Delhi BJP files case against Dikshit over power tariff issue



New Delhi: Amid the outrage over hike in power tariff, Delhi BJP on Saturday filed a police complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and a number of senior bureaucrats alleging their involvement in a "conspiracy" to benefit three private power distribution companies.

In the complaint filed in I P Estate Police station, the BJP alleged that as part of the "criminal conspiracy", also involving two members of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission and officials of three discoms, DERC's move to cut the power tariff by 23 per cent in May, 2010 was stalled.

When asked about the allegations, Dikshit strongly rebutted them saying, "Why they are filling complaint against me. If they want to file complaint, then they should file against the discoms. I am not a party to any such decisions."

The BJP also released tariff order finalised by the DERC in April, 2010 for 2010-11 recommending a cut in tariff citing healthy financial position of the power distribution companies.

"We demand a high-level inquiry into the scam," said Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta, who along with a number of senior BJP leaders filled the police complaint. He also announced a 40-day long protest beginning tomorrow across the city against power tariff hike.

On May 4, 2010, the Delhi government, using a special power, had stalled DERC's decision to announce the annual tariff for 2010-11 till it re-examined the demands from discoms to increase the rates.

The DERC, which was making last minute preparations to announce the new tariff next day, after receiving the government directive had indicated that it had planned to cut down the tariff by 20 to 25 per cent as discoms would have a surplus of around Rs 4,000 crore if the existing tariff was not changed.

Although DERC was strongly arguing for a cut in tariff, the three-member regulator, following retirement and subsequent appointment of two new members, gave indication of taking a sympathetic approach to the demands of the discoms and hiked the tariff by 22 per cent in August last year and 26 per cent in June this year for domestic consumers.

The government's notification, stalling the tariff order was quashed by Delhi High Court in February, describing the intervention as "absolutely unjustified, unwarranted, untenable".

PTI