New Delhi: In a breather to Reliance controlled BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd. and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd. power distribution companies, the Supreme Court Friday directed the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to continue supplying power to these companies till March 26.

The apex court bench of Justice Surinder Singh Nijjar and Justice A.K. Sikri directed the discoms to pay Rs.50 crore to NTPC as a part payment of its outstanding dues within two weeks.

Hearing the petition by two Reliance discoms, the court Friday issued notice to the central and Delhi governments, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission and NTPC, asking them to respond to the Reliance plea within two weeks and gave another one week to the discoms to file their rejoinders.

Appearing for the discoms, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi told the court that the two companies have still not been paid dues worth Rs.15,000 crore as directed by the DERC. This, he said, has caused a huge burden on the companies as they could not pass it on to the consumers.

Pointing to the dichotomy of the situation, Rohatgi told the court that while the two discoms were not getting what is due to them, on the other hand, NTPC was asking to cough up their outstanding dues.

The two firms supply electricity to nearly 70 percent of the city, which is nearly 3.5 million consumers.

The move comes against the backdrop of the Delhi government’s recommendation to the regulator for revocation of the licenses issued to the two firms if they failed to pay their dues to NTPC and/or resort to long power outages in city.

Reacting to this, the two firms said the recommendation was illegal and arbitrary, and that they expected an independent decision by the regulator while dealing with the subject.

“As legally advised, the proposed cancellation of licenses in this situation is arbitrary and illegal, and will only serve to de-motivate thousands of our employees who have timelessly worked to transform the power supply situation in Delhi,” they said.

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