Jung sets aside AAP govt’s appointment of DERC chief

New Delhi, Sep 21 (PTI) Lt Governor Najeeb Jung todayscrapped the appointment of Krishna Saini as chairperson ofDelhi’s power regulator DERC by AAP government on grounds oflegal infirmities, further escalating the already intenseconfrontation between the two sides. The LG’s office said Saini was appointed to the top postof Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) in Marchwithout approval of Jung as mandated under rules andprocedures. "In the given circumstances, the appointment ofChairperson, DERC has been declared as void, ab initio," theLG’s office said in a statement. Jung has also directed the government to initiate theprocess for selection of the chairperson of the DERCimmediately, in accordance with law. Saini, a former Chief Income Tax Commissioner, wasappointed to head the regulator, which takes crucial decisionsrelating to power sector including tariff, in March withoutJung’s approval. "As per Section 85, Electricity Act, 2003, the SelectionCommittee is to be constituted by the State Government. Thepower and functions of the State Government have beendelegated to the LG vide government of India notificationdated February 20, 2004. "Further, the Council of Ministers appointed Sh. KrishnaSaini as Chairperson, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission(DERC) without the approval of the Lt Governor," Jung’s officesaid in a statement. It said as the constitution of the selection committee aswell as the appointment of DERC chairperson was done withoutputting up the matter to Jung for his concurrence, the entireprocess has been vitiated right from the beginning and"suffers from serious legal infirmities". While appointing Saini, the AAP government had cited aDelhi High Court order of February 24 saying it was allowedpermission to go ahead with his appointment. Saini had retired as Chief Commissioner of Income Tax inJanuary. The LG and AAP government have been at loggerheads over arange of issues including appointments and have even beenfighting it out in court. The Delhi High Court had last monthheld that LG is the administrative head of Delhi followingwhich the AAP government had challenged the verdict in theSupreme Court. PTI MPBRT

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