Delhi LG Writes To CM Kejriwal Asking For Swearing-In Of New DERC Chairman Soon

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New Delhi [India], June 28 : Delhi lieutenant governor Vinai Saxena has written to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the delay in administrating the oath of office to Justice (Retd) Umesh Kumar as Chairperson, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) and urged the that the oath be administered without delay and preferably by June 28.

The letter from the governor stated that the president appointed Justice Kumar as Chairperson DERC in accordance with the extant statutory provision through a notification duly notified in the Gazette on June 21. In the letter, LG Saxena wrote: “I am in receipt of communication regarding unnecessary delay in administrating oath of office to Justice (Retd) Umesh Kumar as Chairperson, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) despite his communication on 22.06.2023 that he would be available in Delhi for this purpose from June 26, 10:00 AM onwards.”

He further said: “You are aware that President has already appointed Justice Kumar as Chairperson (DERC) in accordance with the extant statutory provision through a notification duly notified in the Gazette on June 21.”
“The next logical and statutorily mandated step in this direction is to administer to him the oath of office by Minister-in-Charge of Power, at the earliest. It is also brought to your notice that upon being approached by the Department of Power on June 26, under directions from Minister (Power) Justice Umesh Kumar, inter alia clearly expressed his keenness to assume his responsibilities and categorically mentioned his availability for oath-taking, June 27 onwards till June 29, where after he would be travelling out of Delhi,” he stated.

He further said “In saying so, he did not agree with the proposal of the Department to hold the oath ceremony July 3 onwards. Accordingly, the oath could very well have been administered on June 27, 28 due to June 29 being a public holiday and unavailability of the Minister on June 30.

According to him, rules and regulations require the Minister of Power of the government to administer oath of office and secrecy to the Chairperson and Members of DERC. The Rules however, do not give unlimited discretion to the Minister to withhold or inordinately delay administering of the oath Any deviation to the statutorily logical processes of governance cannot be subjected to the whims and fancies of individuals.

Such stone walling of the President’s decisions without any statutory backing will lead to anarchy which must be avoided at any cost. The extant rules cast a statutory responsibility on the Minister (Power) to administer oath of office and secrecy to DERC, Chairperson (designate) without any further delay.

The Lieutenant governor wrote, “all of us are bound by the Constitution of India and it is incumbent upon us that prescribed Constitutional and statutory provisions are complied with. Nobody can take institutions on a ransom and it is strongly advised to abide by the directions of the said notification without any further delay, any deviation from which will be akin to disregard and violation of the Constitutional scheme of things.”
He further said that the post of Chairperson of DERC which is a crucial public office is vacant for a long and now that the President has appointed Justice (Retd) Umesh Kumar the same must be complied with immediate effect

The LG further urged the Chief Minister to ensure that Minister Power administers the oath of Office and secrecy to Justice (Retd) Umesh Kumar without any further delay, preferably by June 28 as indicated by him in his communication dated June 26.

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