Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission

Establishment and constitution of the Commission.

(1) For the purposes of this Act within three months from the date of commencement of this Act , the State Government shall establish by notification, a Commission to be known as the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission, which shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, with power to acquire, hold and dispose of property, movable and immovable and shall, by the said name, be entitled to sue and be sued.

(2) The Commission shall consist of three members to be appointed by the State Government from persons selected by the selection committee constituted for the purpose, in the manner provided in section 4 and one of them shall be nominated as Chairman by the State Government.

(3) When the Chairman is unable to discharge the functions owing to absence, illness or any other cause, the next senior member shall act as the Chairman till the day the Chairman re-assumes the charge.

(4) The seniority of members shall be reckoned from the date of their appointment as indicated in their order of appointment. In case, two members are appointed at the same time, the State Government while making the appointment shall determine the seniority between them.

(5) No act or proceedings of the Commission shall be invalid by reason only of the existence of any vacancy among its members or any defect in the constitution thereof.

(6) The Chairman shall be the Chief Executive of the Commission.


Constitution of the selection /committee to select members

(1) The State Government shall expeditiously constitute a selection committee, as often as may be required, to select persons for appointment as members.

(2) The selection committee shall consist of three members, namely:

(a) A retired Chief Justice of a High Court or a retired Judge of the Supreme Court as Chairman;

(b) The Chief Secretary of the Government of Karnataka as a Member.

(c) The Chairman of the Central Electricity Authority or a person who has worked as Chairman of an Electricity Board for not less than three years as a Member; and the Secretary, in-charge of the Energy Department, Government of Karnataka, shall act as the convenor of the selection committee.

(3) (a) The selection committee shall act expeditiously and shall generally finalise the selection to enable the State Government to make the appointment in time for the new members to take effective charge at the expiry of the term of the retiring member and without delay and generally within two months of vacancy arising for reasons other than the expiry of the term.

(b) The method and manner of the selection and appointment of members and designation of one of the members as Chairman shall be as may be prescribed.

(c) For the purposes of selection, the selection committee may call for application from individuals or nomination from such sources and in such other manner as the selection committee may consider appropriate.

(4) The selection committee shall select two suitable persons for each vacancy in the Commission who have such qualification and experience as provided in this Act and notify the State Government of the persons shortlisted by the selection committee. The State Government shall appoint one of the two persons shortlisted by the selection committee as a member within fifteen days of receipt of the recommendations of the selection committee.

(5) All decisions of the selection committee shall be by majority.



Conditions for appointment as member of the Commission.

(1) The members shall be persons of ability, integrity and standing who have adequate knowledge and experience of, and have demonstrated capacity in dealing with matters relating to, engineering, finance, economics, commerce, law or administration and further, that at all times:

(a) One member shall be a graduate electrical engineer with at least twenty five years of experience of either generation, transmission or distribution of electricity and having worked in a senior position in the said field;

(b) Two members shall have qualification in the field of law , finance, economics, commerce, or administration with at least twenty five years of working experience and shall have worked in a senior position in the said field:

Provided that at any point of time the commission shall not consist of more than one member from the same discipline.

(2) A person shall be disqualified from being appointed as a member if he is a Member of Parliament or of any State Legislature or of any local authority or holds any post in a political party.

(3) The persons who are considered for appointment as members, shall notify the convenor of the selection committee: -

(a) of any office, employment or consultancy agreement or arrangement which he has in his own name or in any firm, association of persons or body corporate, or in the names of any relative, carrying on any of the following businesses or any financial interest therein:

(i) generation, transmission, distribution or supply of electricity;

(ii) manufacture, sale or supply of any fuel for generation of electricity;

(iii) manufacture, sale, lease, hire, supply or otherwise dealing in machinery, plant, equipment, apparatus or fittings for the generation, transmission, distribution, supply or use of electricity; and

(iv) any entity providing professional services to any of the businesses referred to in clauses (i), (ii) and (iii) above; and.

(b) of such other details and information as may be prescribed.

Explanation:

For the purpose of this section, the term “relative” shall have the same meaning as defined under section 6 of the Companies Act, 1956 and a member and his relatives shall not be taken as holding financial interest in any business of a public company if they are shareholders holding in aggregate less than two percent of the issued share capital in that public company.

(4) The details received from the persons shall be placed for consideration of the selection committee at the time of selection and recommendation of the persons for appointment as member.

(5) Before recommending any person as a member, the selection committee shall satisfy itself that the person does not have any financial or other interest as referred to in sub-section (3) or otherwise which is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as a member.

(6) Each member shall before taking charge of the office as member or within such time not exceeding three months after taking charge as may be allowed by the State Government on the recommendation of the selection committee, divest himself from the interest in the businesses mentioned in sub-section (3) as a condition of his appointment.

(7) If a person to be appointed as a member holds any office under the State or Central Government or any public sector corporation or any Government body or is otherwise gainfully employed or engaged in the service of any person he shall submit his resignation or take voluntary retirement from that service.

(8) A member, at any time within a period of two years after he ceases to be a member for any reason whatsoever, shall not be appointed in the service of the State Government or in any body corporate or institution or undertaking owned or controlled by the State Government or body dealing with power sector, in Karnataka.

(9) So long as a person holds the office of the member, and for a period of two years after he ceases to be a member for any reason whatsoever, he shall not acquire, hold or maintain, directly or indirectly, any office, employment or consultancy arrangement or businesses mentioned in sub-section (3) of this Section within or outside the State, and if he acquires any such interest involuntarily or by way of succession or testamentary disposition, he will divest himself from such interest within a period of three months of such interest being acquired.

(10) A member, after he ceases to be a member for any reason whatsoever, shall not, for a period of three years,, appear or otherwise represent any person including the Commission, before the Commission.


Term of office, conditions of service, etc., of members.

(1) Every member shall hold office for a period of five years from the date of his appointment as member or until the age of sixty five years whichever is earlier and he shall not be eligible for reappointment in the Commission at any time after the expiry of his term of appointment:

Provided that a member shall be eligible for appointment as Chairman subject to his combined tenure in the Commission as Member and Chairman shall not exceed five years :

Provided further that the first three members shall be appointed for varying periods of three years, four years and five years respectively so as to avoid the retirement of all the first appointed members at the same time :

Provided also that no person shall be appointed as member after he has completed the age of sixty-two years.

(2) The Chairman and other members shall receive such remuneration and other allowances and shall be governed by such conditions of service as may be prescribed :

Provided that the conditions of service once prescribed shall not be varied to the disadvantage of the members during the tenure of their appointment.

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



Removal of Members

(1) Subject to the provisions of sub-sections (2) and (3), the Governor may remove from office any member, who: -

(a) has been adjudged an undischarged insolvent, or

(b) has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude, or

(c) has become physically or mentally incapable of acting as such member, or

(d) has without reasonable cause, refused or failed to discharge his functions for a period of atleast three months, or

(e) ceases to fulfill any of the conditions of his appointment as member, or

(f) has acquired such financial or other interest that can affect prejudicially his functions as a member, or

(g) has conducted himself in a manner or has so abused his position as to render his continuance in office prejudicial to the public interest or to the objects and purpose of the Act .

(2) (a) Except where a member admits the charge in writing, no member shall be removed from his office on the grounds specified in clauses (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g) of sub-section (1) until a sitting judge of the High Court of Karnataka, as recommended by the Chief Justice of the High Court at the relevant time, has carried out an investigation and has forwarded a report to the Governor.

(b) Pending the investigation against a member under clause (a), the Governor may suspend the member from acting as Chairman or member, if the Judge appointed under clause (a) to carry out the investigation recommends the suspension.

(3) The Governor shall act in accordance with the recommendation under sub-section (2) and communicate the decision to the member concerned within a period of thirty days of the receipt of the report under sub-section (2).

(4) A member who has been removed shall not be eligible for re-appointment as a member or in any other capacity in the Commission or in the State Government or in any State Government Undertakings, at any time.

(5) If the member removed under this Section is the Chairman, he shall cease to be the Chairman.

(6) The vacancy caused by the removal of the member shall be filled in the same manner as provided for the appointment of a member or designation of the Chairman.



Appointment of the Secretary, Staff and Consultants of the Commission.

(1) The Commission shall appoint a person as Secretary for a period of not exceeding five years at a time to exercise and perform under control of the Chairman, such duties and powers as may be specified by regulations made by the Commission.

(2) The Commission shall have a senior officer to represent the common interest of the consumers in all matters, hearings and proceedings before the Commission :

Provided that such appointment of the senior officer to represent the interests of the consumers shall be in addition to, and not in derogation in any manner of, the other rights of the individual consumers and also of the representations by consumer fora and organisations before the Commission, as may be recognised by the Commission in the regulations or otherwise.

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

(4) The salaries and allowances payable to the members and the administrative expenses, including salaries, allowances and pensions payable to, or in respect of, the Secretary, officers and other employees of the Commission shall be charged to the consolidated funds of the State.

(5) The method and manner of selection of the secretary, officers and other employees and the terms and conditions of their service may be specified by regulation by the Commission with prior approval of the state government.

(6) The Commission shall be entitled to appoint, from time to time, consultants required to assist the Commission in the discharge of its functions on terms and conditions as may be specified.

(7) The Commission shall formulate annual budgets as provided in the schedule.