Punjab State Electricity Board

Advocate.soniaAdvocate.sonia Senior Member
edited December 2013 in Government Department
BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, MOGA.



Complaint No: 174 of 2008

Instituted On: 10.12.2008

Date of Service: 29.12.2008

Decided On: 16.03.2009



Balvir Singh (aged 55 years) son of Balwant Singh son of Sunder Singh, resident of village: Sadda Singh Wala, Tehsil & Distt.Moga.



…..Complainant.



Versus



1. Punjab State Electricity Board, through Secretary, The Mall, Patiala.

2. Executive Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, G.T.Road, Moga.

3. Sub Divisional Officer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Sub Division, Dagru.

……Opposite Parties.



Complaint under section 12 of The

Consumer Protection Act, 1986.



Quorum: Sh.J.S.Chawla, President.

Sh.J.S.Mallah, Member.



Present: Sh.Sukhdev Singh, Adv.counsel for the complainant.

Sh.S.K.Dhir, Adv. counsel for the OPs-Board.



(J.S.CHAWLA, PRESIDENT)

Sh.Balvir Singh complainant has filed the present complaint under section 12 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (herein-after referred to as ‘Act’) against Punjab State Electricity Board through its Secretary, The Mall, Patiala (herein-after referred to as ‘Board’) and others-opposite parties directing them to quash the demand of Rs.19893/- raised vide bill dated 16.11.2008 and also to pay Rs.50000/- as compensation on account of harassment and mental tension or any other relief to which this Forum may deem fit be granted.

2. Briefly stated, Sh.Balvir Singh complainant is a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board having NRS electric connection bearing account no.F27SW29/0102X installed at his premises with sanctioned load of 1.00 KW in the name of his father Balwant Singh, who has died and after his death, the complainant has been using the said connection and paying the consumption charges regularly and nothing is due against him. That about 25 years ago, the complainant alongwith his family constructed his house outside the village and also constructed two shops to establish complaint centre and to place the equipments of OPs-Board and they used the said premises for 25 years without paying any rent. That now complainant wants to vacate the said premises and under this grudge, the OPs-Board intentionally and willfully changed his tariff from DS to NRS. That on 16.11.2008, the complainant received a bill in which the OPs-Board raised a demand of Rs.20280/- as sundry charges without explaining any reason. That the complainant visited the office of the OPs-Board and requested them to explain the impugned amount, but to no effect. That no notice was ever issued to him before adding the same in his consumption bill. That the aforesaid act and conduct of the OPs-Board has caused great inconvenience, harassment and mental agony to him for which he has claimed Rs.50000/- as compensation beside costs of the litigation. Hence the present complaint.

3. Notice of the complaint was given to the OPs-Board, who appeared through Sh.S.K.Dhir, Advocate and filed written reply contesting the same. They took up preliminary objections that the complaint is not maintainable in the present form; that there is no deficiency in service on the part of OPs-Board; that the complainant has concealed the true facts from the knowledge of this Forum and that the complainant is not a ‘consumer’ under the Act as the electric connection in question has been installed in the name of Balwant Singh son of Sunder Singh and therefore, the complainant is not a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board. In fact, on 15.09.2008 Sh.Sohan Singh, AE, Dagru Sub Divison of the OPs-Board checked the electric connection in question in the presence of the complainant and found him stealing the electricity by fixing the direct wire from main line. The meter was not recording the consumption on the spot and electricity was running. The checking was made in the presence of the complainant, but he refused to sign the checking report. That the checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. Thereafter, notice no. 3686 dated 23.09.2008 of provisional order of assessment for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ was served upon the complainant to deposit Rs.19893/- under section 126 of Electricity Act, 2003 and the impugned demand was raised by them, but the same was not deposited by the complainant. It was further averred that no cause of action arose to the complainant against OPs-Board. That the OPs-Board is legally entitled to recover the same. On merits, the OPs-Board took up the same and similar plea as taken up by them in preliminary objections. All other allegations contained in the complaint were specifically denied being wrong and incorrect. Hence, it was prayed that the complaint filed by the complainant has no merit and it deserves dismissal.

4. In order to prove his case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit Ex.A1, copies of bills Ex.A2 to Ex.A8, copy of application Ex.A9, affidavits of Davinder Kumar Ex.A10 and of Jagdev Singh Ex.A11 and closed his evidence.

5. To rebut the evidence of the complainant, the OPs-Board tendered in evidence affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.Jaspreet Singh, Sr. XEN, affidavit Ex.R2 of Sohan Singh AE, copy of checking report Ex.R3, copy of notice Ex.R4 and closed their evidence.

6. We have heard the arguments of Sh.Balvir Singh ld. counsel for the complainant and Sh.S.K.Dhir ld. counsel for the OPs-Board and have very carefully perused the evidence on the file.

7. Sh.S.K.Dhir ld.counsel for the OPs-Board has mainly argued that Balvir Singh complainant is not a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board because the connection in question was issued in the name of Balwant Singh. This contention of the ld.counsel for the OPs-Board has no force. Admittedly, the electric connection in question was issued in the name of Balwant Singh father of the complainant who has died. After his death, the connection in question was used by the complainant being his son who used to pay regularly the consumption charges. This fact has not been controverted by the ld.counsel for the OPs-Board. In view of aforesaid facts and circumstances, we therefore, hold that Balvir Singh complainant being beneficiary is a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board. Our this view stands fortified by our own Hon’ble State Commission, Pb. Chandigarh in Appeal No.218 of 2004 (Ashwani Kumar Vs. Punjab State Electricity Board and Ors.) decided on 16.8.2005. The relevant portion is reproduced as under:-

“Suffice it to say that in case of Ashwani Kumar he is the owner in possession of the premises though the connection is in the name of Kartar Devi and is actually the consumer of the electricity and therefore, a ‘consumer’’



8. Sh.Sukhdev Singh, ld.counsel for the complainant has mainly argued that the impugned demand of Rs.19893/- raised vide bill dated 16.11.2008 by the OPs-Board is wrong and illegal. This contention of the ld.counsel for the complainant has no merit. Admittedly, on 15.9.2008 Sh.Sohan Singh, AE, Dagru Sub Division of the OPs-Board checked the electric connection in question and found the complainant using the energy illegally i.e. by fixing the direct wire from main line. The meter was not recording the consumption on the spot and electricity was running. The checking was made in the presence of the complainant, but he refused to sign the checking report. The checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. He prepared the detailed report on the spot and on the basis of the said checking report, the demand of Rs.19893/- was raised from the complainant. To further corroborate the aforesaid allegations against the complainant, the OPs-Board has produced affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.Jaspreet Singh, Sr. XEN, affidavit Ex.R2 of Sohan Singh AE, copy of checking report Ex.R3, copy of notice Ex.R4.

9. Further, the complainant has failed to lead any cogent and convincing evidence to prove that he was not committing ‘theft of electricity’ except his own affidavit Ex.A1. There is no corroboration to his affidavit that he was not stealing the electricity by illegal means. Moreover, he has reason to give false affidavit in order to save himself from the consequences of being caught red handed while stealing the electricity by illegal means. Thus, no reliance could be placed on the affidavit Ex.A1 of the complainant and we discard the same.

10. Now the question for determination is whether the complainant is liable to pay Rs.19893/- on account of ‘theft of energy’ as per the Electricity Act, 2003. The answer to this question is partly in negative. The OPs-Board has not strictly complied with the provisions of new Electricity Act, 2003. Admittedly, the electric connection installed at the premises of the complainant is NRS. Under section 126 of Electricity Act, 2003 in case of ‘theft of energy’, the NRS consumer at the most can be charged by taking the demand factor of 40%. Copy of checking report Ex.R3 issued by the OPs-Board as well as written reply and affidavit Ex.R1 show that they have charged the impugned amount by taking the demand factor as 100% instead of 40%. Thus, we are of the opinion that the impugned demand of Rs.19893/- raised vide bill dated 16.11.2008 from the complainant is liable to be set aside and quashed. However, the OPs-Board can charge the complainant for ‘theft of energy’ by taking the demand factor as 40% under the said Act.

11. The ld. counsel for the parties did not urge or argue any other point before us.

12. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the complaint filed by the complainant is partly accepted and the demand of Rs.19893/- raised by the OPs-Board vide bill dated 16.11.2008 from the complainant is set aside and quashed. However, the OPs-Board is entitled to issue fresh notice/ demand on account of ‘theft of energy’ taking the demand factor as 40% and the complainant shall deposit the same within 15 days from the date of receipt of the notice. In view of the peculiar circumstances of the case, the parties are left to bear their own costs. Copies of the order be sent to the parties free of cost and thereafter the file be consigned to the record room.



(Jit Singh Mallah) (J.S.Chawla)

Member President

Announced in Open Forum.

Dated:16.03.2009.
«134567

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  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, MOGA.
    Complaint No: 16 of 2009
    Instituted On: 15.01.2009
    Date of Service: 30.01.2009
    Decided On: 19.03.2009
    Boota Singh son of Sh.Veer Singh, Teacher resident of Patti Meharmian, VPO Smadh Bhai, Tehsil Baghapurana, Distt.Moga.
    …..Complainant.
    Versus
    1. Punjab State Electricity Board, through its
    i) Executive Engineer, Bagha Purana.
    ii) Sub Divisional Officer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Smadh Bhai, Tehsil Baghapurana District Moga,.
    …Opposite Parties.
    Complaint under section 12 of The
    Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
    Quorum: Sh.J.S.Chawla, President.
    Sh.J.S.Mallah, Member.

    Present: Sh.V.K.Jindal,Adv.counsel for the complainant.
    Sh.Ajay Gulati, Adv. counsel for the OPs.

    (J.S.CHAWLA, PRESIDENT)


    Sh.Boota Singh complainant has filed the present complaint under section 12 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (herein-after referred to as ‘Act’) against Punjab State Electricity Board through its Executive Engineer, Baghapurana (herein-after referred to as ‘Board’) and another-opposite parties directing them to quash the demand of Rs.40789/- raised vide bill dated 25.11.2008 and also to pay Rs.50000/- as compensation on account of harassment and mental tension besides Rs.2200/- as costs of litigation.


    2. Briefly stated, Sh.Boota Singh complainant is a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board having domestic electric connection bearing account no.MP25-0026X installed at his residential premises with sanctioned load of 0.66 KW. That the complainant has been paying the consumption charges regularly and nothing is due against him. That the complainant received memos no. 931 & 932 dated 24.04.2008 from the OPs-Board vide which they demanded Rs.2100/- & Rs.9424/- respectively by leveling false allegations of ‘theft of energy’ & excess load, which he deposited. That now the complainant has received a bill dated 25.11.2008 for Rs.40789/- as sundry charges. That the bill in question is illegal, unlawful and against the instructions of Board. That no prior notice or supplementary bill was served upon the complainant. That the complainant visited the office of the OPs-Board and requested to withdraw the impugned amount, but to no effect. That the aforesaid act and conduct of the OPs-Board has caused great inconvenience, harassment and mental agony to him for which he has claimed Rs.50000/- as compensation beside costs of the litigation. Hence the present complaint.



    3. Notice of the complaint was given to the OPs-Board, who appeared through Sh.Ajay Gulati, Advocate and filed written reply contesting the same. They took up preliminary objections that the complaint is not maintainable; that the complainant has no locus standie to file the present complaint; that the complainant is estopped by his act and conduct to file the present complaint as he was found committing theft of electricity; that this Forum has got no jurisdiction to try and decide the present complaint; that the complainant has already deposited the amount of compensation without any protest, hence the present complaint does not lie under the provisions of Sales Regulation Instruction No.145 and that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the OPs-Board; On merits, it was averred that in fact, the complainant himself had admitted that he had been indulging in commission of theft of electricity and resultantly the complainant was charged compensation/ penalty by applying 30% factor and afterwards the audit department applied 100% factor and calculated the amount of compensation/ penalty upto the extent of Rs.40789/-. Hence, the impugned amount has been added in the consumption bill dated 25.11.2008 of the complainant to which the OPs-Board is legally entitled to recover. All other allegations contained in the complaint were specifically denied being wrong and incorrect. Hence, it was prayed that the complaint filed by the complainant has no merit and it deserves dismissal.



    4. In order to prove his case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit Ex.A1, copies of bills-cum-receipts Ex.A2 to Ex.A7, copies of notice Ex.A8 and Ex.A10, copy of receipt Ex.A9, copies of receipts Ex.A11 and Ex.A12, copies of bills Ex.A13 to Ex.A15 and closed his evidence.



    5. To rebut the evidence of the complainant, the OPs-Board tendered in evidence joint affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh. M.S.Brar Addl. S.E and Er.Sukhdev Singh, AE, copies of notices Ex.R2 and Ex.R3, copy of half margin report Ex.R4, copy of checking report Ex.R5, copy of register Ex.R6 and closed their evidence.



    6. We have heard the arguments of Sh.V.K.Jindal ld. counsel for the complainant and Sh.Ajay Gulati ld. counsel for the OPs-Board and have very carefully perused the evidence on the file.



    7. Sh.V.K.Jindal ld.counsel for the complainant has mainly argued that the impugned demand of Rs.40789/- raised vide bill dated 25.11.2008 by the OPs-Board is wrong and illegal because the complainant had already paid Rs.9424/- and Rs.2100/- on 23.05.2008 on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ and excess load. This contention of the ld.counsel for the complainant has full force. Admittedly, the OPs-Board found the complainant using the unauthorized electricity and excess load and vide notices dated 24.04.2008 he was directed to pay Rs.9424/- and Rs.2100/- respectively which he deposited on 23.05.2008.



    8. Now it is contended by ld.counsel for the OPs-Board that they have charged the complainant for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 30% load factor whereas he was to be charged by taking 100% load factor. This contention of the ld.counsel for the OPs-Board has no merit. Circular 53/2006 of the OPs-Board shows that in cases of theft/ unauthorized use of electricity, a domestic consumer can be charged by taking 30% load factor. The case of the complainant who is a domestic consumer does not fall under direct theft mentioned in category ‘e’ of rule (1) of said circular. Thus, the OPs-Board has wrongly issued the fresh notice to him directing to pay the difference of the amount on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 100% load factor instead of 30% already charged.



    9. Moreover, the OPs-Board is estopped by their act and conduct to raise the impugned demand when they have already charged the complainant for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 30% load factor. Hence, the OPs-Board has wrongly and illegally issued the impugned notice to the complainant to pay the difference of charges on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’. Thus, there is deficiency in service on the part of the OPs-Board in demanding the impugned amount and we quash and set aside the same.




    10. To prove the aforesaid contention, the complainant produced his affidavit Ex.A1, copies of bills-cum-receipts Ex.A2 to Ex.A7, copies of notice Ex.A8 and Ex.A10, copy of receipt Ex.A9, copies of receipts Ex.A11 and Ex.A12, copies of bills Ex.A13 to Ex.A15 and we believe and rely upon the same. On the other hand, no reliance could be placed on the joint affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh. M.S.Brar Addl. S.E and Er.Sukhdev Singh, AE and documents Ex.R2 to Ex.R6 and we discard the same.



    11. The ld. counsel for the parties did not urge or argue any other point before us.



    12. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the complaint filed by the complainant has merit and the same is accepted. Hence, the impugned demand of Rs.40789/- raised by the OPs-Board vide bill dated 25.11.2008 is set aside and quashed. The OPs-Board is also directed to pay Rs.2000/- as compensation to the complainant for mental tension, agony and harassment. Copies of the order be sent to the parties free of cost and thereafter the file be consigned to the record room.

    (Jit Singh Mallah) (J.S.Chawla)
    Member President

    Announced in Open Forum.
    Dated:19.03.2009.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, MOGA.
    Complaint No: 102 of 2008
    Instituted On: 22.12.2008
    Date of Service: 15.01.2009
    Decided On: 19.03.2009
    Ram Singh (aged 35 years) son of Sh.Nahar Singh resident of village: Daudhar Garbi, near Halti, Tehsil and District Moga.
    …..Complainant.
    Versus
    1. Punjab State Electricity Board, service be got effected through Secretary, The Mall, Patiala.
    2. Executive Engineer, Sub Urban Division, Punjab State Electricity Board, Moga.
    3. Sub Divisional Officer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Ajitwal, District Moga.
    …Opposite Parties.
    Complaint under section 12 of The
    Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
    Quorum: Sh.J.S.Chawla, President.
    Sh.J.S.Mallah, Member.

    Present: Sh.Pardeep Bharti,Adv.counsel for the complainant.
    Sh.Ajay Gulati, Adv. counsel for the OPs-Board.

    (J.S.CHAWLA, PRESIDENT)
    Sh.Ram Singh complainant has filed the present complaint under section 12 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (herein-after referred to as ‘Act’) against Punjab State Electricity Board through its Secretary, The Mall, Patiala (herein-after referred to as ‘Board’) and others-opposite parties directing them to quash the demand of Rs.46760/- raised vide bill dated 02.12.2008 and also to pay Rs.10000/- as compensation on account of harassment and mental tension or any other relief to which this Forum may deem fit be granted.



    2. Briefly stated, Sh.Ram Singh complainant is a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board having domestic electric connection bearing account no.F51DF782095Y installed at his residential premises with sanctioned load of 2.80 KW. That the complainant has been using the said connection and paying the consumption charges regularly and nothing is due against him. That earlier the complainant received a notice dated 6.2.2008 from the OPs-Board vide which they demanded Rs.14569/-. That the average consumption of the complainant never exceeded Rs.500/- bi-monthly. That Gurpartap Singh, J.E. due to his personal grudge against him has lavelled the false allegation of ‘theft of energy’. That the demand raised by the OPs-Board is against the mandatory provisions of the law. That the aforesaid act and conduct of the OPs-Board has caused great inconvenience, harassment and mental agony to him for which he has claimed Rs.10000/- as compensation beside costs of the litigation. Hence the present complaint.



    3. Notice of the complaint was given to the OPs-Board, who appeared through Sh.Ajay Gulati, Advocate and filed written reply contesting the same. They took up preliminary objections that the complaint is not maintainable in the present form; that the complainant has already deposited the amount of Rs.14589/- without any protest; that this Forum has got no jurisdiction to try and decide the present complaint; that the complainant is estopped by his act and conduct to file the present complaint and that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the OPs-Board. On merits, it was averred that in fact, on 04.02.2008 Sh.Gurpartap Singh, Junior Engineer, PSEB, Sub Division, Ajitwal checked the electric connection in question in the presence of the complainant and found him committing theft of electricity by way of kundi connection i.e. directly taping main PVC wire. The electricity meter was stopped and was not recording consumption. The checking was made in the presence of the complainant, but he refused to sign the checking report. That the checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. Thereafter, notice dated 06.02.2008 of provisional order of assessment for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ was served upon the complainant to deposit Rs.14569/- under section 126 of Electricity Act, 2003 and the impugned demand raised by them was deposited by the complainant. That the said amount has been calculated taking the load factor as 30%. That the audit party vide its half margin no.119 of 5/08 detected this mistake and raised further demand of Rs.46517/- on account of difference of amount of ‘theft of electricity’ vide notice no. 2724 dated 24.10.2008, but the complainant did not deposit the same. Hence, the impugned amount has been added in the consumption bill of the complainant dated 02.12.2008 to which the OPs-Board is legally entitled to recover. All other allegations contained in the complaint were specifically denied being wrong and incorrect. Hence, it was prayed that the complaint filed by the complainant has no merit and it deserves dismissal.




    4. In order to prove his case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit Ex.A1, copies of bills Ex.A2 to Ex.A6 and closed his evidence.


    5. To rebut the evidence of the complainant, the OPs-Board tendered in evidence affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.D.S.Toor, Sr.XEN , copy of notice Ex.R2, copy of half margin Ex.R3, copy of another notice Ex.R4 and closed their evidence.



    6. We have heard the arguments of Sh.Pardeep Bharti, ld. counsel for the complainant and Sh.Ajay Gulati, ld. counsel for the OPs-Board and have very carefully perused the evidence on the file.



    7. Sh.Pardeep Bharti ld.counsel for the complainant has mainly argued that the impugned demand of Rs.46760/- raised vide bill dated 02.12.2008 by the OPs-Board is wrong and illegal because the complainant had already paid Rs.14589/- on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’. This contention of the ld.counsel for the complainant has full force. Admittedly, the OPs-Board found the complainant using the unauthorized electricity and vide notice dated 06.02.2008 he was directed to pay Rs.14589/- which he deposited.



    8. Now it is contended by ld.counsel for the OPs-Board that they have charged the complainant for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 30% load factor whereas he was to be charged by taking 100% load factor. This contention of the ld.counsel for the OPs-Board has no merit. Circular 53/2006 of the OPs-Board shows that in cases of theft/ unauthorized use of electricity, a domestic consumer can be charged by taking 30% load factor. The case of the complainant who is a domestic consumer does not fall under direct theft mentioned in category ‘e’ of rule (1) of said circular. Thus, the OPs-Board has wrongly issued the fresh notice to him directing to pay the difference of the amount on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 100% load factor instead of 30% already charged.




    9. Moreover, the OPs-Board is estopped by their act and conduct to raise the impugned demand when they have already charged the complainant for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 30% load factor. Hence, the OPs-Board has wrongly and illegally issued the impugned notice to the complainant to pay the difference of charges on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’. Thus, there is deficiency in service on the part of the OPs-Board in demanding the impugned amount and we quash and set aside the same.



    10. To prove the aforesaid contention, the complainant produced his affidavit Ex.A1, copies of bills Ex.A2 to Ex.A6 and we believe and rely upon the same. On the other hand, no reliance could be placed on affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.D.S.Toor, Sr.XEN and documents Ex.R2 to Ex.R4 and we discard the same.



    11. The ld. counsel for the parties did not urge or argue any other point before us.



    12. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the complaint filed by the complainant has merit and the same is accepted. Hence, the impugned demand of Rs.46760/- raised by the OPs-Board vide bill dated 02.12.2008 is set aside and quashed. The OPs-Board is also directed to pay Rs.1000/- as compensation on account of mental tension, agony and harassment. Copies of the order be sent to the parties free of cost and thereafter the file be consigned to the record room.

    (Jit Singh Mallah) (J.S.Chawla)
    Member President

    Announced in Open Forum.
    Dated:19.03.2009.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, MOGA.
    Complaint No: 14 of 2009
    Instituted On: 14.01.2009
    Date of Service: 29.01.2009
    Decided On: 20.03.2009
    Mohan Singh (aged 50 years) son of Sh.Labh Singh, resident of VPO: Smalsar, Distt.Moga.
    …..Complainants.
    Versus
    1. Punjab State Electricity Board, through its Secretary, The Mall, Patiala.
    2. Senior Executive Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Baghapurana.
    3. Sub Divisional Officer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Suburban, Baghapurana.
    ……Opposite Parties.
    Complaint under section 12 of The
    Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
    Quorum: Sh.J.S.Chawla, President.
    Smt.Bhupinder Kaur, Member.
    Sh.J.S.Mallah, Member

    Present: Sh.Ashok Goyal, Adv.counsel for the complainant.
    Sh.S.K.Dhir, Advocate counsel for the OPs.

    (J.S.CHAWLA, PRESIDENT)
    Sh.Mohan Singh complainant has filed the present complaint under section 12 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (herein-after referred to as ‘Act’) against Punjab State Electricity Board through its Secretary, The Mall, Patiala and others (herein-after referred to as ‘Board’)-opposite parties directing them to release the motor connection and also to pay Rs.1 lac on account of financial loss and mental and physical harassment.
    2. Briefly stated, Sh.Mohan Singh complainant is an agriculturist and an ex-serviceman from army having agricultural land at village Langiana Nawan, District Moga. That the complainant had applied for motor connection out of reserve quota for ex-servicemen and deposited Rs.1000/- on 10.02.2006, vide receipt no.74 with the OPs-Board. Lateron, the complainant received a demand notice from the OPs-Board, which the complainant deposited vide receipt no.559 and 592 for Rs.23500/- with them. Acting upon the said notice, the complainant completed all the requirements and formalities for motor connection including digging of bore and fitting of electric motor. Even poles and wires were also got erected for which he incurred expenses of Rs.1 lac, but the OPs-Board did not release the motor connection to him. It was further alleged that if he was not eligible for motor connection then why notice was issued to him. Both under law and equity, the complainant is entitled to be issued motor connection at the earliest and he has been deprived of his said right without any reason. Thereafter, the complainant visited the office of the OPs-Board time and again for the release of motor connection, but to no effect. That the aforesaid act and conduct of the OPs-Board had caused financial loss and mental and physical harassment to him for which he has claimed Rs.1 lac. Hence the present complaint.
    3. Notice of the complaint was given to the OPs-Board, who appeared through Sh.S.K.Dhir, Advocate and filed written reply contesting the same. They took up preliminary objections that the complaint is not maintainable; that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the Ops-Board and that the complaint is pre-mature. On merits, it was averred that in fact as per the seniority list, the turn of the complainant has not yet come. Moreover, as per the instructions and regulation of the Board and as per commercial circular no.55/2008, for release of AP tubewell connections under general category, the test reports received against applications registered upto 31.3.1990 under general category shall be given overriding priority for release of their tubewell connections over all other categories except AP tubewell connections to be released under chairman’s discretionary quota. For allowing overriding priority, roster shall not be followed in their case. This work shall be completed by 31.3.2009 positively. That the complainant has been informed all the aforesaid facts that his turn has not come and that he should wait but he has filed the present complaint only to pressurize and harass the OPs-Board. All other allegations contained in the complaint were specifically denied being wrong and incorrect. Hence, it was prayed that the complaint filed by the complainant has no merit and it deserves dismissal.
    4. In order to prove his case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit Ex.A1, copies of receipts Ex.A2 to Ex.A4, copy of notice Ex.A5, postal receipts Ex.A6 to Ex.A8 and closed his evidence.
    5. To rebut the evidence of the complainant, the OPs-Board tendered in evidence affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.Mohinder Singh Brar, XEN, copy of seniority list Ex.R2, copy of circular Ex.R3 and closed their evidence.
    6. We have heard the arguments of Sh.Ashok Goyal, ld. counsel for the complainant and Sh.S.K.Dhir ld. counsel for the OPs-Board and have very carefully perused the evidence on the file.
    7. The facts of this case are not disputed. The complainant had applied for tubewell connection and on receipt of the demand notice from the OPs-Board, he deposited Rs.23500/- (Rs.15500/- on 22.11.2006 vide receipt no.559 Ex.A3 and Rs.8000/- on 29.11.2006 vide receipt no.592 Ex.A2 respectively) and also completed all the formalities. But the tubewell connection could not have been released to him for shortage of materials/ infrastructure. Moreover the turn of the complainant has not come as yet. The facts of this case are similar and same as that of the R.P no.2950 of 2005 PSEB Vs. Dalwara Singh, R.P. no. 2951 of 2005 PSEB Vs. Major Singh, R.P.No.2952 of 2005 PSEB Vs. Bant Singh and R.P.No.2953 of 2005 PSEB Vs.Babu Singh. The Hon’ble National Commission on 29.11.2005 followed the decision of Apex Court modified in the case of Punjab State Electricity Board Vs.Zora Singh, decided on 11.8.2005 (SLP © No.22352-22423/2003) in the aforesaid appeals. Therefore, the same order as modified by the Apex Court has to be passed in the present complaint also.
    8. The ld. counsel for the parties did not urge or argue any other point before us.
    9. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances the complaint filed by the complainant is partly accepted. The OPs-Board is directed to release the tubewell connection to the complainant on his turn. Meanwhile the OPs-Board shall refund the amount of Rs.23500/- to the complainant alongwith interest @ 9% per annum from the date of its deposit till its payment. The seniority of the complainant would be determined from the date of registration of the application and not from the date of the demand notice issued. The acceptance of the said amount by the complainant will not amount to the cancellation of his application for tubewell connection. The OPs-Board shall also pay compensation of Rs.5000/- for harassment, mental agony and costs of litigation. Copies of this order shall be supplied to the parties free of costs and thereafter, the file be consigned to the record room.

    (J.S.Mallah) (Bhupinder Kaur) (J.S.Chawla)
    Member Member President

    Announced in Open Forum.
    Dated:20.03.2009.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, MOGA.
    Complaint No: 185 of 2008
    Instituted On: 26.12.2008
    Date of Service: 21.01.2009
    Decided On: 20.03.2009
    Nirbhai Singh (aged 51 years) son of Budh Singh, resident of village: Sangat Pura, Tehsil: Bagha Purana, Distt.Moga.
    …..Complainant.
    Versus
    1. Punjab State Electricity Board through its Chairman, PSEB, Patiala.
    2. XEN, Punjab State Electricity Board, Bagha Purana.
    3. Asstt. Executive Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Smadh Bhai, District Moga.
    ……Opposite Parties.
    Complaint under section 12 of The
    Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
    Quorum: Sh.J.S.Chawla, President.
    Smt.Bhupinder Kaur, Member.
    Sh.J.S.Mallah, Member.

    Present: Sh.Nirbhai Singh, complainant in person.
    Sh.S.K.Dhir, Adv. counsel for the OPs.

    (J.S.CHAWLA, PRESIDENT)
    Sh.Nirbhai Singh complainant has filed the present complaint under section 12 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (herein-after referred to as ‘Act’) against Punjab State Electricity Board through its Chairman, Patiala and others (herein-after referred to as ‘Board’) -opposite parties directing them to quash the illegal demand of Rs.8757/- raised vide bill dated 15.12.2008 and also to pay Rs.10000/- as compensation on account of mental tension and harassment or any other relief to which this Forum may deem fit be granted.




    2. Briefly stated, Sh.Nirbhai Singh complainant is a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board having domestic electric connection bearing account no.SP48/0203K installed at his residential premises with sanctioned load of 2.68 KW. That the complainant has been paying the consumption charges regularly and nothing is due against him. That previously the complainant received a notice from the OPs-Board vide which they demanded Rs.3394/- on account of ‘theft of energy’ which he deposited on 20.12.2007. That now again, he received a bill dated 15.12.2008 vide which the OPs-Board raised a demand of Rs.8757/- on account of ‘theft of energy’. That the complainant never committed ‘theft of energy’. That the complainant visited the office of the OPs-Board and requested to withdraw the impugned amount, but to no effect. That the aforesaid act and conduct of the OPs-Board has caused great inconvenience, harassment and mental agony to him for which he has claimed Rs.10000/- as compensation beside costs of the litigation. Hence the present complaint.



    3. Notice of the complaint was given to the OPs-Board, who appeared through Sh.S.K.Dhir, Advocate and filed written reply contesting the same. They took up preliminary objections that the complaint is not maintainable in the present form; that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the OPs-Board. In fact, on 27.11.2007 Sh.Satwant Singh, AEE, PSEB, Bagha Purana checked the electric connection in question in the presence of the complainant and found him stealing the electricity by fixing direct wire from service line by bye-passing the meter. The meter was not recording any consumption. The checking was made in the presence of the complainant, but he refused to sign the checking report. That the checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. Thereafter, notice no.2202 dated 7.12.2007 of provisional order of assessment for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ was served upon the complainant to deposit Rs.3394/- under section 126 of Electricity Act, 2003 and the impugned demand raised by them was deposited by the complainant. That the said amount has been calculated taking the load factor as 30%. Thereafter, clarification of Chief Engineer, PSEB Patiala was received vide which in ‘theft cases’ the amount to be calculated was by taking 100% load factor. Accordingly, the audit party vide its half margin no.1 of 9/08 detected this mistake and raised further demand of Rs.8757/- on account of difference of amount of ‘theft of electricity’ vide notice, but the complainant did not deposit the same. Hence, the impugned amount has been added in the consumption bill of the complainant dated 15.12.2008 to which the OPs-Board is legally entitled to recover. On merits, the OPs-Board took up the same and similar plea as taken up by them in preliminary objections. All other allegations contained in the complaint were specifically denied being wrong and incorrect. Hence, it was prayed that the complaint filed by the complainant has no merit and it deserves dismissal.



    4. In order to prove his case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit Ex.A1, copy of receipt Ex.A2, copy of notice Ex.A3, copies of bills Ex.A4 and Ex.A5 and closed his evidence.


    5. To rebut the evidence of the complainant, the OPs-Board tendered in evidence affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.M.S.Brar, Addl.S.E., copy of checking report Ex.R2, copy of notice Ex.R3, copy of half margin Ex.R4, copy of sundry register Ex.R5 and closed their evidence.



    6. We have heard the arguments of Sh.Nirbhai Singh complainant and Sh.S.K.Dhir ld. counsel for the OPs-Board and have very carefully perused the evidence on the file.



    7. Sh.Nirbhai Singh complainant has mainly argued that the impugned demand of Rs.8757/- raised vide bill dated 15.12.2008 by the OPs-Board is wrong and illegal because the complainant had already paid Rs.3394/- on 20.12.2007 on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’. This contention of the ld.counsel for the complainant has full force. Admittedly, the OPs-Board found the complainant using the unauthorized electricity and vide notice no.2202 dated 07.12.2007 he was directed to pay Rs.3394/- which he deposited on 20.12.2007.




    8. Now it is contended by ld.counsel for the OPs-Board that they have charged the complainant for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 30% load factor whereas he was to be charged by taking 100% load factor. This contention of the ld.counsel for the OPs-Board has no merit. Circular 53/2006 of the OPs-Board shows that in cases of theft/ unauthorized use of electricity, a domestic consumer can be charged by taking 30% load factor. The case of the complainant who is a domestic consumer does not fall under direct theft mentioned in category ‘e’ of rule (1) of said circular. Thus, the OPs-Board has wrongly issued the fresh notice to him directing to pay the difference of the amount on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 100% load factor instead of 30% already charged.



    9. Moreover, the OPs-Board is estopped by their act and conduct to raise the impugned demand when they have already charged the complainant for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 30% load factor. Hence, the OPs-Board has wrongly and illegally issued the impugned notice to the complainant to pay the difference of charges on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’. Thus, there is deficiency in service on the part of the OPs-Board in demanding the impugned amount and we quash and set aside the same.




    10. To prove the aforesaid contention, the complainant produced his affidavit Ex.A1, copy of receipt Ex.A2, copy of notice Ex.A3, copies of bills Ex.A4 and Ex.A5 and we believe and rely upon the same. On the other hand, no reliance could be placed on affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.M.S.Brar, Addl.S.E and documents Ex.R2 to Ex.R5 and we discard the same.



    11. The ld. counsel for the parties did not urge or argue any other point before us.


    12. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the complaint filed by the complainant has merit and the same is accepted. Hence, the impugned demand of Rs.8757/- raised by the OPs-Board vide bill dated 15.12.2008 is set aside and quashed. However, the OPs-Board shall refund/adjust the amount (as per the desire of the complainant), if any, deposited by the complainant as per interim order of this Forum dated 29.12.2008 alongwith interest @ 9% per annum from the date of deposit till its realisation. Keeping in view the peculiar circumstances of the case, the parties are left to bear their own costs. Copies of the order be sent to the parties free of cost and thereafter the file be consigned to the record room.

    (Jit Singh Mallah) (Bhupinder Kaur) (J.S.Chawla)
    Member Member President

    Announced in Open Forum.
    Dated:20.03.2009.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, MOGA.
    Complaint No: 15 of 2009
    Instituted On: 14.01.2009
    Date of Service: 30.01.2009
    Decided On: 25.03.2009
    Lahora Singh (aged 65 years) son of Sh.Bachan Singh resident of village and post office; Rode Tehsil Baghapurana District Moga.
    …..Complainants.
    Versus
    1. Punjab State Electricity Board, through its Secretary, The Mall, Patiala.
    2. Senior Executive Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Baghapurana.
    3. Sub Divisional Officer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Suburban, Baghapurana.

    ……Opposite Parties.
    Complaint under section 12 of The
    Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
    Quorum: Sh.J.S.Chawla, President.
    Sh.J.S.Mallah, Member

    Present: Sh.Ashok Goyal, Adv.counsel for the complainant.
    Sh.R.K.Goyal, Advocate counsel for the OPs.

    (J.S.CHAWLA, PRESIDENT)
    Sh.Lahora Singh complainant has filed the present complaint under section 12 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (herein-after referred to as ‘Act’) against Punjab State Electricity Board through its Secretary, The Mall, Patiala and others (herein-after referred to as ‘Board’)-opposite parties directing them to release the motor connection and also to pay Rs.1 lac on account of financial loss and mental and physical harassment.


    2. Briefly stated, Sh.Lahora Singh complainant is an agriculturist and an ex-serviceman from army having agricultural land at village Langiana Nawan, District Moga. That the complainant had applied for motor connection out of reserve quota for ex-servicemen and deposited Rs.2000/- on 14.07.2006, vide receipt no.343 with the OPs-Board. Lateron, the complainant received a demand notice no.671 dated 16.4.2007 from the OPs-Board demanding Rs.30000/-, which the complainant deposited vide receipt no.123 with them. Acting upon the said notice, the complainant completed all the requirements and formalities for motor connection including digging of bore and fitting of electric motor. Even poles and wires were also got erected for which he incurred expenses of Rs.1 lac, but the OPs-Board did not release the motor connection to him. It was further alleged that if he was not eligible for motor connection then why notice was issued to him. Both under law and equity, the complainant is entitled to be issued motor connection at the earliest and he has been deprived of his said right without any reason. Thereafter, the complainant visited the office of the OPs-Board time and again for the release of motor connection, but to no effect. That the aforesaid act and conduct of the OPs-Board had caused financial loss and mental and physical harassment to him for which he has claimed Rs.1 lac. Hence the present complaint.



    3. Notice of the complaint was given to the OPs-Board, who appeared through Sh.R.K.Goyal,Advocate and filed written reply contesting the same. They took up preliminary objections that the complaint is pre-mature and is not maintainable. On merits, it was averred that the actual facts are that there is seniority list prepared by the OPs-Board for issuing the tubewell connection to ex-servicemen and the complainant is at serial no.6. This list is prepared when a person/applicant complete all the formalities in respect for getting tubewell connection. It was further averred that the connection has not been released to first five applicants who are senior to the complainant and the turn of the complainant has not yet come. Therefore, at this stage, he is not entitled to get released the said connection. That the complainant has been informed all the aforesaid facts that his turn has not come and that he should wait but he has filed the present complaint only to pressurize and harass the OPs-Board. All other allegations contained in the complaint were specifically denied being wrong and incorrect. Hence, it was prayed that the complaint filed by the complainant has no merit and it deserves dismissal.



    4. In order to prove his case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit Ex.A1, copy of receipt Ex.A2, copy of demand notice Ex.A3, copy of receipt Ex.A4, copy of legal notice Ex.A5, postal receipts Ex.A6 to Ex.A8, acknowledgement Ex.A9 and closed his evidence.



    5. To rebut the evidence of the complainant, the OPs-Board tendered in evidence joint affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.Mohinder Singh Brar, XEN and Sh.Sukhwant Singh SDO, copy of seniority list Ex.R2 and closed their evidence.




    6. We have heard the arguments of Sh.Ashok Goyal, ld. counsel for the complainant and Sh.R.K.Goyal ld. counsel for the OPs-Board and have very carefully perused the evidence on the file.







    7. The facts of this case are not disputed. The complainant had applied for tubewell connection and on receipt of the demand notice from the OPs-Board, he deposited Rs.30000/- on 04.05.2007 vide receipt no.78464 (Ex.A4) and also completed all the formalities. But the tubewell connection could not have been released to him for shortage of materials/ infrastructure. Moreover the turn of the complainant has not come as yet. The facts of this case are similar and same as that of the R.P no.2950 of 2005 PSEB Vs. Dalwara Singh, R.P. no. 2951 of 2005 PSEB Vs. Major Singh, R.P.No.2952 of 2005 PSEB Vs. Bant Singh and R.P.No.2953 of 2005 PSEB Vs.Babu Singh. The Hon’ble National Commission on 29.11.2005 followed the decision of Apex Court modified in the case of PunjabState Electricity Board Vs.Zora Singh, decided on 11.8.2005 (SLP © No.22352-22423/2003) in the aforesaid appeals. Therefore, the same order as modified by the Apex Court has to be passed in the present complaint also.



    8. The ld. counsel for the parties did not urge or argue any other point before us.



    9. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances the complaint filed by the complainant is partly accepted. The OPs-Board is directed to release the tubewell connection to the complainant on his turn. Meanwhile the OPs-Board shall refund the amount of Rs.30000/- to the complainant alongwith interest @ 9% per annum from the date of its deposit i.e. 04.05.2007 till its payment. The seniority of the complainant would be determined from the date of registration of the application and not from the date of the demand notice issued. The acceptance of the said amount by the complainant will not amount to the cancellation of his application for tubewell connection. The OPs-Board shall also pay compensation of Rs.5000/- for harassment, mental agony and costs of litigation. Copies of this order shall be supplied to the parties free of costs and thereafter, the file be consigned to the record room.

    (J.S.Mallah) (J.S.Chawla)
    Member President
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, MOGA.
    Complaint No: 136 of 2008
    Instituted On: 08.10.2008
    Date of Service: 20.11.2008
    Decided On: 25.03.2009
    Premjit Kaur (aged 47 years) wife of Sh. Kuldeep Singh son of Sh.Megh Raj, resident of house no.6/647, Dosanj Road, Moga. District Moga.
    Complainant.
    Versus
    1. Punjab State Electricity Board through its Sub Divisional Officer North Sub Division, Akalsar Road, Moga. District Moga.
    2. Punjab State Electricity Board, through its Secretary, The Mall, Patiala.
    Opposite Parties.
    Complaint under section 12 of The
    Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
    Quorum: Sh.J.S.Chawla, President.
    Sh.J.S.Mallah, Member.

    Present: Sh.Varinder Kashyap, Adv.counsel for complainant.
    Sh.S.K.Dhir, Adv. counsel for OPs-Board.

    (J.S.CHAWLA, PRESIDENT)
    Smt.Premjit Kaur complainant has filed the present complaint under section 12 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (herein-after referred to as ‘Act’) against Punjab State Electricity Board through its Sub Divisional Officer, North Sub Division, Akalsar Road, Moga and another (herein-after referred to as ‘Board’)-opposite parties directing them to quash the illegal demand of Rs.72414/- raised vide bill dated 03.10.2008 and also to pay Rs.15000/- as compensation for causing mental tension and harassment besides Rs.5000/- as cost of litigation.



    2. Briefly stated, Smt.Premjit Kaur complainant is a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board having domestic electric connection bearing account no.F54RS920679A installed at her premises with sanctioned load of 8.00 KW. That the complainant had been paying the consumption charges regularly and nothing is due against her. That earlier the connected load of the complainant was 12.06 KW and in the month of April 2008 she made request for the reduction of the load as her children had gone abroad and she was not using the load to that extent. So she deposited fee for the reduction of the load on 24.4.1008. Before filing of the application for reduction of the load, the meter was working accurately. That after the deposit of the required fee, the OPs-Board reduced the load to 8.00 KW and new meter was installed. That the complainant was surprised to receive bill dated



    3.10.2008 vide which the OPs-Board has raised a demand of Rs.72414/- as sundry charges. That on approaching the OPs-Board, their officials told the complainant that the said demand was with regard to old meter which was got checked and found to be defective, but this fact is totally wrong and illegal. That at the time of removal of old meter, it was working accurately with all its seals intact with its status was ‘OK’. That the removed meter was not packed and sealed as per the rules. That no notice about its checking in the M.E.Lab, intimating the date, time and place of checking was ever sent to the complainant. That since the seals of the removed meter were intact, no electricity can be stolen and the OPs-Board illegally declared it as ‘defective’. That no copy of the checking report was provided to the complainant. That no prior notice before adding the impugned demand in the consumption bill was ever sent to the complainant. That the impugned demand raised by the OPs-Board is altogether wrong and illegal and against the prescribed rules and regulations. That the complainant approached the office of OPs-Board time and again and requested to quash the illegal demand, but to no effect. That the aforesaid act and conduct of the OPs-Board had caused great inconvenience, harassment and mental agony to her for which she has claimed compensation. Hence the present complaint.


    3. Notice of the complaint was given to the OPs-Board, who appeared through Sh.S.K.Dhir Advocate and filed written reply contesting the same. They took up preliminary objections that the complaint is not maintainable; that there is no deficiency of service on the part of OPs-Board; that the actual facts are that on 21.5.2008 Sh.Tarsem Lal, J.E. changed the old three phase with single phase meter and accordingly, the old meter was sealed and packed in the presence of representative of the complainant, who duly signed the sealed box; that the packed meter was sent to M.E.Lab vide store challan no.45 dated 13.6.2008 and the same was checked by Senior Executive Engineer and other officials who found that the body of the meter tempered with; that before the checking of the said meter, a consent of the complainant was obtained to check the same in her absence. Thus, the checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. Thereafter, notice no. 1395 dated 11.7.2008 of provisional assessment for unauthorized use of electricity under section 126 of Electricity Act, 2003 was issued to the complainant raising a demand of Rs.72414/- on account of ‘theft of energy’, and to file objection, if any, against the said notice; that the complainant did not file any objection and consequently, the provisional assessment after 7 days became final; that the complainant did not deposit the impugned amount. Thereafter, the said amount has been added in the consumption bill in question, to which the OPs-Board is legally entitled to recover. On merits, the OPs-Board took up the same and similar pleas as taken up by them in the preliminary objections. All other allegations contained in the complaint were specifically denied being wrong and incorrect. Hence, it was prayed that the complaint filed by the complainant has no merit and it deserves dismissal.



    4. In order to prove her case, the complainant tendered in evidence her affidavits Ex.A1 and Ex.A10, copies of bills-cum-receipts Ex.A2 to Ex.A8, copy of receipt Ex.A9, copy of passport Ex.A11 and closed her evidence.



    5. To rebut the evidence of the complainant, the OPs-Board tendered in evidence affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.S.S.Sandhu, Addl.S.E, detail Ex.R2, copy of checking report Ex.R3, copy of consent letter Ex.R4, copy of notice Ex.R5, copy of MCO Ex.R6, copy of A & A form Ex.R7, affidavit of Pavittar Singh, Sr.XEN Ex.R8, affidavit of Tarsem Lal JE Ex.R9, copy of store challan Ex.R10 and closed their evidence.



    6. We have heard Sh.Varinder Kashyap ld. counsel for the complainant and Sh.V.K.Dhir ld. counsel for the OPs-Board and have also gone through the written arguments submitted by the complainant and also carefully perused the evidence on the file.


    7. Sh.Varinder Kashyap ld.counsel for the complainant has mainly argued that the OPs-Board has wrongly and illegally raised the impugned demand of Rs.72414/- on account of ‘theft of energy’ He has further argued that no notice was issued to the complainant to appear in the M.E.Lab and the consent letter Ex.A4 produced by the OPs-Board is forged and fabricated document. He further argued that the complainant never signed in Punjabi as she knows English and always signs in English language. Moreover, the copy of the passport Ex.A11 shows that she had left India on 28th of May 2008 and came back on 27th of July 2008 whereas according to the affidavit Ex.R9 of Tarsem Lal J.E. she executed the alleged consent letter 4 days prior to 13.6.2008.



    8. On the other hand, Sh.S.K.Dhir ld.counsel for the OPs-Board has argued that three phase meter of the complainant was changed on 21.5.2008 and the same was packed and sealed in the card board box in the presence of her representative, who signed the same. The complainant gave the consent 4 days prior to 13.6.2008 wherein she has stated that she has no objection, if the removed meter be checked in her absence and she has got no objection with the result of the M.E.Lab and the same shall be acceptable to her. Thus, the main controversy between the parties is with regard to consent letter Ex.R4. The complainant has alleged that it is a forged and fabricated document whereas the OPs-Board has alleged that it has been executed by the complainant herself. To support her allegation, the complainant has produced the copy of her passport Ex.A11 which shows that she remained out of India w.e.f. 28.5.2008 to 27.7.2008 whereas ld.counsel for the OPs-Board has alleged that in the passport Ex.A11, the name of passport holder has been mentioned as Nishi Kaval and not Premjit Kaur. On this point, ld.counsel for the complainant has argued that the complainant has two names i.e. Nishi Kaval and Premjit Kaur, but no pleading has been taken to this effect in the complaint. If the complainant alleges forgery and fabrication on the part of the OPs-Board regarding the consent letter Ex.R4, then this Forum has got no jurisdiction to try and decide the present complaint and the same is not maintainable since complicated question of law and facts are involved which requires elaborate evidence both oral and documentary. Then it is only the civil court of competent jurisdiction who can try and decide the present complaint and the same can not be decided by this Forum in summary manner. On this point, the rulings III(2002) CPJ 41 (NC) titled as Aryan Agro Spice (P) Ltd. Vs.Saraswat Co-Op.Bank Ltd. & Anr. , III(2002) CPJ 59 (NC) titled as Ferrygold ((India)Ltd. Vs. National Insurance Co.Ltd. & Ors., III(2002) CPJ 272 (NC) titled as Mahakosh Holding Pvt.Ltd. Vs. Oriental Insurance Co.Ltd., III(2001) CPJ 189 titled as V.KI.Balan Vs. Trisiba Electronics and I(2001) CPJ 123 titled as Syndicate Bank & Anr. Vs. Supreme Medical Agencies are quite helpful to the facts of the present case.



    9. Moreover, if any forgery and fabrication as alleged had been committed by the OPs-Board, the complainant should have got registered FIR or filed the criminal complaint against them in the court of JMIC. But it is not possible for the Consumer Fora to try and decide the case in its summary jurisdiction because the complicated questions of law and facts are involved and both the parties have to led the voluminous evidence in support of their contentions. This is an appropriate case for the civil court to decide and the proper remedy for the parties is to approach the civil court/ proper Forum, It is not disputed that the Consumers Forums have been set up to grant speedy remedy through summary trial, but the case in hand requires elaborate and voluminous evidence to be led by both the parties. The Forums are not meant to duplicate the civil courts, and subject the litigants to delays which have become endemic in the civil courts as held by Hon’ble Apex Court in 2006(2) CPC page 664 titled as Trai Foods Ltd. Vs. National Insurance Co.Ltd. So this Forum is not the appropriate and the parties shall relegate their case before the civil court.


    10. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the complaint stands dismissed. However, the parties are at liberty to approach the civil court/ appropriate Forum for the redressal of their grievance. Keeping in view the peculiar circumstances of the case, the parties are left to bear their own costs. Copy of the order be given to the parties free of cost and thereafter the file be consigned to the record room.

    (Jit Singh Mallah) (J.S.Chawla)
    Member President
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, MOGA.
    Complaint No: 11 of 2009
    Instituted On: 08.01.2009
    Date of Service: 28.01.2009
    Decided On: 26.03.2009
    Binder Pal Singh (aged 45 years) son of Mukhtiar Singh resident of Patti Gill, Chuhar Chakk, District Moga.
    …..Complainant.
    Versus
    1. Punjab State Electricity Board through its Secretary, PSEB, Patiala.
    2. Executive Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Suburban Division Moga, Moga.
    3. Sub Divisional Officer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Ajitwal, District Moga.
    ……Opposite Parties.
    Complaint under section 12 of The
    Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
    Quorum: Sh.J.S.Chawla, President.
    Sh.J.S.Mallah, Member.

    Present: Sh.Gurdeep Singh Gill,Adv.counsel for the complainant.
    Sh.Satvir Singh, Adv. counsel for the OPs-Board.

    (J.S.CHAWLA, PRESIDENT)

    Sh.Binder Pal Singh complainant has filed the present complaint under section 12 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (herein-after referred to as ‘Act’) against Punjab State Electricity Board through its Secretary, Patiala (herein-after referred to as ‘Board’) and others-opposite parties directing them to quash the illegal demand of Rs.47000/- raised vide bill dated 01.12.2008 and also to pay Rs.10000/- as compensation on account of mental tension and harassment or any other relief to which this Forum may deem fit be granted.


    2. Briefly stated, Sh.Binder Pal Singh complainant is a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board having domestic electric connection bearing account no.F15AL24/0439W installed at his residential premises with sanctioned load of 2.45 KW. That the complainant has been paying the consumption charges regularly and nothing is due against him. That previously the complainant received a notice from the OPs-Board vide which they demanded Rs.6970/- which he deposited. That now again, he received a bill dated 1.12.2008 vide which the OPs-Board raised a demand of Rs.47000/- on account of ‘theft of energy’. That the complainant never committed ‘theft of energy’. Moreover, no checking of his premises was ever conducted by the OPs-Board. That the complainant visited the office of the OPs-Board and requested to withdraw the impugned amount, but to no effect. That the aforesaid act and conduct of the OPs-Board has caused great inconvenience, harassment and mental agony to him for which he has claimed Rs.10000/- as compensation beside costs of the litigation. Hence the present complaint.




    3. Notice of the complaint was given to the OPs-Board, who appeared through Sh.Satvir Singh, Advocate and filed written reply contesting the same. They took up preliminary objections that the complaint is not maintainable in the present form; that the complainant is estopped by his act and conduct to file the present complaint and that the complainant has concealed the true facts from the knowledge of this Forum. In fact, on 28.01.2008 Sh.Ram Singh AAE and Jagdev Singh JE, PSEB, Moga jointly checked the electric connection in question in the presence of the complainant and found him stealing the electricity by inserting direct kundi in joint made in the PVC line coming to the meter. The checking was made in the presence of the complainant, but he refused to sign the checking report. That the checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. Thereafter, notice dated 28.01.2008 of provisional order of assessment for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ was served upon the complainant to deposit Rs.6783/- under section 126 of Electricity Act, 2003 and the impugned demand raised by them was deposited by the complainant. That the said amount has been calculated taking the load factor as 30%. Thereafter, clarification of Chief Engineer, PSEB Patiala was received vide which in ‘theft cases’ the amount to be calculated was by taking 100% load factor. Accordingly, the audit party vide its half margin no.119 of 5/08 detected this mistake and raised further demand of Rs.46623/- on account of difference of amount of ‘theft of electricity’ vide notice no. 2725 dated 24.01.2008, but the complainant did not deposit the same. Hence, the impugned amount has been added in the consumption bill of the complainant dated 01.12.2008 to which the OPs-Board is legally entitled to recover. On merits, the OPs-Board took up the same and similar plea as taken up by them in preliminary objections. All other allegations contained in the complaint were specifically denied being wrong and incorrect. Hence, it was prayed that the complaint filed by the complainant has no merit and it deserves dismissal.



    4. In order to prove his case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit Ex.A1, copy of receipt Ex.A2, copies of bills Ex.A3 and Ex.A4 and closed his evidence.


    5. To rebut the evidence of the complainant, the OPs-Board tendered in evidence affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.D.S.Toor, Add.S.E., copy of memo Ex.R2, copy of notice Ex.R3, copy of half margin Ex.R4, copy of checking report Ex.R5 and closed their evidence.



    6. We have heard the arguments of Sh.G.S.Gill ld. counsel for the complainant and Sh.Satvir Singh ld. counsel for the OPs-Board and have very carefully perused the evidence on the file.


    7. Sh.G.S.Gill ld.counsel for the complainant has mainly argued that the impugned demand of Rs.47000/- raised vide bill dated 01.12.2008 by the OPs-Board is wrong and illegal because the complainant had already paid Rs.6970/- on 15.04.2008 on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’. This contention of the ld.counsel for the complainant has full force. Admittedly, the OPs-Board found the complainant using the unauthorized electricity and vide notice no.226 dated 28.01.2008 he was directed to pay Rs.6783/- which he deposited on 15.04.2008.


    8. Now it is contended by ld.counsel for the OPs-Board that they have charged the complainant for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 30% load factor whereas he was to be charged by taking 100% load factor. This contention of the ld.counsel for the OPs-Board has no merit. Circular 53/2006 of the OPs-Board shows that in cases of theft/ unauthorized use of electricity, a domestic consumer can be charged by taking 30% load factor. The case of the complainant who is a domestic consumer does not fall under direct theft mentioned in category ‘e’ of rule (1) of said circular. Thus, the OPs-Board has wrongly issued the fresh notice to him directing to pay the difference of the amount on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 100% load factor instead of 30% already charged.


    9. Moreover, the OPs-Board is estopped by their act and conduct to raise the impugned demand when they have already charged the complainant for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 30% load factor. Hence, the OPs-Board has wrongly and illegally issued the impugned notice to the complainant to pay the difference of charges on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’. Thus, there is deficiency in service on the part of the OPs-Board in demanding the impugned amount and we quash and set aside the same.



    10. To prove the aforesaid contention, the complainant produced his affidavit Ex.A1, copy of receipt Ex.A2, copies of bills Ex.A3 and Ex.A4 and we believe and rely upon the same. On the other hand, no reliance could be placed on affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.D.S.Toor, Add.S.E. and documents Ex.R2 to Ex.R5 and we discard the same.




    11. The ld. counsel for the parties did not urge or argue any other point before us.



    12. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the complaint filed by the complainant has merit and the same is accepted. Hence, the impugned demand of Rs.47000/- raised by the OPs-Board vide bill dated 01.12.2008 is set aside and quashed. However, the OPs-Board shall refund/adjust the amount (as per the desire of the complainant), if any, deposited by the complainant as per interim order of this Forum dated 12.01.2009 alongwith interest @ 9% per annum from the date of deposit till its realisation. Keeping in view the peculiar circumstances of the case, the parties are left to bear their own costs. Copies of the order be sent to the parties free of cost and thereafter the file be consigned to the record room.

    (Jit Singh Mallah) (J.S.Chawla)
    Member President

    Announced in Open Forum.
    Dated:26.03.2009.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, MOGA.
    Complaint No: 26 of 2009
    Instituted On: 06.02.2009
    Date of Service: 26.02.2009
    Decided On: 31.03.2009
    Sukhdev Singh (aged 50 years) son of Sh.Kartar Singh, resident of village: Umriana District Moga.
    Complainant.
    Versus
    1. Punjab State Electricity Board through its Secretary, The Mall, Patiala.
    2. Executive Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Moga.
    3. Sub Divisional Officer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Kot Ise Khan, District Moga.
    Opposite Parties.
    Complaint under section 12 of The
    Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
    Quorum: Sh.J.S.Chawla, President.
    Sh.Jit Singh Mallah, Member.

    Present: Sh.Gurwinder Singh, Adv.counsel for complainant.
    Sh.R.K.Goyal, Adv. counsel for OPs.

    (J.S.CHAWLA, PRESIDENT)
    Sh.Sukhdev Singh complainant has filed the present complaint under section 12 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (herein-after referred to as ‘Act’) against Punjab State Electricity Board through its Secretary and others-opposite parties (herein-after referred to as ‘Board’) directing them to quash the illegal demand of Rs.34272/- raised vide bill dated 18.01.2009 and also to pay Rs.10000/- as compensation for causing mental tension and harassment or any other relief to which this Forum may deem fit be granted.


    2. Briefly stated, Sh.Sukhdev Singh complainant is a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board having domestic electric connection bearing account no.F23UM241514L installed at his residential premises with sanctioned load of 1.44 KW. That he had been paying the consumption charges regularly and nothing is due against him. That the complainant received a bill dated 18.1.2009 from the OPs-Board vide which they raised a demand of Rs.34272/- without assigning any reason. That no notice was ever issued to him by the OPs-Board before adding the impugned amount in his consumption bill. Moreover, he never used the electricity to that extent. That no checking was ever conducted of his premises by the OPs-Board. That the complainant approached the office of OPs-Board and requested to withdraw the impugned demand, but to no effect. That the impugned demand is altogether wrong and illegal and in gross violation of prescribed rules and regulations of the OPs-Board. That the aforesaid act and conduct of the OPs-Board had caused great inconvenience, harassment and mental tension to him for which he had claimed Rs.10000/- as compensation. Hence the present complaint.



    3. Notice of the complaint was given to the OPs-Board, who appeared through Sh.R.K.Goyal, Advocate and filed written reply contesting the same. They took up preliminary objections that the complaint is not maintainable in the present form; that the complainant is estopped by his act and conduct from filing the present complaint; that the complainant has concealed the material facts from the knowledge of this Forum and that the complainant is not a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board, so the present complaint does not lie. On merits, it was averred that in fact on 30.08.2008 Sh.Gurjant Singh, JE-I alongwith other officials of the Ops-Board checked the electric connection in question and found the complainant using the electricity by illegal means i.e. by direct supply by bye-passing the meter and the meter was not running. That the checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. That the checking was conducted in the presence of the complainant, but he refused to sign the checking report. Thereafter, notice no.2562 dated 11.09.2008 was issued to the complainant raising a demand of Rs.30639/- on account of ‘theft of energy’ under Electricity Act, 2003 to which the OPs-Board is legally entitled to recover. All other allegations contained in the complaint were specifically denied being wrong and incorrect. Hence, it was prayed that the complaint filed by the complainant has no merit and it deserves dismissal.



    4. In order to prove his case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit Ex.A1, bill Ex.A2, receipt Ex.A3 and closed his evidence.


    5. To rebut the evidence of the complainant, the OPs-Board tendered in evidence affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.Jaspreet Singh XEN, affidavit Ex.R2 of Gurjant Singh, JE, copy of checking report Ex.R3, copy of notice Ex.R4 and closed their evidence.


    6. We have heard the arguments of Sh.Gurwinder Singh ld. counsel for the complainant and Sh.R.K.Goyal ld. counsel for the OPs-Board and have very carefully perused the evidence on the file.


    7. Sh.Gurwinder Singh ld.counsel for the complainant has mainly argued that the impugned demand of Rs.32272/- raised vide bill dated 18.01.2009 by the OPs-Board is wrong and illegal. This contention of the ld.counsel for the complainant has no merit. Admittedly, on 30.08.2008 Sh.Gurjant Singh, JE-I alongwith other officials of the Ops-Board checked the electric connection in question and found the complainant using the electricity by illegal means i.e. by direct supply by bye-passing the meter and the meter was not running. The checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. The checking was conducted in the presence of the complainant, but he refused to sign the checking report. Thereafter, notice no.2562 dated 11.09.2008 was issued to the complainant raising a demand of Rs.30639/- on account of ‘theft of energy’ under Electricity Act, 2003. To further strengthen the aforesaid allegations against the complainant, the OPs-Board has produced the affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.Jaspreet Singh XEN, affidavit Ex.R2 of Gurjant Singh, JE, copy of checking report Ex.R3, copy of notice Ex.R4.


    8. Moreover, the complainant has failed to lead any cogent and convincing evidence to prove that he was not committing ‘theft of electricity’ except his bare affidavit Ex.A1. There is no corroboration to his affidavit that he was not stealing the electricity by illegal means. Moreover, he has reason to give false affidavit in order to save himself from the consequences of being caught red handed while stealing the electricity by illegal means. Thus, no reliance could be placed on his affidavit Ex.A1 and we discard the same. Hence, we hold that the complainant was found committing ‘theft of energy’.



    9. Now the question for determination is whether the complainant can be made liable to pay Rs.34272/- on account of ‘theft of energy’ as per the Electricity Act, 2003. The answer to this question is partly in negative. The OPs-Board has not strictly complied with the provisions of new Electricity Act, 2003. Admittedly, the electric connection installed at the premises of the complainant is domestic. Under section 126 of Electricity Act, 2003 in case of ‘theft of energy’, the domestic consumer at the most can be charged by taking the demand factor of 30%. Copy of checking report Ex.R3 issued by the OPs-Board as well as written reply and affidavit Ex.R1 show that they have charged the impugned amount by taking the demand factor as 100% instead of 30%. Thus, we hold that the impugned demand of Rs.34272/- raised vide bill dated 18.01.2009 from the complainant is liable to be set aside and quashed. However, the OPs-Board can charge the complainant for ‘theft of energy’ by taking the demand factor as 30% under the said Act.



    10. The ld. counsel for the parties did not urge or argue any other point before us.


    11. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the complaint filed by the complainant is partly accepted and the demand of Rs.34272/- raised by the OPs-Board vide bill dated 18.01.2009 from the complainant is set aside and quashed. However, the OPs-Board is entitled to charge the complainant on account of ‘theft of energy’ by taking the demand factor as 30%. Since the complainant has already deposited Rs.17655/- vide receipt no.31 dated 18.02.2009 i.e. 50% of the disputed amount with the OPs-Board vide interim order dated 10.02.2009 of this Forum, they are directed to adjust the same by taking calculation of demand factor as 30%/ refund the excess amount, if any, to the complainant within 15 days alongwith interest @ 9% per annum from the date of deposit till its realisation. In view of the peculiar circumstances of the case, the parties are left to bear their own costs. Copies of the order be sent to the parties free of cost and thereafter the file be consigned to the record room.


    (Jit Singh Mallah) (J.S.Chawla)
    Member President
    Announced in Open Forum.
    Dated:31.03.2009.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, MOGA.
    Complaint No: 17 of 2009
    Instituted On: 16.01.2009
    Date of Service: 30.01.2009
    Decided On: 31.03.2009
    Satnam Singh (aged 28 years) son of Atma Singh, resident of village: Duneke, Distt.Moga.
    …..Complainant.
    Versus
    1. XEN, Punjab State Electricity Board, North, Moga.
    2. SDO, Punjab State Electricity Board, North, Moga.
    ……Opposite Parties.
    Complaint under section 12 of The
    Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
    Quorum: Sh.J.S.Chawla, President.
    Sh.J.S.Mallah, Member.

    Present: Sh.Satnam Singh, complainant in person.
    Sh.R.K.Goyal, Adv. counsel for the OPs.


    (J.S.CHAWLA, PRESIDENT)
    Sh.Satnam Singh complainant has filed the present complaint under section 12 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (herein-after referred to as ‘Act’) against Punjab State Electricity Board through its XEN, PSEB, North Sub Division, Moga and another (herein-after referred to as ‘Board’)-opposite parties directing them to quash the illegal demand of Rs.4553/- raised vide bill dated 29.09.2008 as sundry charges.


    2. Briefly stated, Sh.Satnam Singh complainant is a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board having domestic electric connection bearing account no.F54/DK6405151H installed at his residential premises with sanctioned load of 0.40 KW. That he belongs to scheduled caste category. That the complainant has been paying the consumption charges regularly and nothing is due against him. That previously the complainant received a notice from the OPs-Board vide which they raised a demand which he deposited on different dates. That now again, he received a bill dated 29.09.2008 vide which the OPs-Board raised a demand of Rs.4553/- without assigning any reason. That the complainant visited the office of the OPs-Board and requested to withdraw the impugned amount, but to no effect. Hence the present complaint.


    3. Notice of the complaint was given to the OPs-Board, who appeared through Sh.R.KGoyal, Advocate and filed written reply contesting the same. They took up preliminary objections that the complaint is not maintainable in the present form; that the complainant is estopped by his act and conduct from filing the present complaint and that the complainant has concealed the material facts from the knowledge of this Forum. On merits, it was averred that in fact, on 18.04.2007 Sh.Jagtar Singh AEE and Sukhdev Singh gill, JE Sub Urban Division, Moga jointly checked the electric connection in question and found the complainant stealing the electricity by illegal means i.e. by way of direct kundi and taping the joint and the main switch was off. The meter was not recording any consumption. The checking was conducted in the presence of lady members in the house of the complainant, but they refused to sign the checking report. That the checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. Thereafter, notice no.925 dated 21.05.2007 of provisional order of assessment for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ was served upon the complainant to deposit Rs.5224/- under section 126 of Electricity Act, 2003 and the impugned demand raised by them was deposited by the complainant. That the said amount has been calculated taking the load factor as 30%. Thereafter, clarification of Chief Engineer, PSEB Patiala was received vide which in ‘theft cases’ the amount to be calculated was by taking 100% load factor. Accordingly, the audit party vide its half margin no.1379 of 5/08 detected this mistake and raised further demand of Rs.4553/- on account of difference of amount of ‘theft of electricity’ vide notice no.2111 dated 18.9.2008, but the complainant did not deposit the same. Hence, the impugned amount has been added in the consumption bill of the complainant dated 29.09.2008 to which the OPs-Board is legally entitled to recover. All other allegations contained in the complaint were specifically denied being wrong and incorrect. Hence, it was prayed that the complaint filed by the complainant has no merit and it deserves dismissal.


    4. In order to prove his case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit Ex.A1, copy of caste certificate Ex.A2, copies of receipts Ex.A3 to Ex.A5, copy of bill Ex.A6 and closed his evidence.


    5. To rebut the evidence of the complainant, the OPs-Board tendered in evidence affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.D.S.Toor, XEN, affidavit Ex.R2 of Jagtar Singh AAE, copy of checking report Ex.R3, copy of notice Ex.R4, copy of half margin Ex.R5, copy of detail Ex.R6 and closed their evidence.
    6. We have heard the arguments of Sh.Satnam Singh complainant and Sh.R.K.Goyal ld. counsel for the OPs-Board and have very carefully perused the evidence on the file.


    7. Sh.Satnam Singh complainant has mainly argued that the impugned demand of Rs.4553/- raised vide bill dated 29.9.2008 by the OPs-Board is wrong and illegal because the complainant had already paid Rs.5224/- on different dates on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’. This contention of the complainant has full force. Admittedly, the OPs-Board found the complainant using the unauthorized electricity and vide notice no.925 dated 21.05.2007 he was directed to pay Rs.5224/- which he deposited on different dates.


    8. Now it is contended by ld.counsel for the OPs-Board that they have charged the complainant for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 30% load factor whereas he was to be charged by taking 100% load factor. This contention of the ld.counsel for the OPs-Board has no merit. Circular 53/2006 of the OPs-Board shows that in cases of theft/ unauthorized use of electricity, a domestic consumer can be charged by taking 30% load factor. The case of the complainant who is a domestic consumer does not fall under direct theft mentioned in category ‘e’ of rule (1) of said circular. Thus, the OPs-Board has wrongly issued the fresh notice to him directing to pay the difference of the amount on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 100% load factor instead of 30% already charged.


    9. Moreover, the OPs-Board is estopped by their act and conduct to raise the impugned demand when they have already charged the complainant for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 30% load factor. Hence, the OPs-Board has wrongly and illegally issued the impugned notice to the complainant to pay the difference of charges on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’. Thus, there is deficiency in service on the part of the OPs-Board in demanding the impugned amount and we quash and set aside the same.



    10. To prove the aforesaid contention, the complainant produced his affidavit Ex.A1, copy of caste certificate Ex.A2, copies of receipts Ex.A3 to Ex.A5, copy of bill Ex.A6 and we believe and rely upon the same. On the other hand, no reliance could be placed on affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.D.S.Toor, XEN, affidavit Ex.R2 of Jagtar Singh AAE and documents Ex.R3 to Ex.R6 and we discard the same.


    11. The ld. counsel for the parties did not urge or argue any other point before us.




    12. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the complaint filed by the complainant has merit and the same is accepted. Hence, the impugned demand of Rs.4553/- raised by the OPs-Board vide bill dated 29.09.2008 is set aside and quashed. Keeping in view the peculiar circumstances of the case, the parties are left to bear their own costs. Copies of the order be sent to the parties free of cost and thereafter the file be consigned to the record room.

    (Jit Singh Mallah) (J.S.Chawla)
    Member President

    Announced in Open Forum.
    Dated:31.03.2009.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, MOGA.
    Complaint No: 02 of 2009
    Instituted On: 01.01.2009
    Date of Service: 21.01.2009
    Decided On: 31.03.2009
    Sukhmander Singh (aged 52 years) son of Sh.Balwant Singh, resident of Kokari Phula Singh, Tehsil Moga.
    Complainant.
    Versus
    1. Punjab State Electricity Board, through Secretary, The Mall, Patiala.
    2. Senior Executive Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Moga.
    3. Sub Divisional Officer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Ajitwal, District Moga.
    Opposite Parties.
    Complaint under section 12 of The
    Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
    Quorum: Sh.J.S.Chawla, President.
    Sh.Jit Singh Mallah, Member.

    Present: Sh.Amiteshwar, Adv.counsel for the complainant.
    Sh.Shivcharan Singh Gill, Adv. counsel for OPs.

    (J.S.CHAWLA, PRESIDENT)
    Sh.Sukhmander Singh complainant has filed the present complaint under section 12 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (herein-after referred to as ‘Act’) against Punjab State Electricity Board through its Secretary and others (herein-after referred to as ‘Board’)-opposite parties directing them to quash the illegal demand of Rs.7270/- raised vide bill dated 15.12.2008 and to pay Rs.20000/- as compensation for causing mental tension and harassment or any other relief to which this Forum may deem fit be granted.



    2. Briefly stated, Sh.Sukhmander Singh complainant is a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board having domestic electric connection bearing account no.F51KF370482K installed at his residential premises with sanctioned load of 1.98 KW. That he had been paying the consumption charges regularly and nothing is due against him. That previously the OPs-Board raised a demand of Rs.2493/- on 15.10.2007 which he deposited. Thereafter, the complainant received a bill dated 15.12.2008 from the Ops-Board vide which they raised a demand of Rs.7270/- on account of ‘theft of energy’. That the said bill is altogether illegal, unjust, void at law and is liable to be quashed. That the complainant never used the electricity by illegal means. That the impugned demand has been raised by the OPs-Board arbitrarily by sitting in the office. That the complainant approached the office of OPs-Board time and again and requested to withdraw the impugned demand, but to no effect. That the impugned demand is altogether wrong and illegal and in gross violation of prescribed rules and regulations of the OPs-Board. That the aforesaid act and conduct of the OPs-Board had caused great inconvenience, harassment and mental agony to him for which he has claimed Rs.20000/- as compensation beside costs of the litigation. Hence the present complaint.


    3. Notice of the complaint was given to the OPs-Board, who appeared through Sh.Shivcharan Singh Gill, Advocate and filed written reply contesting the same. They took up preliminary objections that the complaint is not maintainable in the present form; that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the OPs-Board; that the complainant has concealed the true facts from the knowledge of this Forum. In fact, on 15.10.2007 officials of OPs-Board checked the electric connection in question and found the complainant stealing the electricity by illegal means i.e. by connecting the direct wire from the roof. The meter was not recording the consumption at the spot and electricity was running. The checking was conducted in the presence of the complainant, who signed the checking report. Thus, the checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. Thereafter, notice no.2733 dated 15.10.2007 of provisional order of assessment for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ was served upon the complainant to deposit Rs.2493/- under section 126 of Electricity Act, 2003 and the impugned demand raised by them was deposited by the complainant. That the said amount has been calculated taking the load factor as 30%. Thereafter, clarification of Chief Engineer, PSEB, Patiala was received vide which in ‘theft cases’ the amount to be calculated was by taking 100% load factor. Accordingly, the audit party vide its half margin no.1 of 9/08 detected this mistake and raised further demand of Rs.7270/- on account of difference of amount of ‘theft of electricity’ vide notice, but the complainant did not deposit the same. Hence, the impugned amount has been added in the consumption bill of the complainant dated 15.12.2008 to which the OPs-Board is legally entitled to recover. On merits, the OPs-Board took up the same and similar pleas as taken up by them in the preliminary objections. All other allegations contained in the complaint were specifically denied being wrong and incorrect. Hence, it was prayed that the complaint filed by the complainant has no merit and it deserves dismissal.



    4. In order to prove his case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit Ex.A1, copy of bill Ex.A2, copy of notice Ex.A3, copy of receipt Ex.A4 and closed his evidence.


    5. To rebut the evidence of the complainant, the OPs-Board tendered in evidence affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.Gurcharan Singh AEE, copy of half margin Ex.R2, copy of checking report Ex.R3 and closed their evidence.


    6. We have heard the arguments of Sh.Amiteshwar ld. counsel for the complainant and Sh.Shivcharan Singh Gill ld. counsel for the OPs-Board and have very carefully perused the evidence on the file.



    7. Sh.Amiteshwar ld. counsel for the complainant has mainly argued that the impugned demand of Rs.7270/- raised vide bill dated 15.12.2008 by the OPs-Board is wrong and illegal because the complainant had already paid Rs.2493/- on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’. This contention of the ld.counsel for the complainant has full force. Admittedly, the OPs-Board found the complainant using the unauthorized electricity and vide notice no.2733 dated 15.10.2007 he was directed to pay Rs.2493/- which he deposited.


    8. Now it is contended by ld.counsel for the OPs-Board that they have charged the complainant for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 30% load factor whereas he was to be charged by taking 100% load factor. This contention of the ld.counsel for the OPs-Board has no merit. Circular 53/2006 of the OPs-Board shows that in cases of theft/ unauthorized use of electricity, a domestic consumer can be charged by taking 30% load factor. The case of the complainant who is a domestic consumer does not fall under direct theft mentioned in category ‘e’ of rule (1) of said circular. Thus, the OPs-Board has wrongly issued the fresh notice to him directing to pay the difference of the amount on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 100% load factor instead of 30% already charged.


    9. Moreover, the OPs-Board is estopped by their act and conduct to raise the impugned demand when they have already charged the complainant for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 30% load factor. Hence, the OPs-Board has wrongly and illegally issued the impugned notice to the complainant to pay the difference of charges on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’. Thus, there is deficiency in service on the part of the OPs-Board in demanding the impugned amount and we quash and set aside the same.


    10. The complainant has produced the receipt Ex.A4 vide which he has deposited Rs.3600/- i.e. 50% of the disputed amount as per interim order of this Forum dated 02.01.2009. Thus, he is entitled to its refund alongwith interest @ 9% per annum from the date of deposit till its realization.


    11. To prove the aforesaid contention, the complainant produced his affidavit Ex.A1, copy of bill Ex.A2, copy of notice Ex.A3, copy of receipt Ex.A4 and we believe and rely upon the same. On the other hand, no reliance could be placed on the affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.Gurcharan Singh AEE and documents Ex.R2 to Ex.R3 and we discard the same.


    12. The ld. counsel for the parties did not urge or argue any other point before us.



    13. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the complaint filed by the complainant has merit and the same is accepted. Hence, the impugned demand of Rs.7270/- raised by the OPs-Board vide bill dated 15.12.2008 is set aside and quashed. Since the complainant has already deposited Rs.3600/- vide receipt no.38 dated 1.1.2009 with the OPs-Board vide interim order dated 1.1.2009 of this Forum, they are directed to refund the same alongwith interest @ 9% per annum from the date of deposit till its realization. Keeping in view the peculiar circumstances of the case, the parties are left to bear their own costs. Copies of the order be sent to the parties free of cost and thereafter the file be consigned to the record room.

    (Jit Singh Mallah) (J.S.Chawla)
    Member President

    Announced in Open Forum.
    Dated:31.03.2009.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, MOGA.
    Complaint No: 12 of 2009
    Instituted On: 08.01.2009
    Date of Service: 29.01.2009
    Decided On: 31.03.2009
    Tej Singh (aged 48 years) son of Sh.Wasakha Singh, resident of Gali No.6, Road No.4, House No.18/639, Sardar Nagar, Moga.
    Complainant.
    Versus
    1. Punjab State Electricity Board through its XEN, Suburban, Sub Division, Moga.
    2. Punjab State Electricity Board, through its SDO, Suburban Division, Moga.
    Opposite Parties.
    Complaint under section 12 of The
    Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
    Quorum: Sh.J.S.Chawla, President.
    Sh.Jit Singh Mallah, Member.

    Present: Sh.S.K.Jaiswal, Adv.counsel for complainant.
    Sh.S.K.Dhir, Adv. counsel for OPs.

    (J.S.CHAWLA, PRESIDENT)
    Sh.Tej Singh complainant has filed the present complaint under section 12 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (herein-after referred to as ‘Act’) against Punjab State Electricity Board through its XEN, Sub Urban, Sub Division, Moga and another (herein-after referred to as ‘Board’)-opposite parties directing them to withdraw the illegal and unlawful demand of Rs.24130/- raised vide memo no.2754 dated 17.11.2008 and also to pay Rs.20000/- as compensation for causing mental tension and harassment beside Rs.5500/- as costs of litigation or any other relief to which this Forum may deem fit be granted.
    2. Briefly stated, Sh.Tej Singh complainant is a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board having domestic electric connection bearing account no.SN01/0355 installed at his residential premises with sanctioned load of 1.30 KW. That he had been paying the consumption charges regularly and nothing is due against him. That in the month of October, 2008 some officials of the OPs-Board visited his house and checked the electric meter ; That after checking the meter, though the officials of the OPs-Board everything OK, but they demanded Rs.5000/- as illegal gratification, to which the complainant refused. That on refusal, the officials of the OPs-Board threatened him that he will have to pay the huge amount. That the complainant received a memo no. 2754 dated 17.11.2008 vide which the OPs-Board raised a demand of Rs.24130/- on account of ‘theft of energy’. That no artificial means was recovered on the spot. Thereafter, in response to the application moved by the complainant under Right to Information Act, the OPs-Board informed him that the impugned demand has been calculated as per the commercial circular No.53/2006. That the impugned demand is altogether wrong and illegal and in gross violation of prescribed rules and regulations of the OPs-Board. That the aforesaid act and conduct of the OPs-Board had caused great inconvenience, harassment and mental agony to him for which he had claimed Rs.20000/- as compensation beside costs of the litigation. Hence the present complaint.
    3. Notice of the complaint was given to the OPs-Board, who appeared through Sh.S.K.Dhir, Advocate and filed written reply contesting the same. They took up preliminary objections that the complaint is not maintainable in the present form; that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the OPs-Board and that the complainant has concealed material facts from the knowledge of this Forum. In fact, on 08.10.2008 Sh.Mohinder Singh, AEE PSEB Sub Urban Sub Division, Moga checked the electric connection in question and found the complainant stealing the electricity by illegal means i.e. by fixing the artificial circuit. That the meter was stopped. That the electricity was running and meter was not recording the consumption on the spot. The checking was made in the presence of the complainant who duly signed the same. That the checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. Thereafter, memo no.2754 dated 17.11.2008 of provisional order of assessment for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ was served upon the complainant to deposit Rs.24130/- under section 126 of Electricity Act, 2003 to which the OPs-Board is legally entitled to recover. On merits, the OPs-Board took up the same and similar plea as taken up by them in preliminary objections. All other allegations contained in the complaint were specifically denied being wrong and incorrect. Hence, it was prayed that the complaint filed by the complainant has no merit and it deserves dismissal.
    4. In order to prove his case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit Ex.A1, copy of memo Ex.A2, copy of bill Ex.A3 and closed his evidence.
    5. To rebut the evidence of the complainant, the OPs-Board tendered in evidence affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.Jaspreet Singh Sr.XEN, affidavit Ex.R2 of Sh.Mohinder Singh AEE, copy of checking report Ex.R3, copy of notice Ex.R4 and closed their evidence.
    6. We have heard the arguments of Sh.S.K.Jaiswal ld. counsel for the complainant and Sh.S.K.Dhir ld. counsel for the OPs-Board and have very carefully perused the evidence on the file.
    7. Sh.S.K.Jaiswal, ld.counsel for the complainant has mainly argued that the impugned demand of Rs.24130/- raised vide memo no.2754 dated 17.11.2008 by the OPs-Board is wrong and illegal. This contention of the ld.counsel for the complainant has no merit. Admittedly, on 08.10.2008 Sh.Mohinder Singh, AEE PSEB Sub Urban Sub Division, Moga checked the electric connection in question and found the complainant stealing the electricity by illegal means i.e. by fixing the artificial circuit. The meter was stopped. The electricity was running and meter was not recording the consumption on the spot. The checking was made in the presence of the complainant who duly signed the same. That the checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. Thereafter, memo no.2754 dated 17.11.2008 of provisional order of assessment for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ was served upon the complainant to deposit Rs.24130/- under section 126 of Electricity Act, 2003. To further strengthen the aforesaid allegations against the complainant, the OPs-Board has produced affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.Jaspreet Singh, Sr.XEN, affidavit Ex.R2 of Sh.Mohinder Singh AEE, copy of checking report Ex.R3, copy of notice Ex.R4.
    8. Moreover, the complainant has failed to lead any cogent and convincing evidence to prove that he was not committing ‘theft of electricity’ except his bare affidavit Ex.A1. There is no corroboration to his affidavit that he was not stealing the electricity by illegal means. Moreover, he has reason to give false affidavit in order to save himself from the consequences of being caught red handed while stealing the electricity by illegal means. Thus, no reliance could be placed on his affidavit Ex.A1 and we discard the same. Hence, we hold that the complainant was found committing ‘theft of energy’.
    9. Now the question for determination is whether the complainant can be made liable to pay Rs.24130/- on account of ‘theft of energy’ as per the Electricity Act, 2003. The answer to this question is partly in negative. The OPs-Board has not strictly complied with the provisions of new Electricity Act, 2003. Admittedly, the electric connection installed at the premises of the complainant is domestic. Under section 126 of Electricity Act, 2003 in case of ‘theft of energy’, the domestic consumer at the most can be charged by taking the demand factor of 30%. Copy of checking report Ex.R3 issued by the OPs-Board as well as written reply and affidavit Ex.R1 show that they have charged the impugned amount by taking the demand factor as 100% instead of 30%. Thus, we hold that the impugned demand of Rs.24130/- raised vide memo dated 17.11.2008 from the complainant is liable to be set aside and quashed. However, the OPs-Board can charge the complainant for ‘theft of energy’ by taking the demand factor as 30% under the said Act.
    10. The ld. counsel for the parties did not urge or argue any other point before us.
    11. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the complaint filed by the complainant is partly accepted and the demand of Rs.24130/- raised by the OPs-Board vide memo dated 17.11.2008 from the complainant is set aside and quashed. However, the OPs-Board is entitled to issue fresh notice/ demand on account of ‘theft of energy’ taking the demand factor as 30% and the complainant shall deposit the same within 15 days from the date of receipt of the notice. In case, the complainant has deposited any amount with the OPs-Board in compliance with the interim order dated 12.01.2009 of this Forum, they shall refund/ adjust the excess amount, alongwith interest @ 9% per annum from the date of deposit till its realization. In view of the peculiar circumstances of the case, the parties are left to bear their own costs. Copies of the order be sent to the parties free of cost and thereafter the file be consigned to the record room.

    (Jit Singh Mallah) (J.S.Chawla)
    Member President

    Announced in Open Forum.
    Dated:31.03.2009.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009


    DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, LUDHIANA.

    Complaint no.509 of 7.8.2008. Date of Order 3.3.2009.

    Rajni Rani wife of late S. Amrik Singh H.No.68, Police Colony, Jamalpur, Ludhiana.
    ….Complainant.
    Versus

    1- The Executive Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Focal Point, Ludhiana.
    2- AEE/Commercial, Focal Point Divn. (Spl.) PSEB, Ludhiana.

    ….Opposite parties.

    COMPLAINT UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 1986.
    Quorum:
    Sh. T.N. Vaidya, President.
    Sh. Rajesh Kumar, Member.

    Present: Sh. Kulwinder Singh son of the complainant.
    Sh. T.P.S. Ahluwalia Adv. for opposite parties.

    O R D E R

    T.N. VAIDYA, PRESIDENT:

    1- By way of present complaint under section 12 of the Consumer Protection, 1986, complainant has challenged provisional assessment order u/s 126 (3) of Electricity Act, 2003, vide which opposite party demanded Rs.1405/- from the complainant, for unauthorized use of electricity qua her electric connection bearing account no.HD03/97. The demand is claimed to be illegal, null and void.
    2- Opposite party has justified the demand on assertions that the complainant at the time of checking, was found committing theft of energy. Hence, theft charges through provisional assessment order, assessed and claimed. Also pleaded that complainant is not a consumer, entitled to file complaint.
    3- Parties adduced evidence in support of their respective claims. We have heard son of complainant, ld. counsel for opposite parties and gone through the record.
    4- Apparent that complainant has challenged preliminary assessment order. In our view, such order can not be challenged in the Consumer Fora, in view of the law laid down by the Hon’ble National Commission in a case reported as Jharkhand State Electricity Board & Anr. Vs. Anwar Ali 2008 CTJ-837(CP)(NCDRC, New Delhi). In that case, Hon’ble Supreme Court had directed the National Commission, to deicide whether a person, who has been issued notice u/s 126 of Electricity Act, 2003, is a “consumer”, under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. After discussing the law, Hon’ble National Commission, therein held that a person, who has been issued provisional assessment order u/s 126 of Electricity Act, 2003, is not a “consumer”, for purpose of section 2(i) (d) of Consumer Protection Act, 1986, hence not entitled to file complaint.
    5- In view of above observation, we feel that complainant being not a “consumer” u/s 2(i) (d) of the Consumer Protection Act, is not entitled to file complaint. Hence, on this point, complaint is dismissed. Parties are left to bear own costs. Copy of order be made available to the parties free of charge. File be consigned to record room.
    Announced on 3.3.2009. T.N. Vaidya, President.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, MOGA.
    Complaint No: 176 of 2008
    Instituted On: 12.12.2008
    Date of Service: 12.01.2009
    Decided On: 17.03.2009
    Harjit Singh (aged 32 years) son of Kulwant Singh son of Jarnail Singh resident of village: Lande, Tehsil: Bagha Purana, Distt.Moga.
    …..Complainant.
    Versus
    1. Punjab State Electricity Board, through Secretary, The Mall, Patiala.
    2. Executive Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Bagha Purana.
    3. Sub Divisional Officer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Sub Urban, Sub Division, Bagha Purana.
    ……Opposite Parties.
    Complaint under section 12 of The
    Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
    Quorum: Sh.J.S.Chawla, President.
    Sh.J.S.Mallah, Member.

    Present: Sh.G.S.Gill,Adv.counsel for the complainant.
    Sh.R.K.Goyal, Adv. counsel for the OPs-Board.

    (J.S.CHAWLA, PRESIDENT)
    Sh.Harjit Singh complainant has filed the present complaint under section 12 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (herein-after referred to as ‘Act’) against Punjab State Electricity Board through its Secretary, The Mall, Patiala (herein-after referred to as ‘Board’) and others-opposite parties directing them to quash the demand of Rs.43756/- raised vide bill dated 28.11.2008 and also to pay Rs.20000/- as compensation on account of harassment and mental tension or any other relief to which this Forum may deem fit be granted.


    2. Briefly stated, Sh.Harjit Singh complainant is a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board having domestic electric connection bearing account no.F15AL24/0439W installed at his residential premises with sanctioned load of 2.98 KW in the name of his father Kulwant Singh, who has died on 11.4.2003 and after his death, the complainant has been using the said connection and paying the consumption charges regularly and nothing is due against him. That on 12.4.2008 the complainant received a notice from the OPs-Board vide which they demanded Rs.15290/- by lavelling false allegations of ‘theft of energy’ which he deposited. That now again on 14.11.2008 he received a notice vide which the OPs-Board raised a demand of Rs.43756/- on account of ‘theft of energy’. That the complainant visited the office of the OPs-Board and requested to withdraw the impugned amount, but to no effect. Thereafter, he received a bill dated 28.11.2008 in which the OPs-Board has added the impugned amount of Rs.43756/-. That the complainant never committed ‘theft of energy’. Moreover, no checking of his premises was ever conducted by the OPs-Board. That the aforesaid act and conduct of the OPs-Board has caused great inconvenience, harassment and mental agony to him for which he has claimed Rs.20000/- as compensation beside costs of the litigation. Hence the present complaint.


    3. Notice of the complaint was given to the OPs-Board, who appeared through Sh.R.K.Goyal, Advocate and filed written reply contesting the same. They took up preliminary objections that the complaint is not maintainable in the present form; that the complainant is estopped by his act and conduct to file the present complaint; that the complainant has concealed the true facts from the knowledge of this Forum and that the complainant is not a ‘consumer’ under the Act. On merits, it was averred that the electric connection in question has been installed in the name of Kulwant Singh son of Jarnail Singh and therefore, the complainant is not a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board. In fact, on 12.04.2008 Sh.Amarjit Singh, SDO Sub Urban Division, Bagha Purana checked the electric connection in question in the presence of the complainant and found him stealing the electricity by inserting direct wire from the roof of his house with change over. The checking was made in the presence of the complainant, but he refused to sign the checking report. That the checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. Thereafter, notice dated 12.4.2008 of provisional order of assessment for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ was served upon the complainant to deposit Rs.15290/- under section 126 of Electricity Act, 2003 and the impugned demand raised by them was deposited by the complainant. That the said amount has been calculated taking the load factor as 30%. Thereafter, clarification of Chief Engineer, PSEB Patiala was received vide which in ‘theft cases’ the amount to be calculated was by taking 100% load factor. Accordingly, the audit party vide its half margin no.17 of 9/08 detected this mistake and raised further demand of Rs.43756/- on account of difference of amount of ‘theft of electricity’ vide notice no. 5086 dated 14.11.2008, but the complainant did not deposit the same. Hence, the impugned amount has been added in the consumption bill of the complainant dated 28.11.2008 to which the OPs-Board is legally entitled to recover. All other allegations contained in the complaint were specifically denied being wrong and incorrect. Hence, it was prayed that the complaint filed by the complainant has no merit and it deserves dismissal.



    4. In order to prove his case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit Ex.A1, copy of notice Ex.A2, copy of bill Ex.A3, copy of death certificate Ex.A4 and closed his evidence.


    5. To rebut the evidence of the complainant, the OPs-Board tendered in evidence affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.Amarjit Singh AEE, affidavit Ex.R2 of Sh.M.S.Brar XEN, copy of half margin Ex.R3, copy of report Ex.R4, copy of notice Ex.R5 and closed their evidence.


    6. We have heard the arguments of Sh.G.S.Gill ld. counsel for the complainant and Sh.R.K.Goyal ld. counsel for the OPs-Board and have very carefully perused the evidence on the file.


    7. Sh.R.K.Goyal ld.counsel for the OPs-Board has mainly argued that Harjit Singh complainant is not a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board because the connection in question was issued in the name of Kulwant Singh. This contention of the ld.counsel for the OPs-Board has no force. Admittedly, the electric connection in question was issued in the name of Kulwant Singh father of the complainant who died on 11.4.2003. Copy of his death certificate is Ex.A4. After his death, the connection in question was being used by the complainant being his son who used to pay regularly the consumption charges. This fact has not been controverted by the ld.counsel for the OPs-Board. In view of aforesaid facts and circumstances, we therefore, hold that Harjit Singh complainant being beneficiary is a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board. Our this view stands fortified by our own Hon’ble State Commission, Pb. Chandigarh in Appeal No.218 of 2004 (Ashwani Kumar Vs. PunjabState Electricity Board and Ors.) decided on 16.8.2005. The relevant portion is reproduced as under:-
    “Suffice it to say that in case of Ashwani Kumar he is the owner in possession of the premises though the connection is in the name of Kartar Devi and is actually the consumer of the electricity and therefore, a ‘consumer’’



    8. Sh.G.S.Gill ld.counsel for the complainant has mainly argued that the impugned demand of Rs.43756/- raised vide bill dated 28.11.2008 by the OPs-Board is wrong and illegal because the complainant had already paid Rs.15290/- on 12.4.2008 on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’. This contention of the ld.counsel for the complainant has full force. Admittedly, the OPs-Board found the complainant using the unauthorized electricity and vide notice dated 12.4.2008 he was directed to pay Rs.15290/- which he deposited on 12.4.2008.


    9. Now it is contended by ld.counsel for the OPs-Board that they have charged the complainant for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 30% load factor whereas he was to be charged by taking 100% load factor. This contention of the ld.counsel for the OPs-Board has no merit. Circular 53/2006 of the OPs-Board shows that in cases of theft/ unauthorized use of electricity, a domestic consumer can be charged by taking 30% load factor. The case of the complainant who is a domestic consumer does not fall under direct theft mentioned in category ‘e’ of rule (1) of said circular. Thus, the OPs-Board has wrongly issued the fresh notice to him directing to pay the difference of the amount on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 100% load factor instead of 30% already charged.



    . Moreover, the OPs-Board is estopped by their act and conduct to raise the impugned demand when they have already charged the complainant for ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ by taking 30% load factor. Hence, the OPs-Board has wrongly and illegally issued the impugned notice to the complainant to pay the difference of charges on account of ‘unauthorized use of electricity’. Thus, there is deficiency in service on the part of the OPs-Board in demanding the impugned amount and we quash and set aside the same.



    11. To prove the aforesaid contention, the complainant produced his affidavit Ex.A1, copy of notice Ex.A2, copy of bill Ex.A3, copy of death certificate Ex.A4 and we believe and rely upon the same. On the other hand, no reliance could be placed on affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.Amarjit Singh AEE, affidavit Ex.R2 of Sh.M.S.Brar XEN and documents Ex.R3 to Ex.R5 and we discard the same.



    12. The ld. counsel for the parties did not urge or argue any other point before us.


    13. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the complaint filed by the complainant has merit and the same is accepted. Hence, the impugned demand of Rs.43756/- raised by the OPs-Board vide bill dated 28.11.2008 is set aside and quashed. However, the OPs-Board shall refund/adjust the amount (as per the desire of the complainant), if any, deposited by the complainant as per interim order of this Forum dated 15.12.2008 alongwith interest @ 9% per annum from the date of deposit till its realisation. Keeping in view the peculiar circumstances of the case, the parties are left to bear their own costs. Copies of the order be sent to the parties free of cost and thereafter the file be consigned to the record room.

    (Jit Singh Mallah) (J.S.Chawla)
    Member President

    Announced in Open Forum.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, MOGA.
    Complaint No: 143 of 2008
    Instituted On: 10.10.2008
    Date of Service: 14.11.2008
    Decided On:19.03.2009
    Jaswant Singh (aged 42 years) son of Sh.Bhogh Singh, resident of village: Dhalle Ke, Tehsil & Distt.Moga.
    Complainant.
    Versus
    1. Punjab State Electricity Board through its Chairman, The Mall, Patiala.
    2. Asstt. Executive Engineer, Northern Sub Division, Punjab State Electricity Board, Moga.
    Opposite Parties.
    Complaint under section 12 of The
    Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
    Quorum: Sh.J.S.Chawla, President.
    Sh.Jit Singh Mallah, Member.

    Present: Sh.G.S.Brar, Adv.counsel for complainant.
    Sh.Satvir Singh, Adv. counsel for OPs.

    (J.S.CHAWLA, PRESIDENT)
    Sh.Jaswant Singh complainant has filed the present complaint under section 12 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (herein-after referred to as ‘Act’) against Punjab State Electricity Board through its Chairman and another-opposite parties (herein-after referred to as ‘Board’) directing them to withdraw the illegal and unlawful demand of Rs.57048/- raised vide memo no.2230 dated 25.09.2008 and also to pay Rs.20000/- as compensation for causing mental tension and harassment beside Rs.5000/- as costs of litigation.



    2. Briefly stated, Sh.Jaswant Singh complainant is a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board having domestic electric connection bearing account no.DH62/0987 installed at his residential premises with sanctioned load of 2.86 KW. That he had been paying the consumption charges regularly and nothing is due against him. That the complainant received a memo no. 2230 dated 25.09.2008 from the OPs-Board vide which they raised a demand of Rs.57048/- on account of ‘theft of energy’. That the complainant never used the electricity by illegal means. That the complainant approached the office of OPs-Board time and again and requested to withdraw the impugned demand, but to no effect. That the impugned demand is altogether wrong and illegal and in gross violation of prescribed rules and regulations of the OPs-Board. That the aforesaid act and conduct of the OPs-Board had caused great inconvenience, harassment and mental agony to him for which he had claimed Rs.20000/- as compensation beside costs of the litigation. Hence the present complaint.



    3. Notice of the complaint was given to the OPs-Board, who appeared through Sh.Satvir Singh, Advocate and filed written reply contesting the same. They took up preliminary objections that the complaint is not maintainable in the present form; that the complainant is estopped by his act and conduct from filing the present complaint and that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the OPs-Board. In fact, on 29.08.2008 Sh.Davinder Singh, JE North Sub Division, Moga checked the electric connection in question and found the complainant using the electric supply by illegal means i.e. by applying direct kundi over the room by bye-passing the meter. The meter was not working on the spot and the checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. That the checking was conducted in the presence of representative of the complainant, but he refused to sign the checking report. Thereafter, notice no.2230 dated 25.09.2008 was issued to the complainant raising a demand of Rs.57048/- on account of ‘theft of energy’ under Electricity Act, 2003 to which the OPs-Board is legally entitled to recover. On merits, the OPs-Board took up the same and similar plea as taken up by them in preliminary objections. All other allegations contained in the complaint were specifically denied being wrong and incorrect. Hence, it was prayed that the complaint filed by the complainant has no merit and it deserves dismissal.



    4. In order to prove his case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit Ex.A1, copy of notice Ex.A2 and closed his evidence.


    5. To rebut the evidence of the complainant, the OPs-Board tendered in evidence affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.S.S.Sandhu, Sr.XEN, affidavit Ex.R2 of Davinder Singh, JE, copy of checking report Ex.R3, copy of notice Ex.R4 and closed their evidence.



    6. We have heard the arguments of Sh.G.S.Brar ld. counsel for the complainant and Sh.Satvir Singh ld. counsel for the OPs-Board and have very carefully perused the evidence on the file.



    7. Sh.G.S.Brar ld.counsel for the complainant has mainly argued that the impugned demand of Rs.57048- raised vide memo dated 25.09.2008 by the OPs-Board is wrong and illegal. This contention of the ld.counsel for the complainant has no merit. Admittedly, on 29.08.2008 Sh.Davinder Singh, JE North Sub Division, Moga checked the electric connection in question and found the complainant using the electric supply by illegal means i.e by applying direct kundi over the room by bye-passing the meter. The meter was not working on the spot and the checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. The checking was conducted in the presence of representative of the complainant, but he refused to sign the checking report. They prepared detailed report on the spot and on the basis of the said checking report, notice no.2230 dated 25.09.2008 was issued to the complainant raising a demand of Rs.57048/- on account of ‘theft of energy’ under Electricity Act, 2003. To further strengthen the aforesaid allegations against the complainant, the OPs-Board has produced affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.S.S.Sandhu, Sr.XEN, affidavit Ex.R2 of Davinder Singh, JE, copy of checking report Ex.R3, copy of notice Ex.R4.



    8. Further, the complainant has failed to lead any cogent and convincing evidence to prove that he was not committing ‘theft of electricity’ except his bare affidavit Ex.A1. There is no corroboration to his affidavit that he was not stealing the electricity by illegal means. Moreover, he has reason to give false affidavit in order to save himself from the consequences of being caught red handed while stealing the electricity by illegal means. Thus, no reliance could be placed on his affidavit Ex.A1 and we discard the same. Hence, we hold that the complainant was found committing ‘theft of energy’.



    9. Now the question for determination is whether the complainant can be made liable to pay Rs.57048/- on account of ‘theft of energy’ as per the Electricity Act, 2003. The answer to this question is partly in negative. The OPs-Board has not strictly complied with the provisions of new Electricity Act, 2003. Admittedly, the electric connection installed at the premises of the complainant is domestic. Under section 126 of Electricity Act, 2003 in case of ‘theft of energy’, the domestic consumer at the most can be charged by taking the demand factor of 30%. Copy of checking report Ex.R3 issued by the OPs-Board as well as written reply and affidavit Ex.R1 show that they have charged the impugned amount by taking the demand factor as 100% instead of 30%. Thus, we hold that the impugned demand of Rs.57048/- raised vide memo dated 25.09.2008 from the complainant is liable to be set aside and quashed. However, the OPs-Board can charge the complainant for ‘theft of energy’ by taking the demand factor as 30% under the said Act.


    10. The ld. counsel for the parties did not urge or argue any other point before us.


    11. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the complaint filed by the complainant is partly accepted and the demand of Rs.57048/- raised by the OPs-Board vide memo dated 25.09.2008 from the complainant is set aside and quashed. However, the OPs-Board is entitled to issue fresh notice/ demand on account of ‘theft of energy’ taking the demand factor as 30% and the complainant shall deposit the same within 15 days from the date of receipt of the notice. In view of the peculiar circumstances of the case, the parties are left to bear their own costs. Copies of the order be sent to the parties free of cost and thereafter the file be consigned to the record room.


    (Jit Singh Mallah) (J.S.Chawla)
    Member President
    Announced in Open Forum.
    Dated:19.03.2009.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, MOGA.
    Complaint No: 172 of 2008
    Instituted On: 08.12.2008
    Date of Service: 07.01.2009
    Decided On:16.03.2009
    Baljinder Singh (aged 32 years) son of Sh.Gurdial Singh son of Vir Singh, resident of House No. 568/19, Street No.4, Ahata Badan Singh, Moga, Distt.Moga.
    Complainant.
    Versus
    1. Punjab State Electricity Board through its Secretary, The Mall, Patiala.
    2. Executive Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Moga.
    3. Sub Divisional Officer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Sub Urban, Moga.
    Opposite Parties.
    Complaint under section 12 of The
    Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
    Quorum: Sh.J.S.Chawla, President.
    Sh.Jit Singh Mallah, Member.

    Present: Sh.B.S.Gill, Adv.counsel for complainant.
    Sh.S.K.Dhir, Adv. counsel for OPs.

    (J.S.CHAWLA, PRESIDENT)
    Sh.Baljinder Singh complainant has filed the present complaint under section 12 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (herein-after referred to as ‘Act’) against Punjab State Electricity Board through its Secretary and others-opposite parties (herein-after referred to as ‘Board’) directing them to withdraw the illegal and unlawful demand of Rs.43137/- raised vide memo no.2153 dated 4.9.2008 and thereafter added the impugned amount in his consumption bill dated 15.11.2008 as sundry charges and also to pay Rs.10000/- as compensation for causing mental tension and harassment or any other relief to which this Forum may deem fit be granted.


    2. Briefly stated, Sh.Baljinder Singh complainant is a ‘consumer’ of the OPs-Board having domestic electric connection bearing account no.F25AB02/0427M installed at his residential premises with sanctioned load of 1.00 KW. That he had been paying the consumption charges regularly and nothing is due against him. That the complainant received a memo no. 2153 dated 4.9.2008 from the OPs-Board vide which they raised a demand of Rs.43137/- on account of ‘theft of energy’. Thereafter, the impugned amount of Rs.43137/- has been added by the OPs-Board in his consumption bill dated 15.11.2008 as sundry charges. That the complainant never used the electricity by illegal means. That the complainant approached the office of OPs-Board time and again and requested to withdraw the impugned demand, but to no effect. That the impugned demand is altogether wrong and illegal and in gross violation of prescribed rules and regulations of the OPs-Board. That the aforesaid act and conduct of the OPs-Board had caused great inconvenience, harassment and mental agony to him for which he had claimed Rs.10000/- as compensation beside costs of the litigation. Hence the present complaint.



    3. Notice of the complaint was given to the OPs-Board, who appeared through Sh.S.K.Dhir, Advocate and filed written reply contesting the same. They took up preliminary objections that the complaint is not maintainable in the present form; that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the OPs-Board and that the complainant has concealed the true and hard facts from the knowledge of this Forum. In fact, on 23.08.2008 Sh.Amarjit Singh, SDO, PSEB Kot Ise Khan checked the electric connection in question and found the complainant using the electric supply by illegal means i.e by fixing the direct wire by removing the wire of terminal phase and same was fixed directly. The meter was not working on the spot and the checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. That the checking was conducted in the presence of the complainant, who duly signed the checking report. Thereafter, notice no.2153 dated 4.9.2008 was issued to the complainant raising a demand of Rs.43137/- on account of ‘theft of energy’, but he did not pay the same. Thereafter, the impugned amount has been added in his consumption bill dated 15.11.2008, to which the OPs-Board is legally entitled to recover. On merits, the OPs-Board took up the same and similar plea as taken up by them in preliminary objections. All other allegations contained in the complaint were specifically denied being wrong and incorrect. Hence, it was prayed that the complaint filed by the complainant has no merit and it deserves dismissal.



    4. In order to prove his case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit Ex.A1, copy of notice Ex.A2, copies of bills alongwith receipts Ex.A3 to Ex.A9 and closed his evidence.



    5. To rebut the evidence of the complainant, the OPs-Board tendered in evidence affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.Jaspreet Singh Sran, Sr.XEN, affidavit Ex.R2 of Amarjit Singh SDO, copy of checking report Ex.R3, copy of notice Ex.R4 and closed their evidence.


    6. We have heard the arguments of Sh.B.S.Gill ld. counsel for the complainant and Sh.S.K.Dhir ld. counsel for the OPs-Board and have very carefully perused the evidence on the file.



    7. Sh.B.S.Gill ld.counsel for the complainant has mainly argued that the impugned demand of Rs.43137- raised vide memo dated 4.9.2008 and thereafter added the same in consumption bill dated 15.11.2008 by the OPs-Board is wrong and illegal. This contention of the ld.counsel for the complainant has no merit. Admittedly, on 23.08.2008 Sh.Amarjit Singh, SDO, PSEB Kot Ise Khan checked the electric connection in question and found the complainant using the electric supply by illegal means i.e by fixing the direct wire by removing the wire of terminal phase and same was fixed directly. The meter was not working on the spot and the checking authority declared it as a case of ‘theft of energy’. That the checking was conducted in the presence of the complainant, who duly signed the checking report. They prepared detailed report on the spot and on the basis of the said checking report, the demand of Rs.43137- was raised from the complainant. To further strengthen the aforesaid allegations against the complainant, the OPs-Board has produced affidavit Ex.R1 of Sh.Jaspreet Singh Sran, Sr.XEN, affidavit Ex.R2 of Amarjit Singh SDO, copy of checking report Ex.R3, copy of notice Ex.R4.



    8. Further, the complainant has failed to lead any cogent and convincing evidence to prove that he was not committing ‘theft of electricity’ except his bare affidavit Ex.A1. There is no corroboration to his affidavit that he was not stealing the electricity by illegal means. Moreover, he has reason to give false affidavit in order to save himself from the consequences of being caught red handed while stealing the electricity by illegal means. Thus, no reliance could be placed on his affidavit Ex.A1 and we discard the same.



    9. Now the question for determination is whether the complainant is liable to pay Rs.43137/- on account of ‘theft of energy’ as per the Electricity Act, 2003. The answer to this question is partly in negative. The OPs-Board has not strictly complied with the provisions of new Electricity Act, 2003. Admittedly, the electric connection installed at the premises of the complainant is domestic. Under section 126 of Electricity Act, 2003 in case of ‘theft of energy’, the domestic consumer at the most can be charged by taking the demand factor of 30%. Copy of checking report Ex.R3 issued by the OPs-Board as well as written reply and affidavit Ex.R1 show that they have charged the impugned amount by taking the demand factor as 100% instead of 30%. Thus, we are of the opinion that the impugned demand of Rs.43137- raised vide bill dated 15.11.2008 from the complainant is liable to be set aside and quashed. However, the OPs-Board can charge the complainant for ‘theft of energy’ by taking the demand factor as 30% under the said Act.


    10. The ld. counsel for the parties did not urge or argue any other point before us.



    11. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the complaint filed by the complainant is partly accepted and the demand of Rs.43137/- raised by the OPs-Board vide bill dated 15.11.2008 from the complainant is set aside and quashed. However, the OPs-Board is entitled to issue fresh notice/ demand on account of ‘theft of energy’ taking the demand factor as 30% and the complainant shall deposit the same within 15 days from the date of receipt of the notice. In view of the peculiar circumstances of the case, the parties are left to bear their own costs. Copies of the order be sent to the parties free of cost and thereafter the file be consigned to the record room.


    (Jit Singh Mallah) (J.S.Chawla)
    Member President
    Announced in Open Forum.
    Dated:16.03.2009.
  • adminadmin Administrator
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    4

    DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM,
    BATHINDA (PUNJAB)


    CC. No. 246 of 10-09-2008
    Decided on : 17-03-2009












    Gurcharan Singh S/o Sh. Mohinder Singh R/o Village Laleana, Tehsil Talwandi Sabo, District Bathinda. ... Complainant
    Versus


    1. Punjab State Electricity Board, The Mall, Patiala, through its Secretary.
    2. A.E.E./S.D.O. Punjab State Electricity Board, Sub Division, Raman Mandi, Tehsil Talwandi Sabo, District Bathinda.
    ... Opposite parties

    Complaint under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection
    Act, 1986.


    QUORUM


    Sh. Pritam Singh Dhanoa, President
    Dr.Phulinder Preet, Member
    Sh. Amarjeet Paul, Member

    Present : Sh. Gurdeep Singh, Advocate, counsel for the complainant
    Sh. J.P.S. Brar, Advocate, counsel for the opposite parties

    O R D E R


    SH. PRITAM SINGH DHANOA, PRESIDENT
    1. This complaint has been filed by Sh. Gurcharan Singh son of Sh. Mohinder Singh, resident of Village Laleana, Tehsil Talwandi Sabo, District Bathinda, against Punjab State Electricity Board through its Secretary and Assistant Executive Engineer, Sub Division, Raman Mandi, under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (in short called the 'Act') for setting aside impugned bill and refund of the amount deposited by him in terms of the same alongwith interest at the rate of 18 percent per annum and for payment of compensation in the sum of Rs. 50,000/- and costs in the sum of Rs. 5000/-.
    2. Briefly stated the case of the complainant is that he secured electric connection bearing account No. B52LN/530008A for his residential house for domestic purposes. He has been regularly making payment of amount of bills drawn upon him by the opposite parties for electricity consumed by him through electric meter. As such, he is consumer under them. The opposite parties have served bill dated 31-08-2008 upon the complainant raising demand of Rs. 27,630/-, which includes a sum of Rs. 26,910/- charged on account of sundry charges without assigning any reason for charing the said amount. On protest, the officials posted in the office of the opposite party No. 2, about the excessive demand raised on account of sundry charges in the bill, they threatened him to deposit the said amount failing which to face disconnection of electric connection. The demand raised by the opposite parties on account of sundry charges is illegal and arbitrary as neither any commercial activity is done by the complainant in his house nor any official of the opposite parties has ever reported theft of electric energy by them. They have neither removed the electric meter installed in the house of the complainant nor have replaced the same with any other electric meter for checking its accuracy. Infact no checking has been done by the officials of the opposite parties and no notice has been served upon the complainant and have not afforded him opportunity of being heard before service of notice raising demand through the impugned bill on account of sundry charges. Even demand notice has not been served upon him. The complainant has suffered physical and mental harassment due to raising of excessive demand by the opposite parties who have failed to withdraw the bill and to issue the same on the basis of actual consumption recorded by the electric meter. Hence this complaint.
    3. On being put to notice, opposite parties filed written version resisting the complaint by taking preliminary objections that this Forum has no jurisdiction to entertain and try the complaint; that complainant has suppressed material facts and has not approached this Forum with clean hands, as such he is not entitled to release of connection; that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties and complainant is not consumer under them and his complaint being false and vexatious, is liable to be dismissed with compensatory costs. On merits, it is admitted that electric meter in question has been installed in the house of the complainant but it is denied that he has been regularly making payment of electricity bills drawn on him by the opposite parties for consumption of electric energy. However, it is admitted that bill dated 31-08-2008 in the sum of Rs. 27,630/- has been served upon the complainant because he was caught indulging in theft of electric energy by stopping his meter by using illegal method on 27-12-2008 by Sh. Parampal Singh,. Assistant Executive Engineer and other employees of the board. It is submitted that meter installed in the premises of the complainant was replaced, but it is denied that demand raised in the bill of sundry charges is illegal and arbitrary. Rest of the averments made in the complaint have been denied and prayer has been made for dismissal of the same with costs.
    4. On being called upon, by this Forum, to do so, the learned counsel for the complainant tendered affidavits of complainant Ex. C-1 & Ex. C-8 and affidavits of Sh. Baltej Singh and Sh. Pritam Singh Ex. C-2 & Ex. C-3 respectively, and copies of documents Ex. C-4 to Ex. C-7 and Ex. C-9, before he closed his evidence. On other hand, learned counsel for the opposite parties tendered in evidence affidavits of Sarav Shri Parampal Singh, and Harmesh Singh, Sub Divisional Officers and of Sh. Sukhdev Singh, Junior Engineer Ex. R-1 to Ex. R-3 respectively, and photocopies of documents Ex. R-4 to Ex. R-6 before he closed their evidence.
    5. We have heard, learned counsel for the parties and perused the oral and documentary evidence adduced on record by them, carefully, with their kind assistance.
    6. As per admitted facts electric connection bearing Account No.B 52 LN/530008 A, has been installed in the house of the complainant for residential purposes. The plea of the opposite parties that he has not been regularly making payment of the bills drawn upon him, is not corroborated by any evidence whereas the complainant has affirmed on sole affirmation in his affidavit Ex. C-8, that he has been regularly making payment of amount of electricity bills drawn upon him. The opposite parties have also not disputed the fact that electric meter is installed in the name of the complainant in his house, as such, he is consumer of electricity under them. It is also admitted fact that demand on account of sundry charges in the sum of Rs. 26,910/- has been raised by the opposite parties on the complainant vide impugned bill dated 31.08-2008.
    7. Learned counsel for the complainant Sh. Gurdeep Singh, Advocate, has reiterated the allegations made in the complaint regarding non-compliance of rules on the subject framed by the board on the part of the opposite parties and has argued that checking has neither been done in his presence nor checking report bears his signatures or the signatures of his representative. Learned counsel further submitted that there is no proof of supply of copy of checking report and service of notice upon the complainant before issuance of impugned bill and the affidavits filed on behalf of the opposite parties about the manner in which complainant was found committing theft of electric energy is beyond the scope of pleadings and those officials have neither removed, packed or sealed the meter installed in the house of the complainant nor got checked the same from M.E. Laboratory in the presence of the complainant after service of prior notice, as such, demand raised by the opposite parties on account of sundry charges through impugned bill is illegal due to which complainant has been subjected to mental and physical harassment. In support of his contentions, learned counsel placed reliance on 2006 (IV) CPJ 193 HSWEB (Now HVPN) & Ors – wherein opposite parties failed to prove theft of electric energy by tampering with the meter installed in the premises of respondent. It was held by the Hon'ble Union Territory State Commission, Chandigarh, that merely because of M & T seals were tampered with and terminal seal was missing, case of theft of energy is not made out. It is further held that it is incumbent upon the opposite parties to install parallel meter and note difference in energy consumed in both the meters. Since the electric meter was also not got checked from M.E. Laboratory, to prove slow running and not functioning, as such, penalty imposed on the complainant by the opposite parties was quashed. Learned counsel urged that direction be given to the opposite parties to withdraw the impugned bill and issue fresh one on the basis of actual consumption of electric energy and also to pay him compensation and costs as prayed for in the complaint.
    8. On the other hand, Sh. J.P.S. Brar, Advocate, learned counsel for the opposite parties, has submitted that complainant was caught stealing electric energy by the checking team of the board at the time of inspection of his premises, by using a piece of X-ray film. Learned counsel argued that officials of the opposite parties comprising checking team, have furnished their affidavits and complainant has not alleged any enmity on their part towards him whereas amount has been calculated on the basis of rules on the subject, as such, demand raised by the opposite parties, after service of notice upon the complainant, is legal and valid. Learned counsel has also argued that checking has been done of the premises of the complainant in his presence, but he refused to append his signatures on the checking report, as such, there is no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties and complainant is not entitled to grant of reliefs prayed for.
    9. We do not find merit in the argument advanced by the learned counsel for the opposite parties because there is no plea in the written version filed by them that checking of electric meter installed in the premises of the complainant was done in his presence. There is also no note on the checking report Ex. R-4, to the effect that complainant was present at the time of checking, but he refused to affix his signatures and to receive the copy thereof. The copy of checking report brought on record by the opposite parties does not bear the signatures of the complainant or his representative. As such, it is unilateral document. It also does bear the signatures of assessing officer and details of evidence collected by the checking team. There is no document showing that copy of checking report Ex. R-4 and show cause notice Ex. R-5, were sent to the complainant through registered post or any other means. The officials of the board comprising checking team were under obligation to affix the copy of checking report in/outside his house and to send the same subsequently through registered post. The sealed meter has been produced before this Forum but the piece of X-ray film used by him for stopping the electric meter, installed in his premises, has not been produced. The factum of theft cannot be presumed by us on the basis of affidavits of the officials of the board comprising checking team, tendered in evidence by the opposite parties, even if, no enmity has been proved or alleged on their part toward the complainant because there is non-compliance of rules framed by the board on the subject on their part. In the impugned bill, no reason has been assigned for claiming the amount of Rs. 26,910/- on account of 'sundry charges'. The principles of natural justice demand that no person shall be condemned unheard. Since the factum of service of prior notice has not been proved and there is no other evidence on record to show that opportunity of being heard was provided to the complainant, before raising of demand by the opposite parties on account of sundry charges in the impugned bill, therefore, said demand, in our opinion is illegal and is not sustainable and there is deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties because of which complainant has been subjected to mental and physical harassment and has to incur expenditure in filing of the complaint.
    10. For the aforesaid reasons, we accept the complaint and direct the opposite parties not to disconnect the electric supply to the house of the complainant due to non-deposit of the amount of Rs. 26,910/-, demanded through impugned bill dated 31-08-2008 on account of 'sundry charges'. The opposite parties are directed to refund Rs. 10,000/- if paid by the complainant, in terms of Interim order dated 02-12-2008 passed by this Forum, after deduction of amount of impugned bill payable on the basis of actual reading including miscellaneous charges, electricity duty and octroi etc., within a period of two months from the date of receipt of copy of this order alongwith interest at the rate of 9 percent from the date of deposit till the date of actual payment and costs in the sum of Rs. 1,000/-. The copies of this order be sent to the parties, free of costs as per rules, on the subject.
    File be indexed and consigned.

    Pronounced :
    17-03-2009 (Pritam Singh Dhanoa)
    President




    (Dr. Phulinder Preet)
    Member
    (Amarjeet Paul )

    Member
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    ORDER

    Present : Sh. Mukesh Gupta counsel for the complainant. Sh. Kuldeep Singh Bawa counsel for opposite parties. ORDER (SMT. SHASHI NARANG MEMBER.) Brief facts of the complaint are that complainant had got electric connection bearing A/C No. X12MS120132Y installed in his Feed factory in Factory Area, Kapurthala. He has been paying the electricity bills regularly to the opposite parties. That on 1/11/2008, C.T. P.T. of the meter was seriously burnt due to explosion. He informed opposite party No.2 in this respect and asked them to do the needful as the factory of the complainant stand still due to this explosion.


    That on 3/11/2008 employees of the opposite parties came to the premises of the complainant and found that C.T. P.T. of the meter has been burnt and they sent the MCB and the CT/PT unit in open condition to opposite party NO.2. He approached office of opposite party NO.2 who asked him to pay Rs.38000/- to get the supply of electricity in working condition and for installation of new CT/PT of the meter but complainant opposed the said unlawful demand of the opposite party.

    As he was suffering financial loss of Rs.1 lac per day due to non supply of electricity, he deposited Rs.38000/- with the opposite party vide cheque No.819171 dated 3/11/2008 and after four days opposite party installed new CT/PT of the meter. Hence the complainant suffered huge financial loss at the hands of opposite party. 2. Notice of the complaint was sent to the opposite party who file written statement through counsel in which certain preliminary objections have been raised that complainant has no cause of action to file the present complaint.. The complainant due to his misdeeds has burnt CT/PT unit which was of ISI mark and was of very good quality. Sr. Executive Engineer Enforcement, PSEB, Kapurthala visited the premises of the complainant on 3/11/2008 in his presence and found that door of the meter box was burnt and red phase of the CT unit was damaged and ordered to replace CT/PT unit.

    Complainant also signed and received the copy of checking at the spot,. . Accordingly an estimate was prepared by Sub Division which was sanctioned by the Division office vide No.83442 for Rs.51250 and sent the same vide memo No.14587 dated 3/11/2008 to City Sub Division NO.1 Kapurthala. The JE withdrew the CT/PT unit from the store on 4/11/2004 vide Sr. No.49/15441 and installed the same in the premises of the complainant on 4/11/2008 vide SJO No.20/54722 by Paramjit Kumar JE and seals were affixed by opposite party NO.2 on 4/11/2008 vide MSR No.239/50 and the complainant signed the MSR. Complainant deposited Rs.38000/- by his own with the Sub Division, The Sub Division received the store rate list according to which cost of CT/PT unit was Rs.28500/-, so the Sub division rightly adjusted Rs.9500/- in the account of the complainant.

    Thus there is no deficiency in service on the part of opposite parties. 3. In support of his version complainant has produced in evidence affidavit and documents Ex.C1 to C5. 4. On the other hand opposite parties produced in evidence affidavit and documents Ex.R1 to R9. 5. We have heard arguments of learned counsel for the parties and perused ocular as well as documentary evidence on the record. Learned counsel for complainant has argued that complainant got electric connection bearing A/C No.X12MS120132Y and on 1/11/2008 because of inferior quality CT/PT installed with the meter damaged and on 2/11/2008, opposite party No.2 was informed telephonically about whole incident.


    Counsel for complainant has further argued that on 3/11/2008, employees of the opposite party came to the premises of the complainant who found that CT/PT of the meter has been burnt. Thereafter complainant approached office of opposite party NO.2 and on their asking, complainant deposited Rs.38000/- with opposite party No.2 to get supply of electricity in working condition. It was alleged by counsel for the complainant that the opposite party no.2 during the pendency of the complaint has returned partial amount of Rs..9500 to th account of the complainant .

    It has been further argued that since CT/PT is part of electric meter and opposite parties have collecting rent of the meter from the complainant, hence unlawful collection of Rs.38000/- from the complainant clearly amounts to deficiency in service. On the other hand counsel for opposite parties has counter-argued that complainant has no cause of action to file the present complaint as due to his misdeeds, he has burnt CT/PT unit which was of ISI mark and was of very good quality.


    Sr. Executive Engineer Enforcement, PSEB, Kapurthala visited the premises of the complainant on 3/11/2008 in his presence and found that door of the meter box was burnt and red phase of the CT unit was damaged and ordered to replace the same and accordingly estimate was prepared by the JE of the opposite parties to withdraw CT/PT unit from the departmental store. Counsel for opposite parties has further argued that meanwhile complainant deposited Rs.38000/- with opposite party NO.2 and afterwards on receiving store rate list according to which cost of CT/PT unit was Rs.28500/-, opposite party No.2 rightly adjusted Rs.9500/- in the account of the complainant.

    Thus there is no deficiency in service on the part of opposite parties and complainant is not entitled to any relief. We have considered rival contentions of counsel for the parties. Admittedly complainant has got the electric meter bearing A/C No. X12MS120132Y installed in his feed factory and it is also not disputed that 11 KV CT/PT unit installed with the electric meter was damaged on 1/11/2008. In order to prove its case, opposite parties have produced Ex.R1 which is checking report dated 3/11/2008 of XEN Enforcement Unit Kapurthala and as per observations recorded on the checking report, CT/PT are shown as damaged due to explosion. Ex.R2 is requisite sanctioned estimate amounting to Rs.51250/- indicating tentative cost for installation of new CT/PT unit.


    As per the record, complainant on 2/11/2008 informed opposite party No.2 telephonically about the incident who also approached his office and was asked to pay amount of Rs.38000/- to get the electric supply restored who made thos payment to the opposite party vide cheque No.819171 dated 3/11/2008 drawn over Canara Bank, MDSD Branch, Kapurthala. and after the replacement of damaged CT/PT unit the supply of the complainant was restored on 4/11/2008 by the opposite party No.2 In view of clause No.66.2 of th Electricity Supply Regulations 2005 amended upto 31/12/2004 " if 11 KV CT/PT unit is damaged, full cost is to be recovered before replacing the damaged CT/PT unit, cost to be recovered shall be as per cost of CT/PT unit circulated from time to time. The damaged CT/PT unit initially installed at the premises of the complainant by the opposite parties was in healthy condition of ISI mark.


    On receiving the store rate list from the store the cost of CT/PT unit was noticed as Rs.28500/-. accordingly opposite party No.2 rightly adjusted Rs.9500/- in the account of the complainant, Whereas in case of exegesis the supply could be made direct in case of LS consumers with permission of respective Chief Engineer (OP) as per clause No.67.7 said Regulation read with Supply Code framed by PSEREC 21.4 (e) .but opposite parties are quite silent for not following the same. The cost of CT/PT unit recovered by the opposite parties from the complainant under the Regulation referred above is quite justified and the complaint is hereby dismissed. Parties are left to bear their own costs.

    Opposite party No.1 Chairman PSEB Patiala is at liberty to investigate the matter for not restoring supply of the complainant by the opposite party No.2 for four days thereby causing harassment and to compensate loss of Rs.4 lacs as alleged by the complainant .

  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    ORDER


    Brief facts of the cas e are that complainant is consumer of the opposite parties having electric connection bearing A/c No.X15GS330265X and is having meter No.116534 with connected load of 3.59 KW and has been paying electricity bills regularly. It is further alleged that there is rare use of electricity as the complainant visits only after fifteen days n a month for a day or so.. It is further alleged that in the month of September 2008 some unknown persons visited the house of the complainant who forcibly entered in th house and took away the electric meter which was installed in the house of the complainant and further threatened wife of the complainant and got her signatures on blank paper.

    Thaman Singh father of the complainant signed other documents under fear but on the evening from the said officials it came to the light they had visited to teach lsson for previous complaint against them and after removing the meter, new meter was installed at the spot and on 24/2/2008, wife of complainant received registered letter bearing No.2040 dated 18/12/2008 raising demand of Rs.21427/- regarding theft of electricity. Complainant howver, made complaint to DSP Sultanpur Lodhi against opposite party No.3 and other employees for illegally entering in the house of the complainant.

    Counsel for complainant also argued that there is deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of opposite parties and has suffered mental tension, agony and harassment at the hands of opposite parties due to their illegal acts against which he is entitled to the reliefs claimed.

    2. Notice of the complaint was sent to the opposite parties who appeared through counsel and filed written statement. It is pleaded that concerned SDO opposite party No.2 alongwith Gurpreet Singh Lineman checked the electric connection of the complainant on 17/12/2008 in the presence of father of complainant and wife of complainant. It was further argued that complainant has tampered with both M & T seals of the meter and after removing lash wire from the seals opened the meter after removing meter cup and has tampered with the internal mechanism of the meter so that meter may not record actual consumption and again complainant very cleverly united the lash wire with the help of some adhesive i.e. Elphy. Counsel for opposite parties has argued that Thaman Singh signed on the checking report after admitting it correct and received copy of checking report at the spot Thus was committing theft of energy by way of suppressing actual consumption.



    Thereafter assessment order vide memo No.2040 dated 18/12/2008 was issued to the complainant for deposit of Rs.21427/- as compensation amount of theft of energy and a separate letter vide memo No. 2071 dated 23/12/2008 was sent to SHO PS Sultanpur Lodhi for registration of case.

    Consumption data also reveals that complainant was committing theft of electric energy. 3. In support of his version complainat has produced in evidence affidavit and documents Ex.C1 to C13. 4. On the other hand opposite parties produced in evidence affidavits and documents Ex.R1 to R17. 5. We have heard arguments of learned counsel for the parties and perused ocular as well as documentary evidence on the record.

    Counsel for the complainant ha argued before us that complainant is having electric connection bearing No.X15GS330265X with connected load of 3.59 KW for domestic use and has been making payments of electricity bills regularly as per consumption and as per demand raised by the opposite parties.

    It is alleged that complainant is a Punjab Govt. employee and is posted at Jalandhar since for the last 20 years and never continuously resides at the place of meter is installed. It was further argued that in the month of Sept.2008 some unknown persons visited the house of the complainant who forcibly entered in th house and took away the electric meter which was installed in the house of the complainant and further threatened wife of the complainant and got her signatures on blank paper.

    Thaman Singh father of the complainant signed other documents under fear but on the evening from the said officials it came to the light they had visited to teach lsson for previous complaint against them and after removing the meter, new meter was installed at the spot and on 24/12/2008, wife of complainant received registered letter bearing No.2040 dated 18/12/2008 raising demand of Rs.21427/- regarding theft of electricity. Complainant howver, made complaint to DSP Sultanpur Lodhi against opposite party No.3 and other employees for illegally entering in the house of the complainant. Counsel for complainant also argued that there is deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of opposite parties and has suffered mental tension, agony and harassment at the hands of opposite parties due to their illegal acts.


    6. On the other hand counsel for the opposite parties has argued that concerned SDO opposite party No.2 alongwith Gurpreet Singh Lineman checked the electric connection of the complainant on 17/12/2008 in the presence of father of complainant and wife of complainant. It was further argued that complainant has tampered with both M & T seals of the meter and after removing lash wire from the seals opened the meter after removing meter cup and has tampered with the internal mechanism of the meter so that meter may not record actual consumption and again complainant very cleverly united the lash wire with the help of some adhesive i.e. Elphy.

    Counsel for opposite parties has argued that Thaman Singh signed on the checking report after admitting it correct and received copy of checking report at the spot Thus was committing theft of energy by way of suppressing actual consumption. Thereafter assessment order vide memo No.2040 dated 18/12/2008 was issued to the complainant for deposit of Rs.21427/- as compensation amount of theft of energy and a separate letter vide memo No. 2071 dated 23/12/2008 was sent to SHO PS Sultanpur Lodhi for registration of case. Consumption data also reveals that complainant was committing theft of electric energy.


    7. We have considered rival contentions of counsel for the parties. The checking report Ex.R1 prepared by the checking party headed by Er. Malkit Singh Thind SDO of the opposite parties It is alleged that complainant was found indulging theft of energy after removing lash wire from the seals, opened the meter after removing meter cup and had tampered with both M & T seals of the meter and internal mechanism of the meter and thus suppressed the consumption. As per the opposite parties, the connection of the complainant was checked in the presence of father and wife of the complainant on 17/12/2008 who signed the checking report and received copy of the same at the time of checking. at the spot Ex.R3 is MCO No.198/78995 dated 17/12/2008 vide which opposite parties had replaced the old meter of the complainant while installing new meter by Tarlok Singh AJE but the column meant for signatures of the complainant is left blank and it appears that old meter was not replaced in the presence of the complainant or his representative. Ex.R4 is assessment order of the opposite parties under Section 135 of the Electricity Act 2007 raising demand for Rs.21427/- from the complainant.

    Ex.R2 is Temporary Disconnection Order Ex.R6 is the consumption data of the complainant.. Ex.R10 is copy of memo No.2071 dated 23/12/2008 reference of the opposite parties made to the Police Station Sultanpur Lodhi for registration of case against the complainant on account of alleged theft of electricity..


    Ex.R11 is copy of memo No.33dated 12/1/2009, Ex.R12 is copy of memo No.72 dated 21/1/2009, , Ex.R13 is the copy of memo No.113 dated 30/1/2009 are the references of the opposite parties made to the complainant to remain present in the ME Lab on the prescribed dates mentioned in the memos under references. in order to get the old meter checked from the Laboratory. The assessment order dated 18/12/2008 of the opposite parties raising demand of penalty amount on account of alleged theft of energy is simply based on the checking report of the opposite parties vide Ex.R1 Under these circumstances it is not understood that in the absence of test report of the ME Lab, how the opposite parties imposed the penalty upon the complainant.


    Reliance has been placed upon a case reported as H.S.W.E.B. ( now HVPN) and others Versus Bhushan Lal 2007(1) CLT page 114 wherein it is held that :' " Electric Supply- Theft of energy- Allegation by applicant that on raiding premises of respondent both M & T seals were found tampered with and terminal seal was missing.


    The meter was not got checked from M & T Laboratory that it was running slow or was not running properly- From the mere fact that seals were tampered with, it cannot be said that theft of energy had been committed- District Forum rightly held that it is not proved that respondent had committed theft of energy and as suh quashed penalty." Since the meter was not got checked from the ME Lab before imposing penalty whether it was running slow or it was not running properly or complainant had tampered both M & T seals of the meter, mere allegation of pilferage of electric energy by the opposite parties on the alleged facts that seals were tampered with in the absence of corroborative evidence of testing report from the ME Lab, it cannot be held that complainant had committed theft of electricity.


    On the other hand complainant has produced energy bills issued by the opposite parties.Ex.C7 to C9 showing the status and functioning of the meter with 'O' code as okay and have been making payment of energy bills served upon the complainant from time to time regularly. .


    In the ultimate analysis of aforesaid discussion we quash memo No.2040 dated 18/12/2008 for demand of Rs.21427/- from the complainant being illegal, null and void as well as contrary to the provisions of Electricity Act, 2007 and instructions of the PSEB. Opposite parties are also directed to pay Rs.2000/- as compensation on account of deficiency in service for which complainant suffered mental tension and harassment and Rs.1000/- as litigation expenses within one month from the receipt of copy of this order.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    M/s Parminder Engg. Works Attowal , village Attowal District Hoshiapur through its sole proprietor Jasbir Kaur.


    Complainant


    vs.


    1. Punjab State Electricity Board through its Sub Divisional Officer, Sub Division Marnaian Khurd, District Hoshiarpur.
    2. P.S.E.B, The Mall, Patiala through its Chairman.


    Opposite parties

    Complaint u/s 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.




    Quorum: Sh.P.D.Goel,President,
    Sh.A.S.Jauhar,Member.
    Mrs. Vandna Choudhary, Member.


    Present; Sh Sanjiv Bhardwaj, counsel for the complainant.
    Sh Vishal Sharma,counsel for the OPs.



    PER P.D.GOEL,PRESIDENT
    1. The complainant has filed the present complaint under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act,1986 (as amended upto date) “hereinafter referred as the Act.”. In short,the facts of the case are that the complainant is the holder of electricity connection no.S.P.940060F having sanctioned load of 4.65 KW, installed in his shop. The complainant is using the said connection to earn his livelihood by way of self employment.
    2. It is the allegation of the complainant that he received notice dated 20.2.2009 qua which the penalty of Rs.10,512/-was imposed. The complainant approached the OPs to withdraw the illegal demand of Rs.10,512/- but of no consequences, hence this complaint.
    3. OPs filed the joint reply. Preliminary objections vis a vis maintainability and suppression of material facts were raised. On merits, the claim put forth by the complainant has been denied. It is denied that the said connection is being used to earn the livelihood by way of self employment,as such, it is not a consumer dispute. It is replied that as per instructions of the Electricity Board, the intelligent meter was installed in the premises of the complainant. The removed meter was sent to the M.E.Lab. vide challan no. 92 dated 29.1.2009. The blue phase of the meter was found dead , as such, the account of the complainant was overhauled with average of six months .The demand of Rs.10512/- is stated to be legal.
    4. In order to prove the case, the complainant tendered in evidence affidavits Ex.C-1,C-2 and notice dated 20.2.2009 Mark C-3 and closed the evidence.
    5. In rebuttal, the opposite parties tendered in evidence affidavit of Er.Gurdev Singh Ex.OP-1, extract of register -ME Lab. Ex. OP-2 and instructions Mark OP-3 and closed the evidence.
    6. The learned counsel for the parties have filed written arguments. We have gone through the written submissions and record of the file minutely.
    7. The parties are not at variance,rather they are in agreement that the checking report of the M.E.Laboratory has not been placed on record. The opposite parties have only placed on record Ex.OP-2, the copy of the M.E. Challan qua which the meter in question was sent to the M.E.Laboratory. Admittedly, the M.E. Checking report is of vital importance and the Challan qua Ex.OP-2 cannot be considered its substitute. This being so, it is held that without the checking report of the M.E.Laboratory, it cannot be concluded that the meter in question was found defective within the prescribed limits.
    8. As per rules of the PSEB, the removed meter is required to be sent to the M.E.Laboratory in the sealed card board box duly signed by the PSEB officers/officials and the consumer. The testing of such meter should be made in the presence of the consumer. The OPs have not produced any evidence to prove that the said meter was removed ,sealed and checked in the presence of the complainant-consumer or his representative. It is also not in dispute that the meter was also not checked in the presence of the complainant in the M.E.Laboratory . Since, the opposite parties have not served the notice upon the complainant to remain present in the M.E.Laboratory at the time of checking of the meter, therefore it violates the Commercial Circulars Nos. 45/97 and 10/2001 of the PSEB which are mandatory,as such, the opposite party is guilty of violating the said commercial circulars. Reliance placed on PSEB vs. Avtar Singh ,2004(1)CLT 619, PSEB vs. Gurcharan Singh, 2004(1)CLT,14, PSEB vs. Sham Sunder, 2005(3) CLT,614 and PSEB vs. Mohan Lal, II(2007) CPJ 166.
    9. As a result of the above discussion, it is held that the demand of Rs.10,512/- qua memo no.3470 dated 20.2.2009,Mark C-3 raised by the opposite parties is unjustified which amounts to deficiency in service,hence, we accept the complaint of the complainant. The impugned demand of Rs. 10,512/- is quashed with Rs. 1000/- as litigation expenses to be paid by the opposite parties to the complainant within one month from the receipt of copy of the order
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    Sanjiv Kumar aged 32 years, son of Shri Tilak Raj, resident of village Pathiarian, Tehsil & District Hoshiarpur.


    .... Complainant
    versus


    1. PSEB through its Chairman, The Mall, Patiala.
    2. The AEE, PSEB, Civil Lines Sub Division, Hoshiarpur.


    ......... Opposite Parties


    Quorum : Sh. P.D. Goel, President,
    Sh. A.S. Jauhar, Member.


    Present: Sh. Dushyant Ohri, Counsel for the complainant.
    Sh. S.L. Handa, Counsel for the opposite parties.


    PER P.D. GOEL, PRESIDENT:


    1. The complainant namely Sanjiv Kumar has filed the present complaint, under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (as amended upto date) “hereinafter referred as the Act”. In short, the facts of the case are that the complainant is the holder of NRS electricity account No. H23-JA580453-A . The complainant is regularly paying the electricity charges, thus he is a consumer.
    2. It is the allegation of the complainant that he received notice dated 23.1.2009 qua which the allegation with regard to theft was levelled and he was asked to deposit Rs.1,06,080/-. The said demand and notice is stated to be illegal, as the complainant never committed the theft of electricity. The connection of the complainant was never checked in his presence nor any notice was ever served upon him regarding the alleged theft, therefore, the complainant is not liable to pay the amount of Rs. 1,06,080/-. The complainant made a request to the opposite parties to withdraw the said illegal notice and demand, but of no consequences, hence this complaint.
    3. The opposite parties filed the reply. On merits, the claim put forth by the complainant has been denied. It is replied that the disputed connection is commercial, as such the complaint is not maintainable. It is replied that the task force of PSEB consisting of AEE/SDO, Civil Lines, Hoshiarpur, Sh. R.K. Saini alongwith supporting staff checked the connection of the complainant on 24.1.2009. It was found that the complainant was indulged in unauthorized use of power by bye-passing the electric meter. The whole load of the energy was in use in the premises, but the meter was not giving any pulse, as such he was committing the theft of electricity. The AEE/SDO prepared the inspection report on the spot, which was duly signed by him and the supporting staff and also by one Raj Kumar son of Dheru Ram, the employee of the complainant, and thereafter, the assessment order was passed as per rules. The demand raised through notice No.195 dated 30.1.2009 to the tune of Rs. 1,06,080/- (SOP Rs. 96109/-, ED Rs. 9971/-) is stated to be legal.
    4. In order to prove the case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit – Ex. C-1, affidavit of Joginder Singh – Ex. C-2, bills – Ex. C-3 and Ex. C-4, bill dated 10.11.2007 – Ex. C-5, receipt No. 218 of Rs. 20,000/- - Mark C-6, bill dated 10.1.2009 – Ex. C-7, bills dated 14.11.2008 – Ex. C-8, dated 9.9.2008 – Ex. C-9, notice dated 30.1.2009 – Ex. C-10 and closed the evidence.
    5. In rebuttal, the opposite parties tendered in evidence affidavit of R.K. Saini – Ex. OP-1, attested copy of site checking report – Ex. OP-2, show cause notice dated 30.1.2009 – Ex. OP-3, assessment order dated 19.2.2009 (2 sheets) – Ex. OP-4 and closed the evidence on behalf of the opposite parties.
    6. The learned counsel for the parties have filed written arguments. We have gone through the written submissions and record of the file minutely.
    7. The case of the complainant is that he received notice dated 30.1.2009 (wrongly written as 23.1.2009) – Ex. C-10 qua which the allegation with regard to theft was levelled and he was asked to deposit Rs.1,06,080/-. The said demand and notice is stated to be illegal, as the complainant never committed the theft of electricity. The connection of the complainant was never checked in his presence nor any notice was ever served upon him regarding the alleged theft, therefore, the complainant is not liable to pay the amount of Rs. 1,06,080/-. The complainant made a request to the opposite parties to withdraw the said illegal notice and demand, but of no consequences. The opposite parties raised the plea that the disputed connection is commercial, as such the complaint is not maintainable. It was replied that the task force of PSEB consisting of AEE/SDO, Civil Lines, Hoshiarpur, Sh. R.K. Saini alongwith supporting staff checked the connection of the complainant on 24.1.2009. It was found that the complainant was indulged in unauthorized use of power by bye-passing the electric meter. The whole load of the energy was in use in the premises, but the meter was not giving any pulse, as such he was committing the theft of electricity. The AEE/SDO prepared the inspection report on the spot, which was duly signed by him and the supporting staff and also by one Raj Kumar son of Dheru Ram, the employee of the complainant, and thereafter, the assessment order was passed as per rules. The demand raised through notice No.195 dated 30.1.2009 to the tune of Rs. 1,06,080/- (SOP Rs. 96109/-, ED Rs. 9971/-) is stated to be legal.
    8. Ex. OP-2 is the site checking report placed on record by the opposite parties, which is supported by the affidavit R. K. Saini, AEE/SDO – Ex. OP-1. The site checking report is also signed by Raj Kumar son of Shri Dheru Ram. Ex. OP-3 is the Show Cause Notice dated 30.1.2009 and Ex. OP-4 is the assessment order dated 19.2.2009.
    9. Now, it is established on record that the contents of the site checking report – Ex. OP-2 had been supported by the affidavit of Er. R.K. Saini, SDO – Ex. OP-1. Admittedly, the complainant has not produced sufficient evidence to rebut the contents of the site checking report – Ex. OP-2. The self-serving affidavit of the complainant Ex. C-1 is also not sufficient to rebut the said site checking report – Ex. OP-2, therefore, it is held that the complainant has failed to prove that he was not committing theft of electricity and on the contrary, the opposite parties have succeeded to prove that the connection of the complainant was checked and he was found committing theft of energy by byepassing the meter.
    10. As a result of the above discussion, it is held that the complainant has failed to prove any deficiency on the part of the opposite parties, with the result he cannot claim any sympathy from this Forum, thus the complaint is dismissed. However, keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, no order as to costs.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    Satpal Kaur aged 65 years wife of late Kirtan Singh, resident of village Mangarh, Tehsil Gardiwala, Distt. Hoshiarpur.


    .......... Complainant
    versus


    Punjab State Electricity Board, through its Sub-Divisional Officer, Sub-Division, Gardiwala, Gardiwala, Distt. Hoshiarpur.


    ......... Opposite Party


    Complaint u/S 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.


    Quorum : Sh. P.D. Goel, President,
    Sh. A.S. Jauhar, Member,
    Mrs. Vandna Chowdhary,Member.


    Present: Sh. Sanjiv Bhardwaj, counsel for the complainant,
    Sh. Y.P. Piplani, counsel for the opposite party.


    PER P.D. GOEL, PRESIDENT:


    1. The complainant namely Satpal Kaur has filed the present complaint, under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (as amended upto date) “hereinafter referred as the Act”. Stated briefly, the facts of the case are that the complainant is the holder of domestic electricity connection No. H-36/CD-67/1032.
    2. It is the allegation of the complainant that she received notice qua which the penalty of Rs. 29,203/- was imposed on account of alleged theft. The complainant approached the opposite party with the request that she never committed the theft of energy. The penalty of Rs. 29, 203/- imposed upon the complainant is stated to be illegal. The complainant also made a request to the opposite party to quash the demand of Rs.29,203/-, but of no avail, hence this complaint.
    3. The opposite party filed the reply. The preliminary objection with regard to jurisdiction was raised. On merits, the claim put forth by the complainant has been denied. It is replied that the complainant was found indulging in theft of electricity by running a 3 BHP motor. That on 25.11.2008 at 9.50 a.m., Sh. Manroop Singh, AEE, Ranjit Singh, JE and Baldev Singh, Asstt. JE checked the disputed connection. It was found that the complainant had illegally connected her 3 BHP Motor by electric wire from a distance of about 40 meters from the incoming line of the well connection of Sh. Sohan Singh. Sh. Sham Singh son of Sh. Ram Singh was irrigating the fields, who refused to sign the checking report. The demand of Rs. 29,203/- is stated to be illegal. That the provisional order/notice dated 25.11.2008 was sent to the complainant, but the complainant did not file any objections nor deposited the amount of Rs. 29,203/-.
    4. In order to prove the case, the complainant tendered in evidence her affidavit – Ex. C-1, copy of the Demand Notice – Mark-A, supplementary affidavit – Ex. C-2, copy of the bill dated 29.8.2008 – Mark-B and closed the evidence.
    5. In rebuttal, the opposite party tendered in evidence affidavit of Ranjit Singh – Ex. OP-1, affidavit of Baldev Singh – Ex. OP-2, affidavit of Manroop Singh – Ex. OP-3, checking report – Ex. OP-4, calculation – Ex. OP-5, notice dated 26.11.2008 – Ex. OP-6, affidavit of Manroop Singh – Ex. OP-7, attested letter - Ex. OP-8, copy of Vote List – Ex. OP-9, copy of assessment – Ex. OP-10, extract of Electricity Act, 2003 – Ex. OP-11 and closed the evidence on behalf of the opposite party.
    6. The learned counsel for the parties have filed written arguments. We have gone through the written submissions and record of the file minutely.
    7. The case of the complainant is that she received notice – Mark-A qua which the penalty of Rs. 29,203/- was illegally imposed on account of alleged theft. The complainant approached the opposite party with the request that she never committed the theft of energy. The complainant also made a request to the opposite party to quash the demand of Rs.29,203/-, but of no avail. On the contrary, the opposite party raised the plea that complainant was committing the theft of electricity by running a 3 BHP motor. That on 25.11.2008 at 9.50 a.m., Sh. Manroop Singh, AEE, Ranjit Singh, JE and Baldev Singh, Asstt. JE checked the disputed connection. It was found that the complainant had illegally connected her 3 BHP Motor by electric wire from a distance of about 40 meters from the incoming line of the well connection of Sh. Sohan Singh. The demand of Rs. 29,203/- is stated to be legal.
    8. Ex. OP-4 is a copy of the checking report placed on record by the opposite party, which is supported by the affidavits of Ranjit Singh, JE, Baldev Singh, Asstt. JE and Manroop Singh, AEE – Ex. OP-1 to Ex. OP-3 respectively.
    9. Now, it is established on record that the contents of the checking report Ex. OP-4 had been supported by the affidavits Ex. R-1 to Ex. R-3, referred to above. Admittedly, the complainant has not produced sufficient evidence to rebut the contents of the checking report, Ex. OP-4. The self-serving affidavits of the complainant Ex. C- and Ex. C-2 are not sufficient to rebut the said checking report, therefore, it is held that the complainant has failed to prove that he was not committing the theft of electricity, and on the contrary, the opposite party has succeeded to prove that the checking of the disputed connection was conducted qua Ex. OP-4.
    10. However, it will not be out of place to state that Manroop Singh, AEE filed his affidavit – Ex. OP-7, wherein he has clarified that after enquiry it was found that Paramjit Singh son of Sh. Ram Singh, resident of Mangarh disclosed his name as Sham Singh to the members of the raiding party, but actually his name was Paramjit Singh. This being so, the objection raised by the complainant qua his affidavit – Ex. C-2 that there is no person namely Sham Singh S/o Ram Singh, resident of Mangarh, District Hoshiarpur goes to the ground as the said deposition made by Manroop Singh goes unrebutted.
    11. As a result of the above discussion, it is held that the complainant has failed to prove any deficiency on the part of the opposite parties, with the result he cannot claim any sympathy from this Forum, thus the complaint is dismissed. However, keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, no order as to costs.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    Gurpal Singh son of Sh. Naranjan Singh resident of village Rara Tehsil Dasuya District Hoshiarpur.




    Complainant


    vs.




    1. Punjab State Electricity Board, through its Chairman, The Mall, Patiala.
    2. Asstt. A.E.E. PSEB City, Tanda District Hoshiarpur.
    3. Sr.Executive Engineer, P.S.E.B., Miani District Hoshiarpur.


    Opposite parties

    Complaint u/s 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.


    Quorum: Sh.P.D.Goel,President,
    Sh.A.S.Jauhar,Member.



    Present; Sh J.S.Dehriwal, counsel for the complainant.
    Sh B.K.Gupta, counsel for the OPs.

    PER P.D.GOEL,PRESIDENT
    1. The complainant namely Gurpal Singh has filed the present complaint under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act,1986 (as amended upto date) “hereinafter referred as the Act.”. In short,the facts of the case are that the complainant is the holder of domestic electricity connection no.JD440061. It is the case of the complainant that on 25.9.2008, the officials of the OPs made a routine checking in the village but no illegality with regard to his electricity connection was noticed.
    2. It is the allegation of the complainant that he was surprised to receive letter no. 1926 dated 25.9.2008 with the allegation that on 25.9.2008, he was committing theft of electricity from main service wire. It is denied that the complainant was committing theft of electricity.
    3. It is further the case of the complainant that the OPs have imposed penalty of Rs.11450/- and have also disconnected the electricity connection. It is further averred that the complainant is N.R.I. and his daughters are staying in hostel, therefore, the consumption of electricity of the complainant remains on lower side, hence this complaint.
    4. OPs filed the joint reply Preliminary objections vis a vis jurisdiction and suppression of material facts were raised. On merits, the claim put forth by the complainant has been denied. It is replied that the complainant was committing theft of electricity. The connection of the complainant was disconnected. On 25.9.2008, it was found by the officials of the OPs, that the complainant of his own reconnected the electricity connection, which amounts to theft of electricity. The signatures of the complainant were obtained at the spot and information was also sent to the concerned police station for registration of the case. It is further replied that since the complaint was pending in this Court, therefore, the connection of the complainant was not disconnected.
    5. It is further replied that the first complaint made by the complainant was dismissed on 2.1.2009, and thereafter, notice no. 352 dated 28.1.2009 was issued. The connection of the complainant was disconnected vide disconnection order no. 41/48/850 dated 11.2.2009. The demand of Rs. 11450/- raised through notice no.352 dated 28.1.2009 is stated to be legal.
    6. In order to prove the case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavits Ex, C-1, C-2, notice dated 28.1.2009 Ex. C-3, envelope Ex. C-4, demand notice Ex. C-5, checking report Ex. C-6, bill dated 27.12.2008 Mark C-7, receipt dated 9.1.2009 Mark C-8 and receipt of Rs. 5725/- Mark C-9 and closed the evidence.
    7. In rebuttal, the opposite parties tendered in evidence affidavit of Ajit Pal Singh Ex.R-1, site checking report Ex.OP-1, application for registration of FIR Ex. OP-2, notice dated 28.1.2009 Ex OP-3, show cause notice Ex. OP-4 , reminder Ex. OP-5 and copy of order dated 2.1.2009 Mark OP-6 and closed the evidence.
    8. The learned counsel for the parties have filed written arguments. We have gone through the written submissions and record of the file minutely.
    9. Ex. OP-1 is an attested copy of the checking report placed on record by the opposite parties qua which it has been recorded that on 25.9.2008, it was found that the complainant of his own reconnected the electricity connection and the supply to the house was going on through meter. The inspection was made in the presence of the complainant. The complainant has also signed the checking report .
    10. The contents of the report – Ex. OP-1 have been supported by the affidavit of Ajit Pal Singh Multani Ex.R-1. The said report has been prepared by the officials of the opposite parties in the discharge of their official duties, therefore, full reliance has been placed on this report, consequently, it is held that the complainant has failed to prove that there is any deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties, and on the contrary, the opposite parties have succeeded to prove that the premises of the complainant was checked and the complainant was found committing theft of electricity.
    11. As a result of the above discussion, it is held that the complainant has failed to prove any deficiency on the part of the opposite parties, with the result, he cannot claim any sympathy from this Forum, thus, the complaint is dismissed. However, keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, no order as to costs.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    Bakhshish Singh aged 82 years s/o Sh Lal Singh r/o St No.9, Mohalla Kamalpur, Hoshiarpur.


    Complainant


    vs.


    1. The Chairman, PSEB, The Mall, Patiala.
    2. The Addl. S.E., PSEB Sub Urban Division, Hoshiarpur.
    3. The SDO, PSEB , Sham Chaurasi Sub Division, Hoshiarpur.
    4. The State of Punjab through Collector, Hoshiarpur.


    Opposite parties

    Complaint u/s 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.


    Quorum: Sh.P.D.Goel,President,
    Sh.A.S.Jauhar,Member.



    Present; Sh Manu Kaushal, counsel for the complainant.
    Sh V.K.Gupta, counsel for OP No.1,2,3.
    OP No.4- already exparte.

    PER P.D.GOEL,PRESIDENT
    1. The complainant namely Bakhshish Singh has filed the present complaint under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act,1986 (as amended upto date) “hereinafter referred as the Act.”. In short,the facts of the case are that OPs released the tubewell connection under AP category to the complainant in March,2006. That the OPs asked the complainant to arrange for the shunt capacitor and ECCB , which was purchased by him vide bill no.126 dated 23.2.2006, and thereafter, got the same installed. . The complainant spent Rs. 2 lac and also deposited Rs.3500/- on 1.10.2004 and Rs.30,000/- on 14.1.2005 with the Electricity Board.
    2. It is the allegation of the complainant that he made a request to the OP to issue pass book and other documents regarding the said connection but of no avail. The complainant was told that since power supply is free of cost, hence, pass book or any other document cannot be issued. It is further the allegation of the complainant that in the 3rd week of December,2008, the OPs disconnected his tubewell connection. The complainant approached OP No.3- PSEB , Sham Chaurasi Sub Division, Hoshiarpur. with the request to restore the said connection but of no consequences, hence this complaint.
    3. OPs Nos.1,2,3 filed the joint reply Preliminary objection that the complaint is not maintainable was raised. On merits, the claim put forth by the complainant has been denied. It is replied that the complainant applied for deep bore tubewell connection on 1.10.2004 and deposited Rs.3500/-vide receipt no.491/60426 dated 1.10.2004, and thereafter, demand notice was sent to him on 10.1.2005. The complainant was asked to submit the test report, which was submitted by him. It is admitted that the complainant deposited Rs.30,000/- on 14.1.2005 vide receipt no.431/65557 but the tubewell connection was not energized . That no account number has been issued to the complainant as tubewell connection had not been released in his favour and he is on the waiting list. It is further replied that the SDO made a routine checking. It was found that the complainant had illegally and unauthorizedly connected the wire of the tubewell with the wires of Electricity Board, as such, the proceedings for the theft of energy were initiated as he was committing theft of electricity.
    4. OP No.4 was proceeded against exparte on 4.2.2009.
    5. In order to prove the case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavits Ex.C-1, C-2, receipt dated 20.2.2004 Mark C-3, bill dated 23.2.2006 Mark C-4, photograph Mark C-5, receipts of different dates Mark C-6 to C-11, receipt no.431 of Rs.30,000/- Mark C-12 and receipt no.491 of Rs.35,00/- Mark C-13 and closed the evidence.
    6. In rebuttal, the opposite parties Nos.1,2,3 tendered in evidence affidavit of Resham Singh Ex.OP-1, A & A form Mark OP-2, demand notice Mark OP-3, cancellation of SCO Mark OP-4 and extract of checking register Mark OP-5 and closed the evidence.
    7. The learned counsel for the parties have filed written arguments. We have gone through the written submissions and record of the file minutely.
    8. The case of the complainant is that OPs released the tubewell connection under AP category in March,2006. It is the allegation of the complainant that he made a request to the OP to issue pass book and other documents regarding the said connection but of no avail. It is further the allegation of the complainant that in the 3rd week of December,2008, the OPs disconnected his tubewell connection and his request to reconnect the connection was turned down.The OPs have admitted that the complainant had applied for deep bore tubewell connection on 1.10.2004 and deposited Rs.3500/-vide receipt no.491/60426 dated 1.10.2004, and thereafter, demand notice was sent to him on 10.1.2005. It is also admitted that the complainant deposited Rs.30,000/- on 14.1.2005 vide receipt no.431/65557. The OPs have raised the defence that no account number has been issued to the complainant as tubewell connection had not been released in his favour and he is on the waiting list.
    9. Admittedly, the OPs issued demand notice on 10.1.2005 to the complainant and the complainant deposited Rs.30000 on 14.1.2005. The OPs have placed on record the cancellation SCO ,Mark OP-4 and its close scrutiny makes it clear that IO No.06/9089/21.3.2006 alongwith account no. AP-172 had been recorded on it. However, the said SCO had been cancelled , which proves on record that the tubewell connection to the complainant had not been released.
    10. It has been settled at rest by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in recase Punjab State Electricity Board Ltd. vs. Jora Singh, decided on 11.8.2005 (SLP © No. 22352-22423/2003) that the electric connection for running tubewells should be released on the basis of the seniority list prepared as per the seniority of the demand notice and the payment made by the consumer. The Hon'ble National Commission in Revision Petitions No. 2950 to 2953 of 2005, decided on 29.11.2005 in re-case PSEB & Ors. vs. Dalwara Singh, PSEB & Ors. vs. Major Singh, PSEB & Ors. vs. Bant Singh and PSEB & Ors. vs. Babu Singh respecitively, have also followed the decision rendered by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in case of Punjab State Electricity Board vs. Zora Singh, referred to above.
    11. The law laid down in PSEB vs. Zora Singh's case (supra) is fully attracted to the facts of the present case. The parties are in agreement that the complainant made an application for the grant of electricity connection for tubewell and deposited the security amount on 1.10.2004. It is also an admitted fact that the Demand Notice was issued on 10.1.2005. Since the Demand Notice in this case had been issued by the OPs and service connection charges were also deposited , therefore, the opposite parties were under legal obligation to release the connection to the complainant as per seniority of the Demand Notice and the payment made by him. This being so, there is no need to go in further details of the matter.
    12. As a result of the above discussion, the complaint of the
    complainant is partly accepted and it is ordered that the opposite parties shall release the electricity connection for running tubewell to the complainant on the basis of the seniority list prepared as per the seniority of Demand Notice and the payment made by him. It is further made clear that the OPs shall also be liable to pay interest @ 9% per annum on the deposited amount till the release of the tubewell electricity connection. Litigation expenses are assessed at Rs. 1000/- to be paid by the OPs to the complainant within one month from the date of receipt of copy of the order.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    Manoj Kumar s/o Vijay Kumar aged 40 years r/o Nangal Road, Ward No.12, Garhshankar District Hoshiarpur.


    Complainant


    vs.


    1. PSEB through its XEN, Garhshankar, Hoshiarpur.
    2. PSEB through its S.D.O.,City Division, Garhshanker.
    3. PSEB through its Chairman, The Mall, Patiala.


    Opposite parties

    Complaint u/s 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.


    Quorum: Sh.P.D.Goel,President,
    Sh.A.S.Jauhar,Member.





    Present; Sh Ajay Bhalla, counsel for the complainant.
    Sh B.S.Choudhary, counsel for the OPs.



    PER P.D.GOEL,PRESIDENT
    1. The complainant namely Manoj Kumar has filed the present complaint under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act,1986 (as amended upto date) “hereinafter referred as the Act.”. In short,the facts of the case are that the complainant is the holder of domestic electricity connection no. DS/N24TC280930Y. The complainant is regularly paying the electricity bills to the OPs,thus, he is a consumer. That the average consumption charges of the complainant are Rs.800-900/- per billing cycle.
    2. It is the allegation of the complainant that since January,2008, the electricity meter was showing excessive consumption. The complainant visited the OPs that the meter is running fast but of no consequences. It is further the allegation of the complainant that he received illegal bill dated 24.6.2008 for Rs.9604/-. The complainant made an application to OP No.2 with the request to change the meter but OP No.2 refused to receive the application.
    3. It is further the allegation of the complainant that OPs sent another illegal bill dated 26.10.2008 for Rs.25,566/-. As desired by the OPs, the complainant deposited the amount of Rs.4500/- on 8.11.2008 The officials of the OPs took the electricity meter in his absence on 26,11,2008, and thereafter, did not install the new meter. . The complainant approached the OPs to reconnect his electricity connection but of no avail. It is further the case of the complainant that the OPs after the disconnection sent another illegal bill dated 26.12.2008, hence this complaint.
    4. OPs filed the joint reply Preliminary objections vis a vis jurisdiction, locus standi, and suppression of material facts were raised. On merits, the claim put forth by the complainant has been denied. It is admitted that the complainant is the holder of electricity connection no. DS/N24TC280930Y. It is also admitted that the complainant deposited the amount of Rs.4500/-. It is replied that the complainant had stopped the payment of the electricity bills to the PSEB since May,2008, as such, PDCO was issued on 28.8.2008 and the same was effected on 7.11.2008. The meter was removed from the premises of the complainant. The notice vide memo no.26 dated 7.1.2009 was sent to the complainant.
    5. In order to prove the case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit Ex.C-1, bills dated-24.6.2008 Mark C-2, dated 26.10.2008 Mark C-3,26,12,2008 Mark C-4, receipt dated 18.12..2008 Mark C-5, bill dated 25.12.2004 Ex. C-6, 23.10.2006 Ex. C-7, dated 22.6.2004 Ex. C-8, dated 23.9.2002 Ex.C-9, letter dated 28.8.2006 Ex. C-10, , letter dated 16.12.2008 Ex.C-11, postal receipts Ex. C-12 and memo dated 7.1.2009 Ex. C-13 and closed the evidence.
    6. In rebuttal, the opposite parties tendered in evidence affidavit of Dharam Pal Ex.R-1, PDCO Ex.R-2, application dated 16.12.2008 Ex. R-3, application dated 7.1.2009 Ex.R-4, receipt dated 7.1.2009 Ex. R-5,application dated 16.12.2008 Ex.R-6 and memo dated 7.1.2009 Ex.R-7 and closed the evidence.
    7. The learned counsel for the parties have filed written arguments. We have gone through the written submissions and record of the file minutely.
    8. The grouse of the complainant is that since January,2008, the electricity meter was showing excessive consumption. That an application Ex.C-10 was made to the Electricity Board with the request to change the meter but of no consequences. It is further the allegation of the complainant that the OPs raised the illegal demand of Rs. 9604/-. It is also the allegation of the complainant that the OPs sent another illegal bill dated 26.10.2008 for Rs.25,566/-. It is further the grouse of the complainant is that the officials of the OPs took the electricity meter in his absence on 26,11,2008. The OPs have raised the defence that the complainant had stopped the payment of the electricity bills to the PSEB, as such, PDCO was effected .
    9. The OPs have not rebutted the contention of the complainant that the electricity meter was showing excessive consumption, therefore, it can legitimately be concluded that the meter of the complainant was defective. Ld. Counsel for the complainant during the course of arguments submitted that the complainant is ready to pay the average charges on the basis of regulation no.73.1.2.
    10. As a result of the above discussion, the complaint is accepted and the bills dated 24.6.2008, 26.10.2008 and 26.12.2008- Mark C-2,C-3 and Mark C-4 are quashed and the OPs are directed to charge the complainant on average consumption of last 4 or 6 months or on the average of the same months of the previous year, per condition no. 73.1.2 of the Sales Regulations. Litigation expenses are assessed at Rs.500/- to be paid by the OPs to the complainant, within one month from the receipt of copy of the order.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    Complainant.
    Versus
    1PSEB, through its Executive Engineer, Sub Urban Sub Division Banga Tehsil Nawanshahr Distt. SBS Nagar.
    2S.D.O. Punjab State Electiricity Board, Sub Urban Sub Division Banga Tehsil Nawanshahr , District Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar.
    Respondents
    Complaint under the provisions of Consumer Protection Act, 1986
    BEFORE: SHRI S.M.S.MAHAL, PRESIDENT
    SMT. JAGJIT KAUR MANDER, MEMBER
    SH. SUKHDEV SINGH, MEMBER
    Present: Sh. S.L. Jain, advocate, counsel for the complainant.
    Sh. K.S. Dhindsa, advocate, counsel for the Ops.
    S.M.S.MAHAL, PRESIDENT
    Bishan Singh (hereinafter called as complainant), has filed this complaint against the PSEB, through its Executive Engineer, Sub Urban Sub Division Banga Tehsil Nawanshahr Distt. SBS Nagar and S.D.O. Punjab State Electricity Board, Sub Urban Sub Division Banga Tehsil Nawanshahr , District Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar. (hereinafter called as Ops No. 1, and 2, respectively) for quashing the bill dated 10-10-2008.


    2.The brief admitted facts of this complaint are that the complainant is consumer of the Ops with regard to electric connection bearing account No.N12JF240558M. The Ops had issued bill dated 10-10-2008 in which the amount of Rs 53,117/- was shown recoverable under the column “ sundry charges”. The demand was alleged to the illegal as the same was shown to be meter related charges where as the connection in never had been checked by any agency during the past so many years. Hence this complaint.


    3.In the written version filed by the Ops, the issuance of the demand was not denied. However it was contended that the task force of the ops during the surprise visit to the house of the complainant on 24-03-2008 had found the place of meter shifted and the meter hanging with the help of the rope. It was found stopped by illegal means and finishing work of marble was being done by migrant labourers which amounted to unauthorized use of the electricity. The connected load was found to be 2.220KW instead of sanctioned load of 1.00 KW. Letter no. 792 dated 27-03-2008 was issued to the complainant to remove the excess load and submit a test report in the office of the ops but he failed to do so. Thereafter letter bearing no. 1893 dated 12-08-2008 was issued to the complainant to deposit the amount of Rs 53,117/-. The complainant failed to deposit the said amount or approach the ops in this respect. Therefore, the amount is included in the bill dated 10-10-2008. The demand was claimed to be perfectly legal. A prayer for dismissal of the complaint was accordingly made.


    4.Both the parties have placed on record their respective evidence in the shape of affidavits and other documents.


    5.We have considered the written as well as oral submissions advanced by the counsel for the parties and carefully scrutinized the evidence on record.


    6.From the written version filed by the Ops, it is obvious that the disputed amount in the bill dated 10-10-2008 Ex C-1 is claimed on the basis of the checking of the connection of the complainant on 24-03-2008 by the task force of the ops. On the basis of the said checking, letter no. 792 dated 27-03-2008 copy of which is Ex OPW2 was issued on the allegations that the meter had been temporarily shifted and the connected load was 2.220KW instead of sanctioned load of 1.00 KW. The amount demanded from the complainant was Rs. 5691/- only. Ex OPW 3 is the copy of the letter no. 1893 dated 12-8-2008 indicating revised demand to the tune of Rs 53,117/-. There is nothing on record to show that both these letters had ever been served upon the complainant or any notice was served upon him before assessment of these charges on account of unauthorized load. The ops have placed on record Ex OPW4 copy of letter no. 2838 dated 02-12-2008 in which it was mentioned that the amount of Rs 5691/- was assessed at the spot, to the satisfaction of the complainant. It also mentions about the revised assessment of the complainant he had been directed to treat this letter as a final notice U/s 126 of the Electricity Act. It may be mentioned that the present complaint had been filed by the complainant on 24-10-2008 , where as the letter no. 2838 is dated 02-12-2008. The written version had also been filed by the ops on 27-11-2008. Thus the letter dated 02-12-2008 is of no consequence..


    7.From the aforesaid facts, we found no difficulty in holding that the provisions about raising of the demand as required U/s 126 of the Electricity Act or the Punjab Government Gazette dated 27-07-2007 relied upon by the Ops, have not been followed by the ops. By in corporating the disputed amount of Rs 53,117/- in the sundry charges column in the bill, the complainant could not be burdened with the liability . The deficiency in the service by the ops towards the complainant thus stands established.


    8.As a consequence of the foregoing reasons, we are constrained to allow this complaint with a direction to the Ops to withdraw the demand of Rs 53,117/- made from the complainant in the bill dated 10-10-2008 and refrain from disconnecting the supply of the complainant for non-payment of the same.


    9.The ops are however at liberty to proceed afresh against the complainant in accordance with the provisions contended in Section 126 of the Electricity Act as well as Gazette notification dated 27-07-2008 within a period of one month from the receipt of copy of this order.


    10.The Ops are burdened with Rs. 500/- as litigation cost.
  • SidhantSidhant Moderator
    edited September 2009
    Gian Singh aged about 70 years s/o Sh. Partap Singh, r/o Village Kajampur tehsil. Nawanshahr, Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar.

    Complainant.

    Versus



    1 P. S. E. B., The Mall, Patiala through its chairman,

    2 Executive Engineer, PSEB, DS division Nawanshahr. (SBS Nagar)

    3 S.D.O. PSEB, Sub Division, Jadla, Tehsil Nawanshahr .District Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar.

    Respondents

    Gian Singh (hereinafter called as complainant), has filed this complaint against the P. S. E. B., The Mall, Patiala through its chairman, Executive Engineer, PSEB, DS division Nawanshahr (SBS Nagar) and S.D.O. PSEB, Sub Division, Jadla, Tehsil Nawanshahr, District Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar. (hereinafter called as Ops No. 1, 2, and 3 respectively) for issuance of a direction to the Ops to withdraw the illegal demand of Rs 3810/- and refrain from disconnecting his supply for non-payment of the said demand in addition to the payment of Rs 10,000/- as compensation regarding deficiency in service.


    2. The brief admitted facts of this complaint are that the complainant is the consumer of the Ops with regard to electric connection bearing account No.159702 installed at his house. In the bill for the month of January 2009 issued on 27-12-2008 the consumption was shown to be 222 units, where as an amount of Rs 3202/-was claimed as sundry charges. The demand is stated to be illegal on the ground that earlier also bill dated 29-08-0-2008 was issued to the complainant for Rs 2820/- which was disappropriate to the actual consumption of electricity by the complainant ranging between Rs 400/- to 500 at the most. Oral representation made to OP No.3 was of no avail. Hence this complainant.


    3. In the written version filed by the Ops, it was contended that the bill had been issued in accordance with the consumption of electricity by the complainant and as such was perfectly legal. On 21-02-2007 divisional task force was alleged to have checked the connection of the complainant and found that MTC seal was missing and MTC cover seal was also not on the meter. There was sparking under the meter terminal cover and a report was made about change of the meter. Accordingly the meter of the complainant had been changed vide MCO No. 23/69041 dated 21-02-2007 . Old meter had been changed in July 2007 and the computer made bill of the consumer for the month of July 2007 was of 421 units instead of actual units which were 1179 which amounted to Rs 4583/-. Differences of Rs 3202/- was chargeable from the complainant. For further clarification it was mentioned that the reading of the removed meter in the month of July 2007 was 4497 and the previous bill issued to the complainant in the month of May 2007 was up to 3585 units. Thus, there was differences of 912 units. The new meter installed in the month of July 2007 was showing the reading as 2462 units and when it was installed in the month of July 2007 it was showing reading of 2195 units leading to difference of 267 units . Thus, there was consumption of 1179 (267+912) units by the complainant and the amount earlier charged from the complainant was less. This fact was pointed out by the audit party. Therefore it was denied that there was any deficiency in service by the ops towards the complainant and a prayer for dismissal of the complaint was accordingly made.


    2. Both the parties have placed on record their respective evidence in the shape of affidavits and other documents.


    3. We have considered the oral submissions advanced by the counsel for the parties and carefully scrutinized the evidence on record.


    4. No doubt in the bill dated 27-12-2008 copy of which is Ex C-1 an amount of Rs. 3202/- has been claimed from the complainant as sundry charges, yet the complainant has not disclosed that his meter had been earlier changed. On the other hand, the ops have placed on record Ex-R2 copy of site report checking dated 21-02-2007 in which defects in the meter of the complainant were reported and replacement of the meter was recommended. Ex R-3 copy of the meter change order dated 21-02-2007 indicates that the meter reading at the time of the replacement of the old meter was 4497. The ops have placed on record Ex R-5 copy of the ledger account showing the consumption by the complainant on the previous meter as well as the replaced meter Ex R-6 is copy of the store challan copy vide which the old meter was sent to the ME lab having a reading of 4497 units.


    5. From the aforesaid facts it is obvious that the amount of Rs 3202/- shown in the sundry charges column of the bill dated 27-12-2008 issued to the complainant was on account of difference of the actual amount chargeable from the complainant and the amount actually charged from him as per consumption of electricity recorded by the old meter as well as the new meter installed at the house of the complainant. Therefore, we find no illegality in the demand or deficiency in service on the part of the ops.


    6. As a consequence of the foregoing reasons, the complaint being without merit is dismissed, leaving the parties to bear their own costs.
  • SidhantSidhant Moderator
    edited September 2009
    Sh. Sunny Rai s/o Late Sh. Kashmir Singh s/o Sh. Parkash Singh r/o B-2/223, teacher colony , Nawanshahr,

    Complainant.

    Versus



    1 P.S.E.B. through its Chairman, The Mall, Patiala.

    2 XEN City Division (D.S.) P.S.E.B. Nawanshahr.

    3 A.E.E. City Sub Division, P.S.E.B. Nawanshahr.


    Sunny Rai (hereinafter called as complainant), has filed this complaint against the P.S.E.B. through its Chairman, The Mall, Patiala, XEN City Division (D.S.) P.S.E.B. Nawanshahr and A.E.E. City Sub Division, P.S.E.B. Nawanshahr. (hereinafter called as Ops No. 1, 2, and 3, respectively) for issuance of a direction to the ops to withdraw the demand of Rs 65,366/- and also pay a sum of Rs 25,000/- along with litigation expenses to the tune of Rs 5,000/-.


    2 The brief admitted facts of this complaint are that Kashmir Singh deceased father of the complainant is consumer of the Ops with regard to electric connection bearing account No N43CFR430595Y in stalled in the house. On 16-02-2009 at about 5.15 A.M. in the absence of the complainant certain officials of the board were alleged to have come to the house of the complainant on the pretext of checking of the electric meter and had misbehaved with the sister of the complainant who had refused to open the door at odd hours. Although, the electric meter was found to be correct, yet they broke the seals of the meter and pulled out the fuse of the electric connection. On 05-03-2009 two officials of the ops had come to the house of the complainant and disconnected the supply on the orders of op no. 3. On an enquiry made by the complainant, op no. 3 revealed that the supply of the complainant had been disconnected for non-payment of a fine of Rs 65,366/-relating to the theft of energy. The demand as well as disconnection of the supply were alleged to be illegal and no notice was ever claimed to have been served upon the complainant and nothing was due from him. On account of the disconnection of the supply as well as illegal demand of Rs 65,366 the complainant alleges to have suffered mental harassment as well as monetary loss. Hence this complainant.


    3 In the written version filed by the Ops, maintainability of the complaint has been challenged on the ground that the complainant is not a bonafide consumer of the ops and as such has no locus standi to file this case. On merits it has been contended that the on 16-02-2009 Divisional Task Force, Nawanshahr had checked the connection and found that theft of energy was being committed by stopping the meter disk. MTC seal was broken for checking the meter and neutral face from terminal block was found changed. Grip of neutral was withdrawn. Grip of outgoing terminal neutral was attached with earth. Kamla Devi who was present at the spot had even sign the checking report. Bill cum show cause notice was sent to the complainant vide letter no. 268 dated 17-02-2009 to the complainant for Rs 65,366/- but the registered cover was received back with the remarks that the addressee had died and one Balwant Singh was shown to have refused to receive the registered notice. The penalty amount was alleged to have been claimed as per Government Gazette of July 2007 on the basis of LDHF formula. All other allegations were denied by the Ops and a prayer for dismissal of the complaint was accordingly made.


    3. Both the parties have placed on record their respective evidence in the shape of affidavits and other documents.


    4. We have considered the oral submissions advanced by the counsel for the parties and carefully scrutinized the evidence on record.


    5. Admittedly Kashmir Singh consumer of the electric connection has died. No doubt the complainant who is the son of deceased Kashmir Singh has not got the electric connection transferred in his name and can not be treated a consumer of the ops as defined U/s 2 (1) (d) of the Consumer Protection Act, yet it can not be denied that he being class-1 heir of deceased Kashmir Singh, becomes beneficiary of the electric connection and as such the present complaint by the complainant is legally maintainable.


    6. From the written version filed by the Ops, it is clear that the demand of Rs 65,366/- allegedly made from the complainant vide notice no. 268 dated 17-02-2009 relates to the theft of energy in the manner stated in the site report copy of which is Ex R-2. Normally in the light of allegation of theft, the jurisdiction of this Forum to entertain and try this complaint is barred, but it can not be ignored that no notice was actually served upon the complainant about the alleged demand. The contention of the ops that the registered notice issued to Kashmir Singh had been received undelivered with the remarks “addressee died” contradicted their contention that the consumer had refused the same. Ex R-3 is the photo state copy of the registered cover bearing remarks addressee died’ where as the refusal report of copy of the notice is ExR-4.This report is made by one Balwant Singh. It is not mentioned if Balwant Singh was official of the op’s or representative of the deceased. In such circumstances, It will be unjust to infer that notice was actually refused by the complainant. Thus, deficiency in service on the part of the ops towards the complainant is established and jurisdiction of this Forum can not be held to be barred, as allegation of theft are not prima facie established on record.


    7. Otherwise also, section 126 of the Electricity Act provides the procedure about provisional assessment in cases of unauthorized use/theft of energy and passing of final order of assessment after serving a proper notice on the consumer. The same has not been complied within this case. The demand thus can not sustain.


    8. As a consequence of the foregoing reasons, we are constrained to allow this complaint with a direction to the Ops to withdraw the demand of Rs 65,366/-made from deceased Kashmir Singh vide notice no. 268 dated 17-02-2009 and refrain from disconnecting the supply of the complainant for non payment of the same.


    9. The Ops however are at liberty to initiate fresh proceedings against the complainant in accordance with the rules of Section 126 of the Electricity Act as well as other rules and regulations of the board, within one month of receipt of copy of this order


    10. The complainant shall also apply to the ops regarding transfer of the electric connection in his name in accordance with rules and regulations of the board within 15 days of receipt of copy of this order.


    11. The amount of Rs 20,000/- deposited by the complainant as per interim order dated 12-03-2009 shall be refunded to him or adjusted in his future consumption bills.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited September 2009
    Shankar Singh aged 95 years S/o Sh. Munsha Singh r/o Village & P.O. Sandra, Tehsil & Distt. Hoshiarpur.


    ........ Complainant

    versus


    1.

    Punjab State Electricity Board, The Mall, Patiala, through its Chairma.
    2.

    Punjab State Electricity Board, Shamchaurasi Sub Division, Hoshiarpur, through its Assistant Executive Engineer.


    ........... Opposite Parties




    Sh. A.S. Jauhar, Member,

    Mrs. Vandna Chowdhary, Member.



    1.

    The complainant namely Shankar Singh has filed the present complaint, under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (as amended upto date) “hereinafter referred as the Act”. Stated briefly, the facts of the case are that the complainant is the holder of Electricity Account No. H54SP220009K. The said connection is being used by the complainant to run the business of flour mill to earn his livelihood by way of self-employment. The connected load is 15.16 KW. The complainant is regularly paying the electricity charges to the opposite parties, thus he is a consumer.
    2.

    It is the case of the complainant that he wanted to close the business, as such he made a request to OP No. 2 in the month of October, 2008 to remove the electric meter and to disconnect the electricity connection permanently. It is further the case of the complainant that the opposite parties removed the meter alongwith accessories. That signatures of the complainant were not taken at the time of removal of the meter.

    3.

    It is the allegation of the complainant that he was surprised to receive Memo No. 7060 dated 16.3.2009 from the OP No. 2 to the effect that the meter was checked in the M.E. Lab. It was found that on the cover of the meter there were some scratches and it was a case of theft of electricity. The complainant was asked to deposit Rs. 1,84,652/-. The demand of Rs. 1,84,652/- is stated to be illegal as the opposite parties while removing the meter and testing the same in the ME Laboratory, have not followed the mandatory procedure. That no prior notice was ever served upon the complainant. The complainant was not called in the ME Lab at the time of testing of the meter. The complainant visited the office of the OP NO.2 with the request to withdraw the Memo No. 7060 dated 16.3.2009, but of no consequences, hence this complaint.
    4.

    The opposite parties filed the joint reply. On merits, it is denied that the said connection is being used by the complainant to earn his livelihood by way of self-employment, as such the complaint is not maintainable. The replying opposite parties have followed the rules and regulations of the Electricity Board. It is further replied that Sukhdev Kaur, family member of the complainant gave her consent on behalf of the complainant for checking the meter in the ME Laboratory. The meter in question was sent vide challan No. 339 dated 14.1.2009 to the ME Lab. It was found that the meter was tampered with by applying powerful magnetic instrument to control the actual consumption and the mete cover had scratches on it, thus it is a case of theft of electricity. The “Y” Phase of the meter was found burnt. It is further replied that the calculation sheet was prepared by applying LDHF formula. The complainant was found in arrears of Rs. 184650/- (i.e. SOP Rs. 167166/-, ED Rs. 17486/-). The demand of Rs.184652/- raised by the opposite parties through Memo No. 7060 dated 16.3.2009 is stated to be legal.
    5.

    In order to prove the case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit – Ex. C-1, letter dated 16.3.2009 – Mark C-2, letter dated 24.4.2009 – Mark C-3, bill dated 15.1.2009 – Mark C-4, bill dated 17.12.2008 – Mark C-5, bill dated 15.10.2008 – Mark C-6, bill dated 13.9.2008 – Mark C-7, bill dated 15.1.2008 – Mark C-8, bill dated 16.7.2008 – Mark C-9, supplementary affidavit – Ex. C-10 and closed the evidence.
    6.

    In rebuttal, the opposite parties tendered in evidence affidavit of Resham Singh – Ex. R-1, application by the complainant – Ex. R-2, PDCO dated 24.12.2008 – Ex. R-3, consent letter – Ex. R-4, challan – Ex.R-5, site report – Ex. R6, ME Lab report – Ex. R-7, calculation sheet – Ex.R-8, notice dated 16.3.2009 – Ex. R-9, extract of rules – Mark-A, reminder No. 24 – Ex. R-10 and closed the evidence on behalf of the opposite parties.
    7.

    The learned counsel for the parties have filed written arguments. We have gone through the written submissions and record of the file minutely.
    8.

    Ex. R-1 is the affidavit of Er. Reshan Singh, AEE, PSEB Sub Division, Shamchurasi, Hoshiarpur, in support of the averments contained in the reply. Ex. R-4 is the consent given by Sukhdev Kaur, representative of the complainant to the effect that the meter be tested in the M.E. Lab, Hoshiarpur in her absence and the report of the M.E. Lab will be acceptable. The site checking report is Ex. R-6. Ex. R-8 is the calculation sheet. Ex. R-9 is the notice. R-7 is the M.E. Lab report. The contents of the report – Ex. R-7 are supported by the affidavit of Er. Resham Singh, Ex. R-1 (AEE, PSEB, Sub-Division, Shamchurasi), wherein he has deposed that the meter in question was tampered with by applying powerful magnetic instrument to control the actual consumption , hence it was a case of theft of energy. The “Y” phase of the mter was found burnt.
    9.

    Now, it is established on record that the contents of the report – Ex. R-7 had been supported by the affidavit Ex. R-1, referred to above. Admittedly, the complainant has not produced sufficient evidence to rebut the contents of the M.E. Lab report -Ex. R-7. The self-serving affidavit of the complainant Ex. C-1 is also not sufficient to rebut the site checking report – Ex. R-7.
    10.

    As a result of the above, it is held that the complainant has failed to prove any deficiency on the part of the opposite parties, with the result he cannot claim any sympathy from this Forum, thus the complaint is dismissed. However, keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, no order as to costs. Copy of the order be sent to the parties free of cost. File be consigned to the record room.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited September 2009
    Gurdev Singh son of Dalipa Ram, aged 65 years, village Aima Muglan, Tehsil Garhshankar, District Hoshiarpur.


    ........ Complainant

    versus


    1.

    Punjab State Electricity Board, through its Chairman, The Mall, Patiala.
    2.

    Punjab State Electricity Board, through its Asstt. Executive Engineer, Sub-Urban Sub Division, Garhshankar, Distt. Hoshiarpur.


    ............ Opposite Parties







    1.

    The complainant namely Gurdev Singh has filed the present complaint, under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (as amended upto date) “hereinafter referred as the Act”. Stated briefly, the facts of the case are that the complainant is the holder of electricity connection No. MB-27/0211 NRS, having load of 2.95 KW, thus he is a consumer. The status of the meter had been shown “O”, meaning thereby, the complainant's meter was OK. That the bi-monthly average electricity bill of the complainant is less than 175 units since installation of the said electricity connection.
    2.

    It is the allegation of the complainant that he is surprised to receive bill-cum-show cause notice bearing memo No. 98 dated 27.1.2009, wherein it was stated that he was committing theft of electricity by using the direct wire i.e. by putting “Kundi”. The said allegation contained in Memo No. 98 dated 27.1.2009, referred to above, is stated to be wrong, as the complainant never committed the theft of energy. That his electricity connection was never checked by the opposite parties.
    3.

    It is further the allegation of the complainant that the opposite parties issued another supplementary bill cum show cause notice No. 347 dated 6.3.2009 with the direction to deposit the amount of Rs. 28,937/-. The said demand of Rs. 28,937/- is stated to be illegal. The connection of the complainant was never checked by the officials of the opposite parties. That the complainant was never informed about any inspection or raid by the PSEB authorities.
    4.

    The opposite parties filed the joint reply. The preliminary objections vis-a-vis maintainability, locus-standi, suppression of material facts and jurisdiction were raised. On merits, the claim put forth by the complainant has been denied. It is replied that on 22.1.2009, the task force of the opposite parties consisting of Gurnek Singh, JE, Paramjit Singh, Budh Raj checked the connection of the complainant. It was found that the complainant had illegally fixed the direct wires (Kundi) in the naked joint of PVC passing nearby his house, and thereafter, had fixed the said wires in the plug of the domestic supply.


    The switch was found in On Position. The complainant was committing the theft of energy by bye-passing the meter. The copy of the site checking report dated 21.1.2009 was supplied to Sh. Gurpreet Singh, one of the members of the family of the complainant. The assessment of electricity charges as per regulation No. 37 and Section 135 of the Electricity Act, 2003, CC No. 53/2006 and CC No. 58/2007 was made and the amount of Rs.16841/- was calculated. It is further replied that the said calculation was wrong as the connection of the complainant was under NRS tariff, as such, the actual amount of Rs. 37,359/- was found recoverable as per PSEB rules. The demand of Rs. 37,359/- is stated to be legal. The detail/calculation of the amount of Rs. 37,359/- has been given vide para No. 5 of the reply on merits.
    5.

    In order to prove the case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit – Ex. CW1/A, affidavit of Tarsem Lal – Ex. C-2/A, affidavit of Manjit Kaur – Ex. CW3/A, affidavit of Pavittar Singh – Ex. CW4/A, show cause notice – Ex. C-1, ration card – Ex. C-2, bill dated 21.12.2008 – Ex. C-3, notice dated 27.1.2009 – Ex. C-4, complaint copy in case Gurdev Singh vs. PSEB – Ex. C-5 and closed the evidence.
    6.

    In rebuttal, the opposite parties tendered in evidence affidavit of Darshan Singh – Ex. R-1, supplementary affidavit of Darshan Singh – Ex. R-2, site checking report – Ex. R-3, notice dated 6.3.2009 – Mark R-4 and closed the evidence on behalf of the opposite parties.
    7.

    The learned counsel for the parties have filed written arguments. We have gone through the written submissions and record of the file minutely.
    8.

    The OPs-Electricity Board has claimed that the connection of the complainant bearing A/c No. MB-27/0211 NRS was checked on 22.1.2009 by the task force headed by Gurnek Singh, J.E., and it was found that the complainant had illegally fixed the direct wires (Kundi) in the naked joint of PVC passing nearby his house, and thereafter, had fixed the said wires in the plug of the domestic supply. The switch was found in On Position, thus the complainant was committing the theft of energy by bye-passing the meter.
    9.

    To reach on the just conclusion to this case, it will be relevant to reproduce Regulation No. 134.5 of the Punjab State Electricity Board Electricity Supply Regulations – 2005 as under :

    “134.5 Competent Authorities to carry out inspection, make assessment of compensation have been described in Para No.2 of the Schedule of COS (reproduced below) :-

    2.0 AUTHORIZED OFFICERS: Following Officers of the Board shall be competent to carry out checking/inspection and testing of the electrical installation at the consumer's premises :

    S.NO. CATEGORY OF Authorized to Enter and

    CONNECTIONS inspect.

    OPERATION OFFICERS:
    1.

    All Domestic/Non Residential Any Officer of operation

    Connections/AP/SP & Medium/ wing not below the rank of

    Large/Bulk Supply up to AE (within his jurisdiction)

    500 KW Load.
    2.

    Large & Bulk supply beyond Any officer of operation

    500 KW & Railway Traction. wing not below the rank of

    Senior XEN (within his

    jurisdiction) “

    9.

    Now, it is clear that as per said regulations, the officer of operation wing not below the rank of A.E., is competent to carry out checking/inspection. The Opposite Parties have claimed that in this case, the connection of the complainant was checked on 22.1.2009, by the task force headed by Gurnek Singh, J.E., it means that the checking has been done by the officer below the rank of A.E., i.e., by the J.E., Sh. Gurnek Singh, therefore it can be concluded that the OPs had violated the regulation no. 134.5, referred to above, which vitiates and violates the checking of the connection bearing No. MB-27/0211 NRS of the complainant. It is, thus, held that the checking made qua Ex. R-3 is not as per regulation No. 134.5 of the Electricity Supply Regulations – 2005, therefore, it amounts to deficiency in service. Reliance placed on a decision by the Hon'ble Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh in MA No. 1201 of 2007 in/and F.A. No. 883 of 2007, PSEB vs. Hardev Singh, decided on 2.8.2007, and also a decision of Hon'ble State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, U.T., Chandigarh in RBT No. 748/07 in FA No. 416/07, PSEB vs. Tripta Devi, decided on 11.12.2007.

    10.

    As a result of the above discussion, the complaint of the complainant is accepted and the demand raised qua Supplementary Bill Cum Show Cause Notice No. 347 dated 6.3.2009 of Rs. 28,937/- – Ex. C-1 is quashed. Litigation expenses are assessed at Rs. 1,000/- to be paid by the opposite party to the complainant within one month from the receipt of copy of the order. Copy of the order be sent to the parties free of cost. File be consigned to the record room.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited September 2009
    Jaswant Singh age 40 years s/o Gulzar Singh r/o Vill. Gandhowal, Distt. Hoshiarpur.


    ......... Complainant

    versus


    1.

    Punjab State Electricity Board, through its Chairman, The Mall, Patiala.
    2.

    The Punjab State Electricity Board, through the Asstt. Executive Engineer, Paddi Sura Singh, Tehsil Garhshankar, Distt. Hoshiarpur.

    ......... Opposite Parties



    1.

    The complainant namely Jaswant Singh has filed the present complaint, under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (as amended upto date) “hereinafter referred as the Act”. Stated briefly, the facts of the case are that the complainant is the holder of domestic electricity connection bearing A/c No. AB-39/389. The complainant is regularly paying the electricity bills to the opposite parties, thus he is a consumer. It is the case of the complainant that he never used the electricity unauthorizedly.
    2.

    It is the allegation of the complainant that he was surprised to receive the memo No. 387, dated 19.3.2009 to pay the amount of Rs. 38,105/-, within 7 days from the receipt of the notice, failing which the connection shall be disconnected. It is averred that a false allegation had been made in the notice that the complainant was found to have put the “Kundi” and using the electricity unauthorizedly by stopping the meter by putting the wire. That the checking of the meter was never made in the presence of the complainant nor his signatures were obtained on the checking memo. That the meter of the complainant was never checked in his presence or any member of his family. The complainant never committed the theft of electricity. The signatures of the complainant or his family members were not obtained on any report. The memo No. 387 dated 19.3.2009 is liable to be quashed, hence this complaint.

    3.

    The opposite parties filed the joint reply. The preliminary objections vis-a-vis maintainability, locus-standi, suppression of material facts and jurisdiction were raised. On merits, the claim put forth by the complainant has been denied. It is replied that on 19.3.2009, AEE of Saila Khurd, Sub Division, alongwith Krishan Chander, AEE, Mohinder Pal, AJE and Mohinder Singh, JE checked the connection of the complainant. It was found that the complainant had fixed the direct wires (Kundis) in PVC wire over roof of supply line coming to the meter.


    It is further replied that by inserting the said wires in the grip, the complainant was committing the theft of energy by bye-passing the meter. The meter was found dead stop. However, the supply of power was running. A detailed site checking report was prepared in the presence of the representative of the complainant namely Gurpreet Singh and thereafter, Show Cause Notice vide Memo No. 387 dated 19.3.2009 was served upon the complainant with the direction to deposit the amount of Rs. 38,105/-. The demand of Rs. 38,105/- is stated to be legal.
    4.

    In order to prove the case, the complainant tendered in evidence his affidavit – Ex. CW1/A, receipt – Ex. C-1, receipt dated 26.3.2007 – Ex. C-2, bill dated 11.3.2007 – Ex. C-3, bill dated 10.11.2008 – Ex. C-4, receipt dated 28.1.2008 – Ex. C-5, bill Ex. C-6, bill dated 14.11.2008 – Ex. C-7, receipt Ex. C-8, notice – Ex. C-9 and closed the evidence.
    5.

    In rebuttal, the opposite parties tendered in evidence affidavit of Tarlochan Singh – Ex. R-1, affidavit of Krishan Chander – Ex. R-2, site checking report – Ex. R-3, notice dated 19.3.2009 – Ex. R-4 and closed the evidence on behalf of the opposite parties.
    6.

    The learned counsel for the parties have filed written arguments. We have gone through the written submissions and record of the file minutely.
    7.

    Ex. R-1 is the affidavit of Tarlochan Singh Sandhu, AEE, PSEB Sub Division, Paddi Sura Singh in support of the averments contained in the reply. Ex. R-4 is the notice dated 19.3.2009. Ex. R-3 is the site checking report, which is signed by Gurpreet Singh, representative of the complainant. Ex. R-2 is the affidavit of Krishan Chander, AAE, PSEB, Task Force, Circle Office, Hoshiarpur, in support of the contents of the site checking report – Ex. R-3, wherein he has stated that on 19.3.2009 he alongwith Mohinderpal, AJE, Mohider Singh, JE and AE of Saila Khurd, Sub-Division, PSEB, checked the electric connection of the complainant and found that the complainant had fixed the direct wires (kundis) in PVC wire over roof of the supply line coming to the meter by inserting the said wires in the grip and switched off the meter. In this way, the complainant was stealing the power of the PSEB by bye-passing the meter.


    The meter was made dead stop. However, the supply was running at the spot. The case of theft was declared. The detailed checking site report was prepared in the presence of Gurpeet Singh, representative of the complainant, who remained present during the entire site checking of the connection. The self-serving affidavit of the complainant Ex. C-1 is not sufficient to rebut the site checking report – Ex. R-3, as such it is held that the connection of the complainant was checked by the officers of the PSEB and he was found committing theft of electricity.
    8.

    As a result of the above, it is held that the complainant has failed to prove any deficiency on the part of the opposite parties, with the result he cannot claim any sympathy from this Forum, thus the complaint is dismissed. However, keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, no order as to costs. Copy of the order be sent to the parties free of cost. File be consigned to the record room.
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