The Delhi Government and the Lieutenant Governor (LG) found themselves at an impasse when it came to the appointment of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) chairperson. As the disagreement persisted, they sought the intervention of the Supreme Court to resolve the matter.
In response to the situation, the Supreme Court proposed a potential solution – the appointment of a former judge on an ad-hoc basis. However, this decision would require consultation with a few judges to ensure an appropriate selection.
During the court proceedings, Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud inquired whether both parties could collaboratively agree on a suitable candidate for the DERC chairperson position. Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing the Delhi LG, suggested that the court could recommend names for the appointment, and the chosen candidate would then be officially appointed. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, emphasized the urgency of not leaving the institution headless and supported the court’s authority to make the appointment. The bench, consisting of Justices P S Narasimha and Manoj Misra, proposed that the parties provide a list of three to five retired judges from the Delhi High Court. From this list, the court would then select the most appropriate candidate for the DERC chairperson role.
The court set a date for further hearing on August 4, during which the issue would be revisited and addressed once again.
Earlier, on July 17, the Supreme Court urged Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and LG V K Saxena to put aside any “political bickering” and work together to reach a consensus on the appointment of the DERC head. The court emphasized that constitutional functionaries should prioritize the essential task of governance rather than engaging in public disputes.
In an attempt to break the deadlock over the appointment of a retired judge for the DERC post, the court proposed that the chief minister on behalf of the Delhi Government and the LG meet and jointly agree on a suitable candidate. They were encouraged to engage in meaningful discussions and consider options by either agreeing on one name or exchanging a list of three names each, facilitating a productive and transparent decision-making process.