SC again clears decks for power privatisation in Chandigarh
Apex court on Monday once again stayed the Punjab and Haryana high court’s stay order against the privatisation of the Chandigarh electricity department
The Supreme Court on Monday once again stayed the Punjab and Haryana high court’s stay order against the privatisation of the Chandigarh electricity department, clearing the decks for the process.
Senior standing counsel, UT, Pankaj Jain confirmed that the apex court has stayed the high court order. “Notice has been issued today and stay granted in favour of UT,” Jain said, adding that the case will now be taken up in mid-August.
The matter was listed before the bench of justice Abdul Nazeer and justice V Ramasubramanian. The UT administration had argued that the HC order goes against the SC’s previous order.
The HC on May 28 had stayed the administration’s move to privatise the power department. The order was passed on a fresh plea from the UT Powermen Union, which had approached court stating that opening and finalisation of the tender bids be stopped. It was argued that the administration is not justified in hurrying through the process amid the pandemic.
Earlier, on December 1, too, the HC had applied brakes on the privatisation process. However, the UT had approached the SC, which stayed the order and remanded back the case to the HC.
The decision to privatise the department was taken on May 12, 2020, after directions from the Centre, but has been stuck in litigation. However, now the administration can go ahead with the process. “The administration will soon finalise the financial bids and hand over the power department to a private firm,” said a senior official, requesting anonymity.
Seven companies are in the fray: Sterlite Power, ReNew Wing Energy, NTPC Electric Supply Company Limited, Adani Transmission Limited, Tata Power, Torrent Power and Eminent Electricity Power Company.