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Central Appellate Tribunal for Electricity criticizes delay in appointing chairman to Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC)

According to reports, the eight-month delay in appointing a chairman to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has come in for sharp criticism from the central Appellate Tribunal for Electricity.

Chairman of the tribunal Justice M Karpaga Vinayagam told mediapersons here on Thursday that the tribunal would be forced to act and pass orders on the matter if any representation comes to us.He was in the city to participate in the inauguration of the Chennai circuit bench of the tribunal.Governor K Rosaiah inaugurated the bench.

Karpaga Vinayagam said the tribunal had not suo motu acted on the issue so far because the two members of the TNERC had been discharging the duties of the commission.If the state commission was not functioning,we would have passed orders by now, he said.

He called upon the three-member selection panel headed by retired high court judge K Sampath to complete the selection process soon.Other members of the panel are state chief secretary Debendranath Sarangi and the chairperson of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission.He attributed the delay to differences of opinion among the three in shortlisting candidates.

Even while refusing to comment on reports that appeared in a section of media about the possibility of the selection process being derailed,he said,If any violation of rules or procedures happens,there are appropriate forums where people can represent. He also called upon the state electricity regulatory commissions to distance themselves from the state governments.Most of the commissions have retired IAS officers as chairmen,but once they join the commission,they should act independently,he noted.

Apart from the Chennai circuit bench,the tribunal is starting two more benches in Mumbai and Kolkata to cater to the requirements of the respective regions.The Chennai bench will cover four southern states Kerala,Tamil Nadu,Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.The tribunal will tour and hold hearings in all the circuit benches every month,he said.

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