delay of the DERC chief’s appointment. In the appointment of Justice (retd) Srivastava, Delhi government has referred to Section 84(2) of the Electricity Act, that requires consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court of the appointee’s original jurisdiction, the statement said.