Haryana's key organisations headless amidst election preparations

01 Nov 2023

The Chief Minister's Office (CMO) in Haryana is currently focused on preparing for the upcoming Lok Sabha and assembly elections next year. However, critical state organisations, including the Haryana Human Rights Commission (HHRC), Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC), and the Gurgaon and Panchkula benches of Haryana Real Estate Regulatory Authority (H-Rera), are currently operating without leadership.

These headless organisations play key roles in managing electricity, human rights, and real estate-related matters. Unfortunately, the absence of appointed heads has resulted in a backlog of writ petitions before the H-Rera benches, creating an unfair advantage for builders and developers.

The H-Rera benches, which handle complaints against private builders falling under Rera, are facing delays due to the absence of proper authorities. The selection committee, consisting of the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, and Leader of the Opposition, conducted interviews for H-Rera positions recently, but the process is ongoing for other organisations.

The Gurgaon bench of H-Rera has been without a head since the retirement of K K Khandelwal in February, while the Panchkula post has been vacant since September of the previous year. Acting heads are currently managing these benches, with limited responsibilities such as adjourning case hearings.

In HHRC, the officiating chairman, Deep Bhatia, stepped down in September. Before him, Justice N K Mittal (retd) and Justice K C Puri (retd) completed their terms in April. HHRC receives a substantial number of fresh complaints every month.

The term of HERC chairman R K Pachnanda ended in October, and the previous chairman, Parvindera Kumar, concluded his term last year. Currently, the regulator is being led by an acting chairman, Naresh Sardana.

HERC's responsibilities include hearing routine cases and handling annual revenue requirement (ARR) petitions filed by the state's power utility companies. The deadline for filing ARRs is November 30, and these petitions need to be finalised after a public hearing in February to implement new tariff orders from April 1.

When contacted, an official from the Haryana CMO stated that the process of selecting suitable candidates is underway, and appointments will be made soon, starting with filling the H-Rera posts.

Related Stories