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SC asks 2 members of CERC to go on leave till a law member is appointed

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court has directed two members of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) to go on leave until a law member is appointed to the commission. As per rule, the law member should have been appointed before any other member was.

The order has been passed by a bench comprising Justices S.K. Kaul, Ajay Rastogi and Aniruddha Bose in a contempt petition filed by KK Agarwal, against non-appointment of a law member to the Commission.

The plea was moved seeking enforcement of a 2018 verdict of the Supreme Court wherein the apex court ruled that it was mandatory to appoint a person of law as a member of the Commission. That particular position requires a person, who is, or has been holding a judicial office or is a person possessing professional qualifications with substantial experience in the practice of law, who has the requisite qualifications to have been appointed as a judge of the High Court or a District Judge.

CERC

As per the Commission’s website, it currently comprises PK Pujari, Chairperson and two members— Indu Shekhar Jha and Arun Goyal (both of whom were appointed after the 2018 verdict).

The Court viewed that the appointments of any Member after the 2018 judgment should not be permitted to function without first appointing a Member from law. It observed:

“Any Member who has been appointed after our judgment, should not be permitted to function as that would be permitting functioning contrary to the judgment of this Court requiring a person from law to be appointed first.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the court that the procedure for appointing a person of law is expected to be concluded during the month of September 2020. He also made submissions that the two members who were appointed after the 2018 verdict shall be asked to proceed on leave till the appointment of law member.

Read Also: Police do not have arrest/registration of FIR powers under Chapter IV, Drugs & Cosmetics Act: SC

The court emphasized:

“We make it clear that if the person of law is so appointed within this period of time, the persons who would go on leave would be permitted to re-join.”

The matter is said to be listed on September 25.

-India Legal Bureau

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