The Madras High Court on Friday directed the State government to appoint a chairperson for the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) within three months.

The First Bench comprising Chief Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar passed the order while allowing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition by K. Murali Babu.

The petitioner prayed for a direction to the government to appoint a chairperson for the Commission by getting suitable names recommended by the Selection Committee within a reasonable time frame.

The Bench dismissed a PIL by R.Muthukumaraswamy, president of the Madras Bar Association, seeking to quash a notification of the Energy Department of November 30, 2011, as it was illegal and in contravention of a Supreme Court judgment. The petitioner sought a direction to the government to consult the High Court Chief Justice for appointing a retired or a sitting Judge of the High Court as Chairman of the Commission.

In the G.O., the constitution of the Selection Committee for selecting the chairman was notified. As the constitution of the committee was challenged, selection was not done.

The Bench said from the Electricity Act, particularly Section 84 (1), it was clear that persons of ability, integrity and standing were qualified for appointment as Chairperson and Members of the Commission. A person well versed in law alone need not be appointed as Chairperson.

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