4 Aug 2023 11:25 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Friday appointed former Delhi High Court judge, Justice Jayant Nath as the Chairperson of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) on a pro-tem basis. In the last hearing, the Supreme Court was informed that the Delhi Government and the Lieutenant Governor could not agree on a name for the appointment of Chairperson of the DERC. In view of this deadlock,...
The Supreme Court on Friday appointed former Delhi High Court judge, Justice Jayant Nath as the Chairperson of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) on a pro-tem basis.
In the last hearing, the Supreme Court was informed that the Delhi Government and the Lieutenant Governor could not agree on a name for the appointment of Chairperson of the DERC. In view of this deadlock, the Supreme Court had said that it would appoint a person for the post as an ad-hoc measure till the issue is finally decided. The Court had made it clear that the appointment will be on a pro-tem basis, as in, it would act as an interim arrangement.
Today, at the outset, Senior Advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi Government submitted–
"As long as its neither my (suggestions for ) name or Mr Sanjay Jain's names- your lordships can pick any name". Senior Advocate Sanjay Jain was appearing for the Delhi LG.
Accordingly, the court announced that Justice Jayant Nath shall be the chairperson. On the aspect of remuneration, CJI DY Chandrachud said–
"Since the learned judge after demiting office is also engaged in other work, and having regard to nature of the pro-tem basis of the post, the LG and the CM of Delhi in consultation with Justice Nath shall notify the honorarium payable."
The issue arose when the previous Chairperson of DERC, retired Allahabad High Court Judge, Justice Shabihul Hasnain demitted office on 09.01.2023 upon attaining the age of 65 years. Consequently, on 04.01.2023, a proposal to appoint retired MP High Court Judge, Justice Rajeev Kumar Shrivastava was placed before the LG of NCT of Delhi. However, no action was taken on the proposal made by the Government and the DERC continued functioning without a Chairperson for around 4 months. The LG took the stand that he needs legal advice on whether the opinion of the Delhi High Court Chief Justice is needed for accepting the Delhi Government's proposal.
In April 2023, the Supreme Court issued notice on a writ petition filed by the GNCTD against the Delhi LG's inaction in approving the proposal to appoint Justice Rajeev Kumar Shrivastava.
On May 19, the Supreme Court clarified that as per the Electricity Act 2003, only the concurrence of the Chief Justice of that High Court from which the recomendee judge retired is required and the concurrence of the Delhi High Court Chief Justice is not required. Clarifying this position, the Supreme Court directed the LG to take follow up action.
Since Justice Shrivastava expressed difficulty in accepting the post, the Delhi Government proposed the name of another person - Justice (retired) Sangeet Lodha of the Rajasthan High Court- on June 21. However, on the same day, the President appointed Justice (Retd.) Shri Umesh Kumar of Allahabad High Court as the DERC Chairman. On the Delhi Government objecting to this appointment, the Supreme Court on July 4 allowed the Delhi Government to defer the oath taking ceremony for the appointee.
Case : Government of NCT of Delhi vs Union of India W.P.(C) No. 669/2023
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