Manish Sisodia writes to L-G asking to clear appointment of DERC Chair
New Delhi : Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday wrote a letter to Lt. Governor (L-G) V.K. Saxena asking him to urgently clear the appointment of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) Chairperson.
“The Chief Minister approved the appointment of Justice (retd) Rajeev Shrivastava of the Madhya Pradesh High Court as DERC Chairperson January 4 to succeed Justice (retd) Shabibul Hasnain after his retirement. Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has also given his consent as required under the Electricity Act.
The Chief Minister sent the matter to L-G on the same day to decide whether he would differ with the decision of the Council of Ministers and whether he would like to invoke proviso to Article 239AA(4) of the Constitution,” Sisodia said in the letter.
“Justice (retd) Rajeev Shrivastava has been an eminent judge of Madhya Pradesh High Court. He has had an outstanding career and impeccable record.”Therefore, I find no reason why you would differ with the decision of Council of Ministers. On the contrary, I feel you would be pleased to endorse this decision. The Supreme Court has also said that the provision to Article 239AA(4) should be rarely invoked.”
Quoting the Supreme Court from the State (GNCTD) v Union of India &Anr., (2018) 8 scc 501 matter, Sisodia said: “However, should you desire to express difference of opinion, then I wish to remind you to kindly follow the process provided in Rule 49 of TBR.
“In last few days, there have been three occasions when you got your decision implemented by sending the file directly to the officers bypassing the Chief Minister and the Minister and got the officers to issue notification. When asked, your justification was that since it was written Administrator/L-G shall appoint in those provisions/ Acts, therefore, you directly exercised your powers bypassing the elected government.
“That’s incorrect legal position Sir. On all transferred subjects, unless it is a quasijudicial or judicial matter where Hon ‘ble LG has to act in his discretion, on all other matters, L-G is bound by the aid and advice of Council of Ministers. So, kindly do not send the file related to appointment of DERC Chairman directly to officers for issue of notification.”
Sisodia also underlined that there is a specific judgement of the Supreme Court on the issue of DERC.In addition to its strong observations in the judgement of Constitution Bench, the Division Bench of Supreme Court has also reiterated the same position, he noted.
“Therefore, despite it being written that government means ‘Lieutenant Governor’ in Delhi Electricity Reforms Act, the Supreme Court has said that L-G is bound by aid and advice of Council of Ministers,” Sisodia concluded in the letter.