Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 31
Rapping the UT Administration over “misplaced” priorities, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that its proposed action of electricity privatisation was in direct conflict with the nation’s agenda, “sabka saath, sabka vikas”.
Directing that the proposed action be kept in abeyance, the Bench of Justice Jitendra Chauhan and Justice Vivek Puri said the UT Administration showed unwarranted haste in the matter, while cremation grounds witnessed long queues and hospitals were jam-packed. The Bench asserted: “With great pain and anguish, it is recorded that we are unable to reconcile with the fact that when the whole world is grappling with the deadly virus, when there is no oxygen, no ICUs, a long queue at the cremation grounds and no place in the hospitals, the undue hurry on the part of the Administration to hand over the profit making department to the private entity at this stage of the history and in this situation of crisis faced by the entire mankind, seems to be misplaced.”
The direction came after senior advocate Ashwani Kumar Chopra and Akshit Chaudhary told the Bench that the process had been expedited even through people were dying because of the Covid second wave.
The Bench added that privatisation with the blind motive of so-called efficiency fell flat as the department was not only profit making, but also time and again matched the high standards of customers’ satisfaction and had a big role in maintaining the City Beautiful.
The Bench added that the petitioners, through an application, had prayed for stopping further proceedings on electricity privatisation in Chandigarh, including opening and finalisation of the tender bids till the final adjudication of the writ petition.
The Bench said no decision could be taken in the changed circumstances brought about by the pandemic as the functioning of the Courts stood curtailed to a “very great extent”.
Keeping in view the exigency of the situation, the Bench stated at the current stage, the cause of justice and humanity would be better served by keeping the operation of communication dated April 19, 2021, on the proposed action of privatisation in abeyance, particularly when the matter is coming up for hearing before the Court on August 18.
Privatisation of electricity
What The Bench said
Directing that the proposed action be kept in abeyance, the Bench of Justice Jitendra Chauhan and Justice Vivek Puri said the UT Administration showed unwarranted haste in the matter, while cremation grounds witnessed long queues and hospitals were jam-packed.
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