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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

LG Vs Delhi Govt: SC orders deferment till Tuesday of oath taking of LG’s nominee for DERC Chairperson


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New Delhi: Supreme Court in its order today deferred till Tuesday, July 11, the oath of Justice (retired) Umesh Kumar, appointed by the Union government following its Ordinance taking over the services in Delhi government, as Chairman of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC).

A bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dr Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chadrachud passed the order and deferred till July 11, Tuesday, for the oath taking of Justice (retired) Umesh Kumar, appointed by the Union government following its Ordinance as DERC Chairman.

The Top Court also today fixed July 11 for final hearing on Delhi govt’s petition challenging the validity of June 21 notification by Union ministry of power appointing the former Allahabad High Court judge as DERC Chairman, whose oath was delayed by Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Govt.

The Supreme Court today also issued notice to the Centre and sought its response on the petition filed by Delhi Govt, challenging the provision of the 2023 Ordinance.

The Supreme Court passed the order of deferment after hearing the petition of Delhi Government against the decision of the Delhi LG (Lieutenant-Governor) to appoint former Allahabad HC judge, Justice Umesh Kumar as chairman of DERC.

In doing so, the LG had ignored GNCTD’s proposal to appoint Justice Rajeev Shrivastava as chairman, Delhi govt claimed.

Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, senior lawyer appearing for Delhi govt, told the Supreme Court that the oath is on Thursday. “I am seeking a stay of the notification issued by the LG,” Dr Singhvi said.

He said that as a political executive, I give power of 200 units to the poorest of poor in Delhi. It’s the most popular scheme in Delhi. Now they want to appoint someone and stop that.

Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that on the same day the CM directed that please administer the oath as soon as possible… would your lordships permit this kind of approach with a former judge? They have been playing with the judge.

“We will list it. Let the oath not be administered yet. The LG shouldn’t administer oath when we’re seized of the matter,” the CJI said and fixed the matter for further hearing to July 11.


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