'Will not meddle in DERC's decision' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'Will not meddle in DERC's decision'

Facing flak from the Delhi high court for interfering with the affairs of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), the Delhi government on Friday told the high court that it was ready to withdraw its directive to the power regulator to seek approval before issuing tariff.

delhi Updated: Feb 12, 2011 01:54 IST
Harish V Nair

Facing flak from the Delhi high court for interfering with the affairs of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), the Delhi government on Friday told the high court that it was ready to withdraw its directive to the power regulator to seek approval before issuing tariff.

"We are inclined to withdraw the letter," senior lawyer Dushyant Dave, who appeared for the Delhi government, told the court.

Delhi government was in an attempt to offset any adverse order from the court on a day when it reserved the judgment in the matter. But the bench of chief justice Dipak Misra and justice Manmohan said, "You may withdrawthe directive but even then we will pass a judgment in a week."

The bench made it clear that it wanted to lay down a ruling on whether a state government can interfere with a decision taken by a quasi-judicial body.

In April last year, the government had written to the DERC saying it cannot issue a tariff order till it gave a statutory advice (on the tariff) to the state government and till the government examined and reverted. This had delayed issuance of power tariff.

The court was hearing a PIL accusing the government of succumbing to pressure from power discoms and "prohibiting release of new tariff approved by DERC" which it claimed would have been lesser than the present rate.

The PIL said the DERC told the government that the discoms were sitting on a combined cash profit of over Rs300 crore per month and it was time to reduce power rates.

But the government repeatedly denied the allegations saying it deemed that no decision was taken by the DERC, as there was no unanimity and serious differences between the chairman and its members.

The bench had slammed the conduct of the DERC chairman and members and said it was not befitting members of a quasi-judicial body.