Madras HC restrains Puducherry power privatisation bid, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms


CHENNAI: The Puducherry government’s bid to privatise electricity distribution in the union territory suffered a setback with Madras high court restraining the administration from finalising the tender.

“Though the petitioners have moved the petition to quash the very tender document, this court, at this juncture, feels that the tender process can go on up to November 25. However, since no date has been specified to open the tender, the same shall not be opened until further orders,” Justice R Suresh Kumar said on Thursday.

The court passed the order on a plea moved by Electricity Department Certificate Holders (ITI) Welfare Union, Puducherry and six others. According to the petitioners, they are representing about 1,500 engineers and workers employed in the Puducherry electricity department which includes Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam.

The Puducherry government has unilaterally decided to privatise power distribution in the union territory, which is a profit-making service for the government, they said.

“The Electricity Act, 2003 does not confer any right to the union territory government to privatise power distribution. The government order dated September 27 issued in this regard has invited bids for purchase of 100% share in the distribution company,” the petitioners said.

The electricity department which undertakes power distribution is a government department and not a company to sell its shares, they pointed out.

This apart, all the employees of the department are governed by the Central Civil Service (CCS) and the decision of the government to privatise the department violates the service rules, the petitioner said.


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