In response to a denial issued by the Delhi Government against allegations pertaining to tariff orders purportedly cleared by Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) chairman for 2010-11, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday alleged that the State Government had prevented the draft tariff order from being converted into a regular order hours before it was to be issued on May 5, 2010.
“Even the Delhi High Court came down heavily on the Delhi Government,” said an AAP spokesperson, sharing a copy of the court judgment dated February 18, 2011.
The Court judgment takes note of a communiqué from the State Government restraining the DERC from issuing the tariff orders in question “till the statutory advice given by the Commission as asked for, is thoroughly examined by the Government and the Government gives a go ahead for passing of tariff orders”.
The High Court in paragraph 21 of its judgment observed: “On a close scrutiny of the aforesaid directions, it is clear as noon day that there has been an order of prohibition to the Commission not to pass the tariff order….It was an unwarranted interdiction. It is understandable that the State Government could have suggested some kind of a matter relating to policy having nexus with public interest, but unfortunately that is not so.”
It further stated: “By the impugned communication…., the State Government could not have prevented the Commission from exercising its statutory powers. In any event, under Section 108, the State Government could have only to be a subterfuge, in fact, totally divorced from the arena of public interest. Quite apart from that the communication is in the form of injunction, which we are absolutely indubitable, the State Government cannot issue. This interdiction is decidedly beyond the scope of language employed in Section 108 of the 2003 Act and, in fact, contrary to the legislative intent….accordingly, we hold that the communication of the present nature made by the State Government is absolutely unjustified, unwarranted and untenable and, accordingly, the same stands quashed.”
The High Court judgment dated May 23, 2011, said: “We will be failing in our duty if we do not express our views on the conduct of the distribution companies….The manner in which they submitted the representation to the State Government requiring its interference at a stage when the regulatory body was proceeding with the determination was totally unwarranted…”
The AAP spokesperson also reiterated the demand for an audit of discoms by the Comptroller and Auditor General to unearth the truth.