The Delhi Metro has decided to approach the Union government for “legal opinion” on the Delhi government’s proposal to nominate AAP functionaries Atishi, Raghav Chadha, Jasmine Shah and Rajya Sabha MP N D Gupta’s son Naveen Gupta to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) board of directors.
The Delhi government and the Centre are equal equity shareholders in the DMRC. The corporation’s board, which has a sanctioned strength of 17, is chaired by the secretary of Union Ministry for Housing and Urban Affairs.
Mangu Singh, Managing Director, DMRC, told The Indian Express that the board of directors took the decision in its last meeting. “The decision to nominate the four names was taken by the Delhi government. We brought it in the meeting of the board. The board decided that the Central government should be approached for a legal opinion,” Singh said.
Both Atishi and Chadha unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Shah is the vice-chairman of the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi, while Gupta is a former president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
K Sanjay Murthy, Additional Secretary in the Ministry for Housing and Urban Affairs and a member of the DMRC board, had in July written to Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev, advising the state government to withdraw the nominations citing the importance of domain knowledge and accountability.
But the Delhi government had written back, asserting that the Companies Act, 2013, “expressly obliges the Board of a government company (like DMRC) to appoint the directors nominated by the state government by virtue of their shareholding in the said government company”.
On his view on the Delhi government’s proposal to make travel free for women on the Metro, Singh said: “As the MD of the DMRC, my duty and responsibility is to ensure its financial stability. I have to implement whatever decision the FFC takes. If there is a gap after implementing certain concessions, the FFC will have to see how to plug that gap… That will be the call of the FFC. The committee will look into factors like financial viability, surplus required, etc.”