'No electricity bill waiver'

HC suspends Kejri's sop to Bijli Andolan participants

The Delhi High Court on Friday suspended the AAP government decision to give 50 per cent waiver on pending electricity bills of 24,036 consumers.

These consumers had stopped payment of their dues during the Aam Aadmi Party’s “bijli satyagraha”.

A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Sidharth Mridul, suspending the AAP government’s decision on waiver of pending power bills, also issued notice to the government for March 18.

The Bench asked the government to file an affidavit on its current stand on the issue.
“Issue notice to the Delhi government. The counsel of the government has already filed short affidavit. A detailed affidavit shall be filed indicating the current stand of the Delhi government within 10 days. In the meanwhile, on February 12, 2014, decision (waiver on power bills) of the Delhi government is stayed,” the court said. During the hearing, Advocate Zubeda Begum appearing for the Delhi government submitted a copy of the department report on the decision taken by the Delhi Cabinet.
The Bench asked the government to clear its stand now.

“What is the government’s stand now? What is your proposed action now? Are you going to carry the decision now or not?” the bench said.

The report filed in the court by deputy power secretary of the Delhi government said: “In view of the Cabinet decision, the department of power, Delhi, vide letter dated February 2, 2014, submitted revised final excess and savings statement for the financial year 2013-14 towards making provisions for one-time relief to electricity consumers to the tune of Rs 6.821 crore and for creation of a new budget head for the purpose.”

The Bench was hearing a the public interest litigation filed by Advocate Vivek Narayan Sharma, who also sought quashing the Delhi government’s decision to close power theft cases registered against 2,508 consumers last year.

The plea said such action of the government was like “sponsoring and abetting criminal and terrorism acts and acts against rule of law and constitution”.

Shortly after its formation, the AAP launched “bijli satyagraha” alleging that power bills in Delhi are inflated. As part of the campaign, Kejriwal urged people of Delhi to stop paying their power bills, the plea said.

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