NEW DELHI: The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) is soon expected to resume operations as the government late on Friday approved appointment of Pravas Kumar Singh as member law of the regulatory body.
CERC has not held hearings since August 28, after the Supreme Court asked two of its members to go on leave till the time a member-law is appointed. This left the regulator with just chairperson P K Pujari while the quorum for hearings is two members, besides the chair.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the proposal for appointment of Pravas Kumar Singh, member (legal), Jharkhand SERC to the post of member (law) in the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, an official statement said.
Interestingly, the appointment has been made for a period of five years while the tenure of Pujari and other recently appointed members was fixed as three years. Pujari’s term ends next month.
Sources said Singh’s appointment tenure is based on recommendations from the ministry of power.
Ä senior government official said the government will now inform the Supreme Court about the appointment, following which CERC can resume operations.
The power ministry had on December 7 informed the apex court that an approval from the Appointments Committee of Cabinet is awaited for the appointment of CERC member law. Singh’s appointment will enable two other CERC members I S Jha, former Power Grid Corp chairman, and Arun Goyal, ex-bureaucrat, resume office. Jha took over as member CERC in January 2019 and Goyal was appointed on April 7 this year.
The Supreme Court had on April 14, 2018, directed state electricity commissions to appoint a member from the field of law with qualifications of a high court or district judge. The order mandated that the next vacancy in state commissions be filled up by a person with a judicial background.
The power ministry had in April 2019 and October 2019 advertised job vacancy for member-law in CERC. However, the selection committee could not find candidates suitable to fill up the position and the process was shelved.
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