The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (DERC) public hearing on tariff fixation is set to be further delayed as the Delhi High Court has directed the Central Information Commission (CIC) to hear a complaint filed against the DERC alleging that it had not put mandatory information in public domain for seeking public opinion.
The CIC had previously admitted a complaint filed by activist Anil Sood, who alleged that the necessary information has not been placed in public domain by DERC and claimed that this was a violation of mandatory disclosure clause of the RTI Act.
DERC had fixed April 17 as the last date for inviting public opinion on tariff fixation.
After receiving the complaint, the CIC ordered the regulator to defer the public hearing till the matter is decided by the panel.
The regulator approached Delhi High Court seeking relief against the orders issued by Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu to defer the proceedings, but no such relief was given by the High Court.
“In these circumstances, parties and counsels will appear before the CIC on May 6, 2015. The CIC, will conclude the hearing on or before May 8, 2015. Mr Malhotra (representing DERC), assures the court that, in the meanwhile, the date for public hearing will be deferred,” notes the order issued by the court of Justice Rajiv Shakdher.
In his plea before the commission, Sood claimed that if the DERC applies the tariff fixation without disclosing the complete information and hearing the objections, it would cause irreparable loss to consumers in Delhi and will result in undue benefits to discoms.
Sood had also raised questions of how the DERC has done the capitalisation of fixed assets leading to revenue gap of
Rs 20,000 crore.
In his complaint, Sood said that the DERC had flouted mandatory disclosures provisions under Section 4 of the RTI Act. He has also claimed that the regulator had changed its statements before the Supreme Court and the CIC regarding tariff fixation and the information put in the public domain.