Sheila accused of `illegal' appointments

NEW DELHI, MARCH 11. The Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Jagdish Mukhi, today accused the Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, of rewarding retired bureaucrats by appointing them "illegally'' in various departments to hide "misdeeds'' that took place in the process of privatisation of the power sector in the Capital in July 2002.

In a statement here, Prof. Mukhi charged that all those bureaucrats who were connected with the privatisation of power sector had been rewarded with good post retirement postings in various departments. "They are now being adjusted and accommodated so that they do not spill the beans about the bungling that took place during this process that has left the power consumers in Delhi high and dry. While the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, had aired his views against giving any extension or posting to retired people, the Delhi Chief Minister is doing exactly the opposite,'' he added.

Citing examples, Prof. Mukhi said when the power sector was privatised, the present Delhi Chief Secretary, S. Regunathan, was the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and the brain behind the exercise. "Interestingly, in violation of norms, Mr. Regunathan continues to hold additional charge of Principal Secretary (Power)," he added.

Similarly, he said the former Principal Secretary (Finance and Power), Ramesh Chandra, was given a posting in the Empowered Committee on Value Added Tax (VAT) and a contract worth Rs. 3 crores to prepare a report for the Delhi Government. Similarly, his wife and the then Delhi Chief Secretary, Shailja Chandra, has been rehabilitated as the Chairperson of the Public Grievances Commission, he said.

Prof. Mukhi said the former Principal Secretary (Power) and Chairman of the Delhi Vidyut Board, Jagdish Sagar, had been appointed as Consultant (Power and Infrastructure) after retirement in violation of norms. All efforts of the Delhi Government to get him appointed as Chairman of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) were thwarted by the Delhi Lieutenant-Governor who refused to endorse his appointment.

He alleged that the Lieutenant-Governor had not approved even the appointment of Mr. Sagar as a consultant.

Prof. Mukhi urged the Lieutenant-Governor to scrutinise all such appointments and take necessary action.