The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has deferred hearings of cases, after the State government pointed to a Supreme Court verdict which made it mandatory to have a judicial member on the three-member Bench of the regulatory body.

At present, S. Akshayakumar is the chairman of TNERC, while G. Rajagopal and T. Prabhakara Rao are the other two members.

“Hearings scheduled for 06-07-2018 and 10-07-2018 are deferred due to [the] objection raised by Additional Advocate General Arvind Pandian to taking up adjudication, which was endorsed by the counsel for the other side also. The Commission directed the Additional Advocate General to advise the government to obtain clarification from the Supreme Court in this regard expeditiously and inform the Commission,” the TNERC said in a daily order.

“Basically, the Supreme Court has held that State Commissions should mandatorily have a judicial member for their adjudicatory work, though it is not essential that the chairman should be a judicial person,” said a lawyer.

“The Government of Tamil Nadu placed this position before the Commission. The TNERC asked them [the government] to get the issue clarified in the apex court, since they [TNERC] felt it would not have been the intention to stall proceedings across the country, as only two States have judicial members as part of the Commission,” he added.

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