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Draft of Electricity Bill 2000 Part - 6

REGULATORY COMMISSIONS

Central Commission

Establishment and incorporation of the Central Commission

79. (1) The Union Government shall, within three months of the appointed date, establish by notification a Commission to be known as the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (the "Central Commission").

Provided that the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission constituted under the Electricity Regulatory Commission Act, 1998 (14 of 1998) and existing on the appointed date shall be the first Central Commission for the purposes of 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 Central Commission shall consist of Five members of whom one Member shall be designated by the Union Government as Chairperson.

Provided that the Union Government may, by notification, increase the number of Members to seven.

(4) The Members of the Central Commission shall be appointed by the Union Government on the recommendation of the Selection Committee referred to in section 84.

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

Functions of the Central Commission

80. (1) The Commission shall function as a regulator and facilitator for development of the electricity industry in a competitive and efficient manner to subserve the interests of the national economy, in general, and the consumers, in particular.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Central Commission shall discharge the following functions, namely:

(a) specify the guidelines and methodology relating to determination of tariff for Generating Companies and Transmission Providers;

(b) determine the tariff for inter-state sale of electricity of Generating Companies;

(c) regulate the inter-state transmission and wheeling of electricity and determine the tariff thereof;

(d) issue authorisations to persons seeking to function as Generating Companies, Transmission Providers and Electricity Suppliers with respect to their inter-state operations;

(e) regulate the working of its Authorisd Person and to promote their working in an efficient, economical and equitable manner;

(f) promote competition, efficiency and economy, and prevent market domination, undue concentration of market share, cartelisation and anti-competitive behaviour, in public interest;

(g) encourage market development and participation of private sector in the electricity industry for ensuring a fair deal to the consumers;

(h) set and enforce standards for its Authorisd Person with respect to quality, continuity and reliability of service;

(i) enforce safety requirements for its Authorisd Person;

(j) aid and advise the Union Government, in matters concerning generation, transmission, distribution, pooling, trading and supply of electricity or any other matter referred to the Commission by the Government;

(k) require its Authorisd Person to formulate perspective plans and schemes for the promotion of generation, transmission, supply, pooling, trading and utilisation of electricity in an efficient, economical and equitable manner;

(l) co-ordinate with environmental regulatory agencies and to evolve policies and procedures for appropriate environmental regulation of the electricity industry;

(m) lay down a uniform system of accounts for its Authorisd Person;

(n) dispose appeals and adjudicate upon the disputes and differences between Authorisd Person where any inter-state transactions are involved and to refer any dispute for arbitration;

(o) promote equitable supply of electricity to rural areas;

(p) discharge such other functions as are assigned to it under this Act; and

(q) perform such regulatory functions with respect to any other area or sector of the economy as the Union Government may prescribe.

(3) The Central Commission shall exercise its functions in conformity with the National Electricity Plan published under section 76.

State Commissions

Establishment and constitution of the State Commission

81. (1) Every State Government shall within three months of the appointed date, establish by notification a Commission to be known as the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (the "State Commission").

Provided that the State Electricity Regulatory Commission constituted by the State Government in terms of sub-section (1) of section 17 of the Electricity Regulatory Commissions Act, 1998 (Central Act No. 14 of 1998) and existing on the appointed date shall be the first State Commission for the purposes of this Act.

Provided further that the State Electricity Regulatory Commission constituted under the provisions of an Act included in the Second Schedule shall be deemed to be the State Electricity Regulatory Commission established under this Act.

(2) The State 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 State Commission shall consist of three Members of whom one Member shall be designated by the State Government as Chairperson.

Provided that the State Government may at any time by notification increase the number of Members to five.

(4) The Members of the Commission shall be appointed by the State Government on the recommendation of a Selection Committee referred to in section 84.

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

Joint Regulatory Commission

82. (1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act, a Joint State Electricity Regulatory Commission (the "Joint Commission") may be established by an agreement to be entered into -

(a) by two or more Governments of contiguous States; or

(b) by the Union Government, in respect of one or more Union territories, and one or more Governments of states contiguous to such Union Territory or Union Territories.

(2) An agreement under sub-section (1) shall contain provisions as to the name of the Joint Commission, the manner in which the participating States may be associated in the selection of its Chairperson and Members, the period for which the agreement will remain in force, the places at which the Commission shall sit, constitution and functioning of the Joint State Transmission Centre and Load Despatch Centre, apportionment of the expenditure in connection herewith and such other supplemental, incidental and consequential provisions, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, as may be deemed necessary or expedient for giving effect to the agreement.

Functions of the State Commission

83. (1) The Commission shall function as a regulator and facilitator for development of the electricity industry in a competitive and efficient manner to subserve the interests of the national economy, in general, and the consumers, in particular.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Commission shall, with respect to the electricity systems within the State, discharge the following functions, namely:

(a) regulate the operation of the electricity system within the State;

(b) determine the tariff for sale of electricity, wholesale, bulk, grid or retail, as the case may be, within the State;

(c) regulate electricity purchase and procurement process of the State Transmission Utility and Area Distributors in the State including the price at which electricity shall be procured from the Generating Companies or from other sources for transmission, distribution and supply in the State;

(d) regulate the intra-State transmission and wheeling of electricity and determine the tariff thereof;

(e) issue authorisations to persons seeking to function as Generating Companies, Transmission Providers, Area Distributors and Electricity Suppliers with respect to their operations within the State;

(f) regulate the working of its Authorised Persons and to promote their working in an efficient, economical and equitable manner;

(g) promote competition, efficiency and economy, and prevent market domination, undue concentration of market share, cartelisation and anti-competitive behavour, in public interest;

(h) encourage market development and participation of private sector in the electricity industry for ensuring a fair deal to the consumers;

(i) set and enforce standards for the electricity industry in the State with respect to quality, continuity and reliability of service;

(j) enforce safety requirements for its Authorised Persons;

(k) aid and advise the State Government in matters concerning generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity or any other matter referred to the Commission by the Government;

(l) aid and advise the State Government in the formulation of the State electricity policy;

(m) require its Authorised Persons to formulate perspective plans and schemes for the promotion of generation, transmission, distribution, supply, pooling, trading and utilisation of electricity in an efficient, economical and equitable manner;

(n) co-ordinate with environmental regulatory agencies and to evolve policies and procedures for appropriate environmental regulation of the electricity industry in the State;

(o) lay down a uniform system of accounts for its Authorised Persons;

(p) collect and record information concerning the generation, transmission, distribution and utilisation of electricity;

(q) collect and publish data and forecasts on the demand for, and use of, electricity in the State and to require the Authorised Persons to collect and publish such data;

(r) dispose appeals and adjudicate upon the disputes and differences between its Authorised Persons and to refer any dispute for arbitration;

(s) promote equitable supply of electricity for rural areas;

(t) promote equitable supply of electricity to economically weaker persons;

(u) discharge such other functions as are assigned to it under this Act; and

(v) perform such regulatory functions with respect to any other area or sector of the economy as the State Government may prescribe.

(3) The, State Commission shall exercise its functions in conformity with the National Electricity Plan published under section 76.

Certain Provisions relating to Central and State Commissions

Constitution of Selection Committee to select Members

84. (1) The Competent Government shall, for the purposes of selecting the Members of the Competent Commission constitute a Selection Committee consisting of -

(a) a person who is or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court, as recommended by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, in the case of selection of a Member of the Central Commission, and a person who is or has been a judge of the High Court, as recommended by the Chief Justice of the High Court, in the case of selection of a Member of the State Commission - Chairperson;

(b) Chairperson or member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, as recommended by the Chairperson - Member;

(c) Chairperson of the Central Commission, in the case of selection of a Member of the Central Commission, and Chairperson or Member of the Central Commission, in the case of selection of a member of the State Commission - Member; and

(d) Secretary in-charge of the Ministry of the Union Government dealing with electricity, in the case of selection of a Member of the Central Commission, and the Chief Secretary to the State Government, in the case of selection of Member of the State Commission - Member.

(2) No appointment of a Member shall be invalid merely by reason of any vacancy in the Selection Committee.

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

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

(5) The Selection Committee shall recommend a panel of two suitable persons in alphabetical order for each vacancy referred to it.

(6) Before recommending any person for appointment as a Member, the Selection Committee shall satisfy itself that such person does not have any financial or other interest that is likely to affect prejudicially his functioning as a Member.

Qualification for appointment of Members

85. (1) The Members of the Competent Commission shall be persons having adequate knowledge, experience and capacity in dealing with problems relating to engineering, finance, economics, law or administration, and at least one Member shall be appointed from each of the following categories, namely -

(a) engineering with specialisation in generation, transmission or distribution of electricity;

(b) finance, commerce or economics; and

(c) law or administration.

(2) A person shall be disqualified from assuming office as a Member if h is a member of any local authority or holds any post in a political party or if he has any financial or other interest, directly or indirectly, in any private Company or undertaking dealing with any of the business related to generation, transmission, distribution or supply of electricity or manufacture, sale or supply of any fuel, machinery, plant, equipment etc. related to these activities.

(3) A Member shall not hold any other office.

Term of office and conditions of service of Members

86. (1) A Member shall hold office for a period of five years from the date he enters office, and shall not be eligible for re-appointment.

Provided that no Member shall hold office as such after he has attained the age of sixty-five years.

(2) The salary, allowances and other conditions of service of a Member shall be such as may be prescribed by the Competent Government.

Provided that such salary, allowances and conditions of service shall not be inferior as compared to those of a Member of the Union Public Service Commission in the case of a Member of the Central Commission, and those of a member of the State Public Service Commission in the case of a Member of the State Commission.

Provided also that any pension or other benefit from a previous employment shall not be reckoned for determining such salary and allowances.

Provided further that the salary, allowances and other conditions of service of a Member shall not be varied to his disadvantage after appointment.

(3) A 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 by the Competent Government.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), a Member may -

(a) relinquish his office by giving to the Competent Government a notice of not less than three months; or

(b) be removed from his office in accordance with the provisions of section 87.

(5) Any Member ceasing to hold office as such shall -

(a) be ineligible for further employment under the Union 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 any State Commission in any manner.

Explanation: For the purposes of this sub-section -

(i) "employment under the Union Government or under any State Government" includes employment under any local or other authority within the territory of India under the control of the Union Government or a 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 also includes a director of a company or partner of a firm and also includes setting up practice either independently or a partner of a firm or as an adviser or a consultant.

Removal of Member

87. (1) No Member shall be removed from office except in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(2) The President, in the case of a Member of the Central Commission, and the Governor of the State, in the case of a Member of the State Commission, may be order remove from office any Member, if he -

(a) has been adjudged an insolvent;

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

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

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

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

(f) has been guilty of proved misbehaviour.

Provided that no Member shall be removed from his office on any ground specified in clauses (d), (e) and (f) unless the Supreme Court, in the case of a Member of the Central Commission, and the High Court, in the case of a Member of the State Commission, on a reference being made to it in this behalf by the President or the Governor, as the case may be, has, on an inquiry, held by it in accordance with such procedure as prescribed in this behalf by the Supreme Court or the High Court, as the case may be, reported that the Member ought on such ground or grounds to be removed.

(3) The President or the Governor, as the case may be, may, in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court or the High Court, as the case may be, suspend any Member of the Competent Commission in respect of whom a reference has been made to the Supreme Court or the High Court, as the case may be, under sub-section (2) until the President or the Governor, as the case may be, has passed orders on receipt of the report of the Supreme Court or the High Court, as the case may be, on such reference.

Officers and staff of the Commission

88. (1) The Competent Commission may appoint a Secretary to exercise such powers and perform such duties as may be specified.

(2) The Competent Commission may, with the approval of the Competent Government as to numbers, nature, categories and terms and conditions of service, appoint such officers and staff as may be specified.

Provided that pending approval of the Competent Government, the Commission may employ officers and staff not exceeding thirty in number on the terms and conditions applicable to similarly placed officers and staff in the Competent Government.

(3) The Competent Commission may appoint consultants, to assist the Commission in the discharge of its functions, on such terms and conditions as may be specified.

Head quarters and proceedings of the Commission

89. (1) The head quarters of the Competent Commission shall be at the capital of its territorial jurisdiction. The Commission shall meet at the head quarters or any other place 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 specified.

(2) The Chairperson, or if he is unable to attend a meeting of the Competent 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 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.

Provided that the Commission may constituted benches consisting of any or more of its Members to discharge its judicial, quasi-judicial or arbitral functions, and the decisions given by such benches shall be deemed to be the decisions of the Commission.

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

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

Vacancies etc. not to invalidate proceedings

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

Powers of the Commission

91. (1) The Competent 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) any other matter which may be prescribed.

(2) The Commission shall have the powers to pass such interim order in any proceedings, hearing or matter before the Commission, as the Commission may consider appropriate.

(3) The Commission may authorise any person, as it deems fit, to represent the interest of the consumers in the proceedings before it.

Proceedings before the Commission

92. All proceedings before the Commission shall be deemed to be judicial proceedings within the meaning of sections 193 and 228 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) and the Commission shall be deemed to be a civil court for the purposes of sections 345 and 346 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 01974).

Power of seizure

93. The Commission or any officer, not below the rank of a Gazetted officer, specially authorised in this behalf by the Commission may enter any building or place where the Commission has reasons to believe that any document relating to the subject matter of the inquiry may be found, and may seize any such document or take extracts or copies therefrom subject to the provisions of section 100 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), insofar as it may be applicable.

Delegation

94. The Commission may, by Regulations delegate to any Member, officer of the Commission or any other person, subject to such conditions, if any, as may be specified in the order, such of its power and functions under this Act )except the power to make Regulations) as it may deem necessary.

Expenses of the Commission

95. (1) The expense of the Competent Commission shall be charged to the Consolidated Found of India or the Consolidated Found of the State, as the case may be

(2) The expense of the Commission shall include -

(a) the remuneration of, and any travelling or other allowances payable under this Act to the Members, officers and staff of the Commission;

(b) any sums payable under this Act to or in respect of the Commission; and

(c) any expenses duly incurred by the Commission or by any of its officers and staff in consequence of the provisions of this Act.

Budget, Revenues, Audit etc. of the Commission

96. (1) The Competent Commission shall prepare, in such form and at such time in each financial year as may be prescribed, its budget for the next financial year, showing the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Commission and forward the same to the Competent Government.

(2) The revenues of the Commission shall be paid into the Consolidated and of India or the Consolidated Fund of the State, as the case may be.

(3) The revenues of, and the expenses incurred by the Commission shall be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India

(4) The Central Commission shall, unless otherwise prescribed, be governed by the rules of administrative and financial procedures applicable to the Union Public Service Commission and the Chairperson of the Commission shall, for this purpose, exercise the powers and perform the functions of the Chairperson of the Union Public Service Commission.

(5) The State Commission shall, unless otherwise prescribed, be governed by the rules of administrative and financial procedures applicable to the State Public Service Commission and the Chairperson of the Commission shall, for this purpose, exercise the power and perform the functions of the Chairperson of the State Public Service Commission.

(6) The accounts of the Central Commission, as certified by the Comptroller and Auditor-General or any other person appointed by him in this behalf, together with the audit report thereon shall be forwarded annually to the Union Government by the Central Commission and the Union Government shall cause the audit report to be laid, as soon as may be, before each House of Parliament.

(7) The accounts of the State Commission, as certified by the Comptroller and Auditor-General or any other person appointed by him in this behalf, together with the audit report thereon shall be forwarded annually to the State Government by the State Commission and the State Government shall cause the audit report to be laid, as soon as may be, before the State Legislature.

Annual and other reports

97. (1) The Competent Commission shall, as soon as practicable after the end of each year make to the Competent Government a report on its activities during that year.

(2) Every such report shall -

(a) include a general survey of developments, during the year to which it relates, in respect of matters falling within the scope of the Commission's functions;

(c) set out any final or provisional orders made by the Commission during that year;

(d) include a general survey of the activities during the year of the National Advisory Committee or the State Advisory Committee, as the case may be.

(3) The Competent Government shall lay a copy of every report made by the Commission under sub-section (1) above before each House of Parliament or the State Legislature, as the case may be, and shall arrange for copies of every such repot to be published in such manner as it considers appropriate.

(4) The Commission shall also make to the Competent Government -

(a) such reports with respect to the matters mentioned in sub-section (2)(a) above as the Competent Government may from time to time require; and (b) such other reports with respect to those matters as may appear to it to be expedient, and the Commission shall, if the Competent Government so directs, arrange for copies of any report made under this sub-section to be published in such manner as is stipulated in the direction.

(5) Upon presentation of the Annual Report in the Parliament or the State Legislature, as the case may be or at any other time, the Parliament or the State Legislature, as the case may be, or any of their Committees, may require the presence of the Chairperson and the Members of the Competent Commission in connection with any investigation, enquiry, debate or discussion with respect to the powers exercised or functions performed by the Commission under the provisions of this Act. The Commission shall provide such information and render such assistance to the Parliament or the State Legislature, as the case may be, or their Committees as may be necessary.

Advisory Committee

98. (1) The Competent Commission shall be notification establish within ninety days from the appointed date, a Committee to be known as the National Advisory Committee or the State Advisory Committee, as the case may be.

(2) The National Advisory Committee or the State Advisory Committee, as the case may be, shall consist of not more than thirty-one members to represent the interests of commerce, industry, transport, agriculture, labour, consumers, non-governmental organisations and academic and research bodies in the electricity sector.

(3) The Chairperson and Members of the Commission shall be the ex-officio Chairperson and ex-officio Members of the National Advisory Committee or the State Advisory Committee, as the case may be.

(4) The National Advisory Committee or the State Advisory Committee, as the case may be, shall meet at least four times in a year and its proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with the Regulations to be specified.

Objects of Advisory Committee

99. The objects of the National Advisory Committee or the State Advisory Committee, as the case may be, shall be to advise the Competent Commission on -

(a) questions of policy;

(b) matters relating to quality, continuity and extent of service provided by the Authorised Persons;

(c) compliance by the Authorised Person with the conditions and requirements of their authorisations;

(d) protection of consumer interest; and

(e) electricity supply and overall standards of performance by Authorised Persons.

Keeping of Register

100. (1) The Commission shall, at such premises and in such form as it may determine, maintain a register for the purposes of this Act.

(2) Subject to sub-section (3) and to any direction given under sub-section (4) below, the Commission shall cause to be entered in the register the provisions of

(a) every authorisation and every exemption granted to a particular person;

(b) every modification or revocation of an authorisation;

(c) every direction or consent given or determination made under an authorisation; and

(d) every final or provisional order, every revocation of such an order and every notice issued in respect of an Authorised Person under the provisions of this Act.

(3) In entering any provision in the register, the Commission shall have regard to the need for excluding, so far as that is practicable -

(a) any matter which relates to the affairs of an individual, where publication of that matter would or might, in the opinion of the Commission, seriously and prejudicially affect the interest of that individual; and

(b) any matter which relates specifically to the affairs of a particular body of persons, whether corporate or incorporate, where publication of that matter would or might, in the opinion of the Commission, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of that body.

(4) If it appears to the Competent Government that the entry of any provision in the register would be against the public interest or the commercial interests of any person, it may direct the Commission not to enter that provision in the register.

(5) The contents of the register shall be available for inspection by the public during such hours and subject to the payment of such fee as may be notified in an order made by the Competent Government.

(6) Any person may, on the payment of such fee as may be notified in an order so made, require the Commission to supply him with a copy of, or extract from, any part of the register, being a copy or extract which is certified to be a true copy or extract.

Powers of the Union Government to give directions

101. (1) In the discharge of its function, the Central Commission shall be guided by such policy directions in the matter of policy involving public interest as the Union Government may, by notification, issue in furtherance of the objectives of this Act.

Provided that the Union Government shall lay a copy of such direction before each House of Parliament, as soon as may be.

(2) If any question arises as to whether any such direction relates to a matter of policy involving public interest, the decision of the Union Government thereon shall be final.

Powers of the State Government to give directions

102. (1) In the discharge of its function, the State Commission shall be guided by such policy directions in the matter of policy involving public interest, as the State Government may be notification issue in furtherance of the objectives of this Act.

Provided that the State Government shall lay a copy of such direction before the State Legislature, as soon as may be.

(2) If any question arises as to whether any such direction relates to a matter of policy involving public interest, the decision of the State Government thereon shall be final.

Power to give directions to Joint Commission

103. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act, where any Joint Commission is constituted under Section 82 -

(a) the Government of any participating State may give a direction under this Act where such direction relates to a matter within the exclusive territorial jurisdiction of the State; and

(b) the Union Government may give a direction under this Act where such direction relates to a matter on which the participating Governments fail to reach an agreement, or a majority of them request the Union Government to issue such direction.


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