AAP govt to move SC against ex-judge Umesh Kumar’s appointment as DERC Chairman


New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) The Delhi government on Thursday said that it will challenge the appointment of Justice (Retd) Umesh Kumar as the Chairman of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) in the Supreme Court (SC).

Power Minister Atishi described his appointment as “unconstitutional and unlawful”, and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central Government of deliberately ignoring the elected state government’s recommendation for Justice (Retd) Sangeet Lodha as the DERC Chairperson.

Atishi alleged that the BJP’s action violated the principle that the Central government must act in accordance with the aid and advice of the elected state government on matters falling under the Power Department.

The AAP leader criticised the BJP for “attempting to subvert democracy” in Delhi and condemned the “clandestine” issuance of a notification late at night, appointing the Chairman of DERC against the elected Delhi government’s recommendation.

She characterised the appointment as ‘illegal’, ‘unconstitutional’, and a ‘vindictive act’ aimed at seeking revenge from the people of Delhi.

She also highlighted the SC’s repeated stance that apart from land, public order, and police issues, all other governance related issues in Delhi are “transferred” granting decision-making power to the elected government.

Atishi further accused the BJP of conspiring to shutdown the free and 24×7 electricity scheme in Delhi as an “act of revenge against the people for repeatedly electing Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal”.

She pointed out that BJP-ruled states have “higher electricity costs compared to Delhi’s affordable rate of Rs 4.5 per unit. For instance, Assam charges Rs 8.2 per unit, Uttar Pradesh charges Rs 6.5 per unit, Madhya Pradesh charges Rs 6.74 per unit, and Maharashtra charges an exorbitant Rs 10.38 per unit”.

Atishi alleged that the BJP aims to “deprive the people of Delhi of 24×7 free electricity and replicate the power situation in neighbouring areas such as Noida, Ghaziabad, and Gurugram, where prolonged power cuts are commonplace due to the inability of BJP governments to provide uninterrupted electricity to residents”.


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