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ELECTRICITY REGULATORY COMMISSIONS ACT, 1998 [REPEALED]

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 14 of 1998


  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 4A. Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Amending Acts
  • Act nº 14 of 1998

Preamble

THE ELECTRICITY REGULATORY COMMISSIONS ACT, 1998

[Act, No. 14 of 1998]

[2nd July, 1998]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the establishment of a Central Electricity Regulatory Commission and State Electricity Regulatory Commissions, rationalization of electricity tariff, transparent policies regarding subsidies, promotion of efficient and environmentally benign policies and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Forty-ninth Year of the Republic of India as follows:--

Chapter 1

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Electricity Regulatory Commissions Act, 1998.

(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

(3) It shall be deemed to have come into force on the 25th day of April, 1998.

Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) "Central Commission" means the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission established under sub-section (1) of section 3;

(b) "Chairperson" means the Chairperson of the Commission;

(c) "Commission" means the Central Commission 1 [or the State Commission or the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission], as the case may be;

(d) "High Court" means--

(i) the High Court within the jurisdiction of which the aggrieved party ordinarily resides or carries on business or personally works for gain; and

(ii) where the Central Government is the aggrieved party, the High Court within the jurisdiction of which the respondent, or in a case where there are more than one respondent, any of the respondents ordinarily resides or carries on business or personally works for gain;

(e) "inter-State transmission" includes--

(i) the conveyance of energy by means of a main transmission line from the territory of one State to the territory of another State;

(ii) the conveyance of energy across the territory of an intervening State as well as conveyance within the State which is incidental to such inter-State transmission of energy;

(iii) the transmission of energy within the territory on a system built, owned, operated, maintained or controlled by a central transmission utility or by any person under the supervision and control of a central transmission utility;

2 [(ea) "Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission" means the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission constituted under section 21A;]

(f) "licensee" means a person licensed under Part II of the Indian Electricity Act, 1910 (9 of 1910) to supply energy or a person who has obtained sanction under section 28 of that Act to engage in the business of supplying energy (but does not include the Board or a Generating company.);

(g) "Member" means the Member of the Commission and includes the Chairperson but does not include a Member, ex offlcio;

(h) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(i) "regulations" means regulations made under this Act;

(j) "State Commission" means the State Electricity Regulatory Commission established under sub-section (1) of section 17;

(k) "transmission utility" means any generating company, board, licensee or other person engaged in the transmission of energy;

(l) "utility" means any person or entity engaged in the generation, transmission, sale, distribution or supply, as the case may be, of energy;

(m) words and expressions used and not defined in this Act but defined in the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 (54 of 1948) or the Indian Electricity Act, 1910 (9 of 1910) shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in those Acts.

1. Substituted for "or the State Commission" by The Electricity Regulatory Commission (Amendment) Act, 2001 w.e.f. 29.08.2001.

2. Inserted by the The Electricity Regulatory Commission (Amendment) Act, 2001 w.e.f. 29.08.2001.


Chapter 2

Section 3. Establishment and incorporation of Central Commission

(1) The Central Government shall, within three months from the date of the commenment of this Act by notification in the Official Gazette, establish a body to be known as the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission to exercise the powers conferred on, and the functions assigned to, it under this Act.,

(2) The Central Commission shall be a body corporate by the name aforesaid, having perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable, and to contract and shall, by the said name, sue or be sued.

(3) The head office of the Central Commission shall be at such place as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify.

(4) The Central Commission shall consist of the following Members, namely:--

(a) a Chairperson and three other Members;

(b) the Chairman of the Central Electricity Authority appointed under sub-section (3) of section 3 of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 (54 of 1948) who shall be the Member, ex officio.

(5) The Chairperson and the other Members of the Central Commission shall be appointed by the Central Government on the recommendation of the Selection Committee referred to in section 5:

Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall apply to the appointment of a person as the Chairperson, where such person is or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice of a High Court.

Section 4. Qualification for appointment of Chairperson and other Members of Central Commission

(1) The Chairperson and the Members of the Central Commission shall be persons having adequate knowledge, experience or shown capacity in dealing with problems relating to engineering, law, economics, commerce, finance or management and shall be appointed in the following manner, namely:--

(a) one person having qualification and experience in the field of engineering with specialisation in generation, transmission or distribution of electricity;

(b) one person having qualification and experience in the field of finance; and

(c) two persons having qualification and experience in the field of economics, commerce, law or management:

Provided that not more than one Member shall be appointed under the same category under clause (c).

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Central Government may appoint any person as the Chairperson from amongst persons who is or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice of a High Court;

Provided that no appointment under this sub-section shall be made except after consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

(3) The Chairperson or any other Member of the Central Commission shall not hold any other office.

(4) The Chairperson shall be the Chief Executive of the Central Commission.

Section 5. Constitution of Selection Committee to recommend Members

(1) The Central Government shall, for the purpose of sub-section (5) of section 3, constitute a Selection Committee consisting of--

(a) Member of the Planning Commission incharge of the energy sector

-Chairperson;

(b) Secretary-in-charge of the Ministry of the Central Government dealing with the Department of Legal Affairs

-Member;

(c) Chairman of the Public Enterprises Selection Board

-Member;

(d) a person to be nominated by the Central Government in accordance with sub-section (2)

-Member;

(e) a person to be nominated by the Central Government in accordance with sub-section (3)

-Member;

(f) Secretary-in-charge of the Ministry of the Central Government dealing with Power

-Member;

(2) For the purposes of clause (d) of sub-section (1), the Central Government shall nominate from amongst persons holding the post or Chairman of Managing Director, by whatever name called, of any public financial institution specified in section 4A of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956).

(3) For the purposes of clause (e) of sub-section (1), the Central Government shall nominate from amongst persons holding the post of Director or the head of the institution, by whatever name called, of any research, technical or management institution notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette for this purpose.

(4) Secretary-in-charge of the Ministry of the Central Government dealing with Power shall be the Convenor of the Selection Committee.

(5) The Central Government shall, within one month from the date of occurrence of any vacancy by reason of death, resignation or removal of the Chairperson or a Member and six months before the superannuation or end of tenure of any Chairperson or Member, make a reference to the Selection Committee for filling up of the vacancy.

(6) The Selection Committee shall finalise the selection of the Chairperson and Members within one month from the date on which the reference is made to it.

(7) The Selection Committee shall recommend a panel of two names for every vacancy referred to it.

(8) Before recommending any person for appointment as a Chairperson or other Member of the Central Commission, the Selection Committee shall satisfy itself that such person does not have any financial or other interest which is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as a Member.

(9) No appointment of the Chairperson or other Member shall be invalid merely by reason of any vacancy in the Selection Committee.

Section 6. Term of office, salary and allowances and other conditions of service of Chairperson and Members

(1) The Chairperson or other Member shall hold office as such for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office, but shall not be eligible for re-appointment:

Provided that no Chairperson or other Member shall hold office as such after he has attained,--

(a) in the case of the Chairperson, the age of sixty-five years; and

(b) in the case of any other Member, the age of sixty-two years.

(2) The salary and allowances payable to, and the other terms and conditions of service of, the Chairperson and other Members shall be such as may be prescribed.

(3) The salary, allowances and other conditions of service of the Chairperson and other Members shall not be varied to their disadvantage after appointment.

(4) The Chairperson and every Member shall, before entering upon his office, make and subscribe to an oath of office and of secrecy in such form and in such manner and before such authority as may be prescribed.

(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Chairperson or any Member may--

(a) relinquish his office by giving in writing to the President notice of not less than three months; or

(b) be removed from his office in accordance with the provisions of section 7.

(6) The Chairperson or any Member ceasing to hold office as such shall--

(a) be ineligible for further employment under the Central Government or any State Government for a period of two years from the date he ceases to hold such office;

(b) not accept any commercial employment for a period of two years from the date he ceases to hold such office; and

(c) not represent any person before the Central Commission or a State Commission in any manner.

Explanation.--For the purposes of this sub-section,--

(i) "employment under the Central Government or the State Government" includes employment under any local or other authority within the territory of India or under the control of the Central Government or State Government or under any corporation or society owned or controlled by the Government.

(ii) "commercial employment" means employment in any capacity under, or agency of, a person engaged in trading, commercial, industrial or financial business in the electricity industry and includes also a director of a company or partner of a firm and it also includes setting up practice either independently or as partner of a firm or as an adviser or a consultant.

Section 7. Removal of Members

(1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), any Member of the Central Commission shall only be removed from his office by order of the President on the ground of proved misbehaviour after the Supreme Court, on reference being made to it by the President, has, on an inquiry, held in accordance with the procedure prescribed in this behalf by the Supreme Court, reported that the Member, ought on any such ground to be removed.

(2) The President may suspend any Member of the Central Commission in respect of whom a reference has been made to the Supreme Court under sub-section (1) until the President has passed an order on receipt of the report of the Supreme Court.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the President may by order remove from office the Chairperson or any other Member, if the Chairperson or such other Member, as the case may be,--

(a) has been adjudged an insolvent; or

(b) has been convicted of an offence which, in the opinion of the Central Government, involves moral turpitude; or

(c) has become physically or mentally incapable of acting as a Member; or

(d) has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as a Member; or

(e) has so abused his position as to render his continuance in office prejudicial to the public interest.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3), no Member shall be removed from his office on the ground specified in clause (d) or clause (e) of that subsection unless the Supreme Court, on a reference being made to it in this behalf by the President, has, on an inquiry, held by it in accordance with such procedure as prescribed in this behalf by the Supreme Court, reported that the Member ought on such ground or grounds to be removed.

Section 8. Officers of Central Commission and other staff

(1) The Central Commission may appoint a Secretary to exercise and perform under the control of the Chairperson such powers and duties as may be specified by regulations made by the Central Commission.

(2) The Central Commission may, with the approval of the Central Government, determine the number, nature and categories of other officers and employees required to assist the Central Commission in the discharge of its functions.

(3) The salaries and allowances payable to, and other conditions of service of, the Secretary, officers and other employees shall be such as may be determined with the approval of the Central Government, by regulations.

(4) The Central Commission may appoint consultants required to assist the Central Commission in the discharge of its functions on the terms and conditions as may be determined by regulations made by the Central Commission.

Section 9. Proceedings of Central Commission

(1) The Central Commission shall meet at the head office or any of its offices at such time as the Chairperson may direct, and shall observe such rules of procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings (including the quorum at its meetings) as may be determined by regulations.

(2) The Chairperson or, if he is unable to attend a meeting of the Central Commission, any other Member nominated by the Chairperson in this behalf and, in the absence of such nomination or where there is no Chairperson, any Member chosen by the Members present from among themselves, shall preside at the meeting.

(3) All questions which come up before any meeting of the Central Commission shall be decided by a majority of votes of the Members (including the Member, ex officio) present and voting, and in the event of an equality of votes, the Chairperson or the person presiding shall have the right to exercise a second or casting vote.

(4) Save as otherwise provided in sub-section (3), every Member shall have one vote.

(5) All orders and decisions of the Central Commission shall be authenticated by the Secretary or any other officer of the Central Commission duly authorised by the Chairperson in this behalf.

Section 10. Vacancies, etc. not to invalidate proceedings of Central Commission

No act or proceedings of the Central Commission shall be questioned or shall be invalidated merely on the ground of existence of any vacancy or defect in the constitution of the Central Commission.

Section 11. Expenses of Central Commission to be charged upon Consolidated Fund of India

The expenses of the Central Commission including all salaries and allowances payable to, or in respect of, the Chairperson and the Member of the Central Commission shall be charged upto the Consolidated Fund of India.

Section 12. Powers of Central Commission

The Central Commission, shall, for the purposes of any inquiry or proceedings under this Act have the powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), in respect of the following matters, namely:--

(a) the summoning and enforcing the attendance of any witness and examining him on oath;

(b) the discovery and production of any document or other material object producible as evidence;

(c) the reception of evidence on affidavits;

(d) the requisition of any public record;

(e) the issue of commission for examination of witnesses;

(f) review its decisions, directions and orders;

(g) any other matter which may be prescribed.