Naming directors of discoms: Why were govt choices rejected, CM Kejriwal asks L-G Najeeb Jung

The L-G’s office refused to comment on the chief minister’s letter.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR | New Delhi | Published:November 8, 2016 4:57 am

TWO DAYS after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung sparred over the appointment DERC chairman Krishna Saini, Kejriwal on Monday sent a detailed letter to Jung questioning the L-G’s decision to turn down names suggested by the Delhi government for directors of discoms.

“Hon’ble L-G directed in his note dated November 1, 2016, to ‘immediately implement’ his decision of rejecting names proposed by the government and instead to nominate different names decided by Hon’ble L-G unilaterally,” Kejriwal wrote in his letter.

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“For the first time, instead of appointing bureaucrats as directors in discoms, the government had suggested the names of about four or five power experts and chartered accountants. This was a departure from existing practices,” a source told The Indian Express.

Urging the L-G to “invite” him or the power minister for a discussion, Kejriwal wrote, “When topmost officers of the government formally become part of decision-making in DISCOMs, there is a conflict of interest as DISCOMs’ decisions come before the government consideration. Moreover, it becomes difficult to question DISCOMs’ decisions subsequently which are not in consumers’ interest. For this reason, it is not advisable to nominate topmost officers of the government on DISCOMs Board.”

Kejriwal contended that in a “transferred subject” like that of the power department, in case of a “difference of opinion” between the elected government and the L-G, the latter should have followed Chapter V of the Transaction of Business Rules, 1993. He cited Rule 49 that states that if a difference of opinion persists, the L-G may direct that the matter be referred to the council.

“I am hopeful that we will be able to resolve the difference of opinion amicably in public interest,” the CM added.

The L-G’s office refused to comment on the chief minister’s letter.

“The L-G can’t be dragged into frivolous issues of appointment on a daily basis at a time when Delhi is dealing with serious issues like air pollution,” a source in the L-G’s office had earlier said.