The Delhi High Court on Friday stayed operation of the February 12 Delhi Cabinet decision on providing 50 per cent waiver on power arrears of people who did not pay their electricity bills from October 2012 to December 2013.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul issued notice to the Delhi government and directed it to file an affidavit stating its “current stand” before the next date of hearing, March 18.
“Notice to respondent 1 (Delhi government). Respondent 1 to file counter affidavit indicating its current stand within 10 days. Meanwhile, there will be stay on decision of February 12, 2014 of Cabinet of National Capital Territory of Delhi,” the bench said.
The court passed the order after going through the affidavit filed by the government as per the bench’s February 19 order and expressed its unhappiness over the contents.
“This is no stand. This is the past. This is history. Tell us the present,” the bench said after going through the affidavit.
The bench had on February 19, directed the standing counsel for the Delhi government to seek instructions and file an affidavit indicating the actual position regarding the proposal of the then Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.
The court had passed the order as there was “no clarity” on whether the Delhi cabinet had taken a decision to implement the subsidy as claimed by petitioner Vivek Sharma.
It was hearing a PIL, filed by advocate Vivek Sharma, challenging the subsidy given by former AAP government to people who did not pay their power bills from October 2012 to December 2013.
The bench had earlier, after going through the government file, observed that a note by ex-CM Arvind Kejriwal had said the subsidy proposal needed to be placed before the cabinet.
However, the court had also noted that while it appeared no decision had been taken, “there is no clarity on that”.