//Pending phone bills: HC calls for MPs

Pending phone bills: HC calls for MPs

EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE, NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 1

Taking a stern view of the accumulating power and telephone arrears of former as well as present members of Parliament, the Delhi High Court today gave four weeks to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariats to file a detailed list of ‘‘defaulters.’’

A Bench comprising Justices Vijender Jain and Rekha Sharma gave the direction after the counsel for NDMC and MTNL submitted their affidavits, filed in response to earlier court orders.

Perusing the affidavits, the court also expressed concern over the arrears accumulating despite the court closely monitoring the case and passing repeated orders.

Granting four weeks to the Secretary General Lok Sabha, Secretary General Rajya Sabha, NDMC and the MTNL to file their replies with affidavits, the judges posted the matter for hearing to March 8. The NDMC put the power and water arrears at Rs 5.6 crore; MTNL said of the Rs 14 crore telephone arrears, it had managed to recover about Rs 6.5 crore.

The court had earlier issued notices to the two organisations on a PIL filed by NGO Krishak Bharat, wherein it was alleged that the MPs and their former colleagues owed crores of rupees as electricity and power arrears.

‘‘When an ordinary citizen fails to pay arrears you disconnect the power supply or telephone connection. Why didn’t you take similar action against these persons also,’’ the court asked the counsels appearing for the civic bodies, stressing its observations passed in earlier hearings.
 
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