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Delhi Cabinet revokes LG Jung’s order against DERC chairman’s appointment

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said that the Cabinet has revoked the order of the Lieutenant Governor regarding cancellation of the appointment of Krishna Saini as Chairman of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Authority (DERC) and has reinstated him at his post. 

The CM alleged conspiracy to increase power tariff in the Capital by the BJP-led Centre and power discoms behind cancellation of appointment. He said that the state government would not let the tariff hike happen. “In the last couple of years, we have not increased power tariff and will ensure no hike under pressure of any of the agencies,” said Kejriwal. 

“After eight months of appointment, the LG wakes up and is saying his approval was not taken for DERC’s chief appointment. As the DERC chief had issued many orders in the past eight months that fixes the accountability of power companies, discoms wanted him to be removed. We had opposed to the decision of the LG to scrap Saini’s appointment as DERC chief and asked Jung to send the related file to the President, but the LG had refused. 

Now, the Cabinet has decided to reinstate him,” said the CM. He criticised LG for removing Sukesh Jain from the post of Power Secretary, which he alleged was done as the officer did not cancel Saini’s appointment notification as told by the LG Office. L-G had directed removal of Saini and an order to this effect was issued on Friday.  

“Sukesh Jain was threatened of “serious consequences” as he initially turned down the LG Office’s alleged directive to remove Saini with immediate effect. “It’s sad that he (Jung) is cutting salaries of people, stopping mohalla clinics and closing schools. He has turned governance into a joke in Delhi. Does he intend to shut down Delhi?” Kejriwal asked. 

The Delhi government has issued show-cause notices to the Deputy Secretary (general administration department) and other officers who issued the order canceling Saini’s appointment. There’s a big conspiracy to increase power tariff in Delhi. 

An honest officer like Krishna Saini was appointed by following the due process, he said. A senior official of the LG House said that the appointment of DERC Chief is illegal as the mandatory approval was not sought by the government. 

“LG Secretariat is not against any person to be appointed as DERC Chairman. LG only wants the legal process to be followed by the government,” said the official. 

The CM also made a scathing attack over cancellation of appointment of advocates to challenge Delhi HC’s order giving primacy to the LG in administrative affairs. “To challenge the decision, we had appointed a team of lawyers but LG has canceled their appointment advising to take lawyers from Centre. I don’t understand how advocates recommended by the Centre will pursue the case against Centre itself,” added the CM.
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