BBMB press statement distorts high court judgment- V K Gupta
Bahadurjit Singh/ Rupnagar
All India Power Engineers’ Federation (AIPEF) has demanded that amendment in rules relating to selection of members in the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) should be put on hold when matter was declared “unresolved” in North Zone Council meeting held on September 20, 2019.
V K Gupta Spokesperson AIPEF said that the federation has contested the BBMB press release that “The recently notified rules only specify the technical qualification required for the functional members – power and irrigation in the BBMB. The notified rules comply with the directions of Punjab and Haryana high court in Jagmohan Singh Vs Union of India and others.
AIPEF in its press release has alleged that the BBMB press statement is factually incorrect and it distorts the high court judgment. The case filed by Jagmohan Singh related to the selection of Chairman BBMB, and there was no averment or claim regarding whole time members. The High Court, while deciding the case regarding appointment of chairman did not issue any instructions regarding qualification for two Whole Time Members.
The judgment while related to appointment of Chairman BBMB was implemented immediately which resulted in selection of an engineer for Himachal as Chairman BBMB. As there was no direction relating to member power or member irrigation in judgment of 19th, July 2016, it is not understood how it can be claimed now, in February 2022 that the qualifications or BBMB Whole Time Members have been decided on directions of High Court.
As regarding the amendment to BBMB rules 1974 issued by Ministry of Power on 23rd. February 2022, this amendment would allow members from outside or any other state or from any central agency to be appointed whereas the existing practice of having member power from Punjab and Member Irrigation from Haryana had worked smoothly since 1967.
BBMB press statement distorts high court judgment- V K Gupta . Padamjit Singh Chief Patron AIPEF said that the matter of appointing whole- time members from Rajasthan and Himachal had been discussed in North Zone Council meeting held on 20th September 2019, presided by union home minister, wherein Punjab had strongly opposed the proposed and the objections are recorded in minutes.
Punjab opposed the proposal calling the issue very sensitive, as security issues of BBMB and sentiments of people are involved in this issue and insisted that the item may be taken up in the proposed meeting of the Chief Minister of this zone. The Chief Secretary Punjab also argued that any change in the composition of the Board may lead to a rise in militancy. In view of strong opposition by Punjab, this item was kept unresolved.