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dercDelhi High Court today set aside a Central Information Commission (CIC) order postponing the public hearing of the pleas of discoms for tariff fixation by Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) for 2015-16. Justice Rajiv Shakhdher sent the matter back to CIC asking it to hear afresh DERC which had sought interim stay on the operation of the CIC’s April 17 decision. In April the CIC had ordered DERC, which fixes the electricity tariff, to postpone its public hearing on the pleas for tariff fixation by power distribution companies (discoms) of Delhi. Aggrieved with the CIC’s decision, the regulatory body moved high court seeking quashing of the commission’s order, on the ground that it has no powers at all to issue such orders as it can impact the functioning of another statutory body. Taking note of DERC’s submission, the court directed that CIC will hear the issue again and pass its order. “They (DERC and the respondent on whose plea the CIC has passed the decision) will … Delhi High Court today set aside a Central Information Commission (CIC) order postponing the public hearing of the pleas of discoms for tariff fixation by Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) for 2015-16.

Justice Rajiv Shakhdher sent the matter back to CIC asking it to hear afresh DERC which had sought interim stay on the operation of the CIC’s April 17 decision.

In April the CIC had ordered DERC, which fixes the electricity tariff, to postpone its public hearing on the pleas for tariff fixation by power distribution companies (discoms) of Delhi.

Aggrieved with the CIC’s decision, the regulatory body moved high court seeking quashing of the commission’s order, on the ground that it has no powers at all to issue such orders as it can impact the functioning of another statutory body.

Taking note of DERC’s submission, the court directed that CIC will hear the issue again and pass its order.

“They (DERC and the respondent on whose plea the CIC has passed the decision) will appear before the CIC on May 6. The CIC will conclude its hearing before May 8,” the court said, adding that, meanwhile, the regulatory body will not hold its public hearing.

DERC has to give public hearing for discussing revision of power tariffs in the national capital.

CIC had passed its order on a plea by Anil Sood who had approached the commission after DERC failed to provide information regarding distribution transformation losses of the three discoms.

Senior advocate Meet Malhotra, appearing for DERC, said CIC could legally pass an order imposing penalty and recommend disciplinary action against the public information officer.

He further said that by directing DERC to postpone its public hearing in the ongoing statutory annual tariff determination exercise (a quasi-judicial function), CIC has clearly exercised powers not vested in it by the law and hence was liable to be quashed.

 


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