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Delhi: Power Minister Atishi Requests DERC Chairman To Take Oath On July 3 Or 4 After LG Saxena Flagged Delay

Lt Governor VK Saxena had earlier this week written to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, flagging the 'unnecessary delay' in administering the oath of office to Justice Kumar and said it should be done without further delay.

Delhi Power Minister Atishi
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Delhi Power Minister Atishi has written to newly appointed DERC Chairman Justice (Retd) Umesh Kumar, requesting him to take oath of office on July 3 or 4, sources said.

Justice Kumar was appointed chairman of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) on June 21.

Lt Governor VK Saxena had earlier this week written to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, flagging the "unnecessary delay" in administering the oath of office to Justice Kumar and said it should be done without further delay.

Sources said Kejriwal forwarded the letter to Atishi the same day and asked her to administer the oath "as early as possible".

In her communication to Justice Kumar, Atishi blamed the Power department for the confusion.

Justice Kumar, a former Allahabad High Court judge, in a letter to the department, had said it was only after he was communicated that the minister would not be available in the national capital after June 29 that he came to Delhi.

He said he had made himself available to take the oath of office between June 26 and June 28 since Atishi was available on those days.

"Unfortunately, Hon'ble Minister, Power, GNCTD, could not find time for the oath in these three days. I am constrained to note that the entire event could have been managed more professionally which would have led to an avoidable to-and-fro travel to Delhi from my base location," he had said.

Replying to Kumar's mail, Atishi said she has asked the power department to take disciplinary action against the officers involved in the miscommunication.

"This unfortunate situation has arisen because the Power department wrote to you, asking for time for taking of oath without my instructions or without checking my availability. If in fact, the Power department had sought my availability before approaching you, then this unfortunate situation would not have arisen.

"It is extremely shocking that the Power department would write to you without even asking whether I am available on those dates. It is because of this shockingly lax and unprofessional behaviour that someone as senior as you have had to undergo this inconvenience. Putting such a senior functionary at such an inconvenience is completely unacceptable. I have directed the Power department to take disciplinary action against the officer who is responsible for this," she said.

Atishi had written to Saxena, calling Justice Kumar's appointment "patently illegal and unconstitutional".

However, to avoid "constitutional brinkmanship", she will be administering the oath office to him, the minister had said.

The AAP dispensation had recommended the name of former Madhya Pradesh High Court judge Justice (Retd) RK Srivastava for the position. However, Justice Srivastava expressed his inability to take charge due to "family commitments and requirements".

Later, the city government obtained the consent of Justice (Retd) Sangeet Raj Lodha of the Rajasthan High Court on June 21. The central government, however, notified the name of Justice Kumar that evening.

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