HC notice to Rana Gurjit, Punjab to restrain him from dealing with affairs of PSPCL
A division bench sought response by November 14 on a PIL by advocate HC Arora, stating the minister should not deal with the matters pertaining to determination of rates for purchase of power from private producers by PSPCL.punjab Updated: Oct 23, 2017 16:16 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday put Punjab, Punjab State Power Transmission Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and cabinet minister Rana Gurjit Singh in a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a restraint order against Singh from dealing with affairs of PSPCL.
A division bench comprising justices Ajay Kumar Mittal and Amit Rawal sought response by November 14 on a PIL by advocate HC Arora, stating the minister should not deal with the matters pertaining to determination of rates for purchase of power from private producers by PSPCL and in matters pertaining to decision making for shutting down of government thermal plants at Bathinda, Ropar, Rajpura etc.
The petitioner had submitted that Singh, who is minister for power, and his wife, Rana Rajbans Kaur, were majority shareholders in Rana Sugar Mills, a company producing power. The company has signed two agreements for sale of power to PSPCL — one agreement was in December 2012 and second in May 2005 for a period of 12 years, for sale of power to PSPCL.
“The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC), which determines power tariff, is bound by policy decisions of the government. Singh has conflicting interest, as an individual and as a cabinet minister. Such a person should not have been given the portfolio as power minister,” Arora said.
The government is in the process of deciding about shutting down thermal power plants run by the state. The power ministry is to take a final decision in this regard, Arora said, adding that closing thermal plants under the state sector will directly benefit to private companies producing power.
Singh has a large amount of shares in three other companies — Rana Power Limited, Rana Energy Limited, Rana Green Power Limited.
Thus, all such private companies producing power will benefit from closing state-run plants. Hence, Singh should be restrained from participating in any such decision making process, Arora argued.
First Published: Oct 23, 2017 16:15 IST