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Why private nominees on discom boards? LG VK Saxena asks Delhi govt


Lt. Gov. VK Saxena requested on Friday that senior government personnel be installed in their place, claiming that the appointment of “private individuals” as Delhi government candidates to the boards of electricity distribution firms violated constitutional provisions.

The appointment of AAP spokesperson Jasmine Shah, Rajya Sabha member ND Gupta’s son Naveen, Umesh Tyagi, and JS Deswal to the boards of BSES Yamuna and Rajdhani was “patently illegal” and void because the proper legal procedures were not followed, Saxena claimed in an official communication to the chief secretary. The LG has requested an action-taken report within 15 days and has asked the chief secretary to notify the chief minister of his order.

According to officials, the decision was made in light of an inquiry report that the power department and the chief secretary submitted in response to a complaint made by a legal advocacy group in September 2022. The complaint claimed that “compromised nominees” had given the discoms improper financial benefits totaling thousands of crores at the expense of the state exchequer.

However, the Delhi administration referred to the accusations as “completely unfounded”. “The Supreme Court’s Constitution bench has spelled out plainly that the LG lacks the authority to make its own decisions. His choices and directives are therefore unlawful and unconstitutional. He is behaving like a despot and showing utter contempt for the supreme court of our nation. This essentially amounts to disrespect for the Honorable Supreme Court, according to the statement.

The LG observed that the appointments were made despite written protests from the previous LG, Najeeb Jung, on November 1, 2016, and Anil Baijal on August 11, 2017, according to the power department’s report.

According to sources in LG’s office, the nominees allegedly reduced interest rates on late payments owed by discoms to transmission and generating companies unilaterally from 15 to 18 percent to 12 percent, resulting in a loss of Rs 8,683.67 crore. An official stated that since the Delhi government owns 49% of private discoms, its candidates could have vetoed bad ideas that would have hurt the state’s budget. “Instead, these nominees collaborated with the private companies.

According to an official, the LG has also requested that the directorate of vigilance look into any potential conflicts of interest when looking into the omission or commission made by these people.

According to sources, the nominees skipped a meeting that postponed the annual general meeting, which may have addressed the problem of the late payment premium. It gave the discoms a chance to ask the Supreme Court for a status quo order. An official stated that the LG had instructed the power department to initiate legal proceedings to get the status quo order revoked and to reclaim the unpaid debts.

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