Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal Saturday announced retired Allahabad High Court judge Justice Shabihul Hasnain as the next chairperson of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC).
Hasnain will fill the vacancy created after the retirement of Justice (retd) Satyendra Singh Chauhan, who too was a judge at the Allahabad HC. Singh retired on July 4 upon turning 65.
Hasnain’s appointment comes at a crucial time when the commission is gearing up to announce the annual tariff order, which determines the electricity charges of domestic and industrial consumers.
“Delhi govt approves the appointment of Justice Shahibul Hasnain (Retd) as the new Chairman of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) Providing cheap and uninterrupted power supply is one of the key priority areas for Delhi Govt My best wishes to him for a successful stint,” Kejriwal tweeted.
A law graduate from Lucknow University, Hasnain was enrolled as an advocate in 1984. He was elevated as an additional judge in the Allahabad HC in 2008 and took oath as permanent judge in April 2010 and served in that capacity till retiring in January, 2020.
Apart from a chairperson, the DERC can have two members. Currently, former officer of the Indian Forest Service Dr A K Ambasht is the lone member of the commission. Days before his retirement, Chauhan had written to Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal, seeking an extension.
Before Chauhan, who was appointed in July, 2018, the appointment of Krishna Saini to the post of DERC chairman was a flashpoint in the AAP-Lieutenant Governor ties as then L-G Najeeb Jung had struck down the appointment in September 2016 citing lack of his prior approval. As a result, the post had remained vacant for nearly two years.