Kseb

adminadmin Administrator
ORDER
y Smt. C.S. Sulekha Beevi, President,
Brief facts:-


1. Complainant is a consumer of electricity for agricultural purpose and domestic purpose under opposite party. As regards the agricultural connection he belonged to the non-payment group and the charges was paid by Krishi Bhavan. On 05-8-2003 his supply to agricultural connection was disconnected. On enquiries he was informed that the supply was disconnected due to default in paying charges. He enquired with Krishi Bhavan and came to know that all charges are paid. Though he informed this to first opposite party and requested for restoration of connection his request was not heeded to. He then send a written complaint on 19-8-2003 to the Executive Engineer, Ponnani and requested for restoration of connection. First opposite party came to know of this and behaved in a rude manner. Thereafter first opposite party issued two bills dated, 29-9-2003 for Rs.15,804/- and Rs.1,800/-. That these bills have no nexus with the energy consumed by him. Hence this complaint to set aside the bills and to pay compensation for illegal disconnection.



2. Opposite party filed version admitting that complainant is a consumer for agricultural connection (consumer No.5831) and for domestic connection (consumer No.4250) in the same premises. It is admitted that the agricultural connection belongs to the non-payment category and the charges are paid by Krishi Bhavan. Opposite party submits that the disconnection of agricultural connection was not done due to non-payment of current charges. It is stated that the agricultural connection was disconnected on 05-8-2003 because at the time of doing post shifting work near the house of complainant it was noticed by Sri.Rajesh, Sub Engineer, Electrical Section, Changaramkulam that the wiring installation was in a dangerous condition and the service wire was lying on the ground due to deteriorated condition of the shed and service pipe. Sri. Rajesh complained the matter to complainant and with permission of 1st opposite party the supply was disconnected u/s 44(b) of Conditions of Supply of Electrical Energy, 1990. That no agricultural pumping is necessary in Kerala during the month of July-November. The consumer rectified the defect and approached opposite party office. Since the season was monsoon there were many major breakdown works in the section and the field staff was too busy with the same. Moreover the reconnection requested was for agricultural connection for watering coconut, arecanut etc. which is in least necessity during monsoon. First opposite party assured the complainant to restore the supply before summer season. On 19-8-2003 complainant directly submitted a petition before Executive Engineer, Ponnani with copy to first opposite party. Usually no consumer demands a reconnection for agricultural connection during monsoon period. This aroused suspicion in the mind of first opposite party about the real intention demanding reconnection of agricultural connection. Under electrical section of Changaramkulam, there are large number of cases of misuse of energy. First opposite party along with Assistant Engineer, Electrical Sub division, Edappal, inspected the premises on 02-9-2003 and prepared the site mahazar. The irregularities were noted. The terminal cover of the domestic meter was not seen. Additional fuse units were seen installed in agricultural connect ion. The connected load of domestic connection was seen 6KW against sanctioning load of
3.160 KW. On verification of meter readings it was found that there was misuse of energy. The details of readings are furnished in the version. It is stated that the readings would show that complainant was using agricultural supply for domestic purpose. The bills issued are proper and legal and complainant is liable to pay the same.



3. Evidence consists of the affidavit filed by complainant. Exts.A1 to A4 marked for him. Counter affidavit filed by opposite party and Exts. B1 to B5 marked for opposite party. Either side has not adduced any oral evidence.




4. Points for consideration:-

    1. (i) Whether opposite party is deficient in service.
      (ii) If so, reliefs and costs.
5. Point (i):-
The allegations levelled against opposite party are two fold (i) that opposite party illegally disconnected the agricultural connection of complainant and failed to restore it even after repeated requests. (ii) that the two bills dated, 29-9-2003 for Rs.15,084/- and Rs.1,800/- each are issued by first opposite party without any proper basis and only to meet personal vengeance against complainant.


6. Undisputedly the supply to agricultural connection of complainant was disconnected on 05-8-2003. It is the say of complainant that when he made enquiries with first opposite party he was informed that the supply was disconnected for non-payment of charges. That even though he made several requests for reconnection after informing first opposite party that his charges have been paid by Krishi Bhavan, first opposite party failed to restore the connection. Thereafter complainant filed a written petition on 19-8-2003 (Ext.A1) to the Executive Engineer, Ponnani requesting for reconnection. That on coming to know of this first opposite party behaved to the complainant in a rude manner. That the connection was not restored by opposite party. As per records it is seen that only after complainant filed this case and as per interim orders in I.A.24/04 dated, 21-01-2004 the connection was restored.


7. Refuting these allegations it is affirmed by opposite party that the reason for disconnection was not non-payment of charges. It is submitted that at the time when post shifting work was done by Sri. Rajesh, Sub Engineer, Electrical Section, Changaramkulam near the house of complainant the service wire to the agricultural supply of complainant was found in a dangerous condition. Sri.Rajesh after complaining the matter to complainant sought permission from first respondent and disconnected the supply under Sec.44(b) of the Conditions of Supply of Electrical Energy, 1990. That consumer rectified the defects and approached office for reconnection.



8. Apart from the vague affirmation in the affidavit that the supply was disconnected under Regulation 44(b) due to dangerous condition of service wire there is no other evidence adduced by opposite party to prove the reason for disconnection. Regulation 44(b) reads as under:

“The Board shall without prejudice to the rights of the Board or the provisions of the I.E. Act 1910 disconnect the supply without notice, if the installations of the consumer are in such conditions that they are likely to cause danger to life and/or loss of property.”
Though this provision enables the Board to disconnect the supply immediately without notice to the complainant, the action of disconnection taken by opposite party should be supported by necessary office records. It is the case of opposite party that Sri.Rajesh informed the matter to first opposite party and took permission to disconnect the supply. No supporting documents are produced by opposite party to prove that the service wire was noted in a dangerous condition and that permission was given to Sri.Rajesh to disconnect the supply. Further opposite party has not examined Sri.Rajesh and has neither filed his affidavit. It is true that Regulation 44( b) permits Board to disconnect supply without notice. But such provision cannot be used capriciously by an officer without supportive office records. Every action of granting connection and severing supply should find a place in office records. If officers use the provision wantonly and disconnect the supply of a consumer without notice and without stating any reason, then consumers will not only be put to great peril but will be easily victimized by high-handed officers. In our view, whenever the supply of a consumer is disconnected it should be corroborated by office records with details and reasons of disconnection. Further opposite party contends that complainant rectified the defect by himself. If a service wire was in such a condition as stated in Regulation 44(b) so dangerous to disconnect the supply then definitely complainant will not be able to rectify the defect all by himself without the help of the Board. Opposite party does not have a case that they rectified the defect. Complainant does not have a case that he rectified any defect or sought any assistance from the Board to rectify the defect. Again there are no documents to show that any such repair or rectification was done by opposite party. Opposite party ought to have prepared a mahazar/document if the service wire was found in dangerous condition and the copy of the same ought to have been handed over to the complainant. Interestingly the reason for disconnection is stated by opposite party, for the first time, in Ext.B4 which is the reply issued to complainant by first opposite party on receiving the written complaint Ext.A1. It has also to be noted that it is the contention of complainant that after Ext.A1 first opposite party developed personal grudge against him. From the evidence and materials placed before us we are able to infer that first opposite party had disconnected the supply on some wrong notion and thereafter was lethargic to the requests made by complainant for restoration of connection. When complainant moved written complaint (Ext.A1) before higher officer, first opposite party has taken refuge of Regulation 44(b) to substantiate his action of disconnection and absolve him from liability. From the above discussions we are able to reach the inescapable conclusion that the disconnection of agricultural connection No.5813 of complainant on 05-8-2003 was illegal. Illegal disconnection is deficiency in service.


9. Complainant is also aggrieved that after disconnection opposite party failed to restore connection even after repeated requests. Even after lodging Ext.A1 petition on 19-8-2003 the supply was not restored. Ext.B4 reply was issued on 15-9-2003. Only after filing this case and as per interim orders did opposite party restore the connection. The contention of opposite party in the version and para 3 of the counter affidavit is worth mentioning in this regard. It is affirmed by opposite party that complainant rectified the defects of service wire and approached office for reconnection. That because opposite party was to busy with other works and the season being monsoon, the reconnection was not provided. That because the cultivation was coconut and arecanut etc. which did not require watering in monsoon opposite party assured complainant to reconnect the supply before summer season. We are amazed at the audacity of opposite party to swear such submissions. If the supply of a consumer was disconnected under 44(b) as contended by opposite party without any notice, then it is the bounden duty of opposite party to reconnect the supply immediately on rectification of defects. Opposite party need not and should not wait for seasonal changes. It is the right of the consumer to enjoy his supply as long as he is paying charges and is entitled to use it. The connection and reconnection cannot be at the whims and fancies of the officers who man such governmental authorities. Electrical energy for agricultural connection is given to farmers in low tariff and they are further categorized into payment group and non-payment group basing upon other factors. These benefits are intended to promote agriculture and to alleviate the hardships of poor farmers. It is the further case of opposite party that the repeated request of complainant to reconnect the supply aroused suspicion in first opposite party and therefore conducted an inspection on 02-9-2003. After filing Ext.A1 petition requesting for reconnection opposite party has waited till 02-9-2003, hanging over his suspicious. We have no doubt to conclude that failure on the part of opposite party to immediately reconnect the supply when complainant rectified the defect of service wire as contended by opposite party is deficiency in service.


10. The second main grievance of the complainant is regarding the issuance of Ext.A2 (Rs.15,084/-) and Ext.A3 (Rs.1,800/-) bills. Complainant alleges that these bills are issued only due to the personal grudge that developed after Ext.A1 complaint. When complainant raised such an allegation of victimization it is necessary to examine the sequence of the events which is as follows:-
(i) On 05-8-2003 the supply as disconnected.
(ii) On 19-9-2003 Ext.A1 written petition filed before higher officer.
(iii) On 02-9-2003 inspection
(iv) On 15-9-2003 Ext.B4 written reply to Ext.A1 issued by first opposite party.
(v) On 21-9-2003 Ext.B1 counter issued by complainant to first opposite party against Ext.B4 reply.
(vi) On 29-9-2003 Ext.A2 and A3 bills issued to complainant.
It is pertinent to note that though opposite party contends to have conducted inspection on 02-9-2003 and found misuse of energy Ext.A2 and A3 bills are seen issued much later. After alleged inspection Ext.B4 reply is seen issued stating that inspection was conducted on 02-9-2003 and that opposite party detected misuse. To this Ext.B1 counter was filed by complainant stating all details about his consumption pattern and accusing opposite party of malafide and corruptive action. In Ext.B1 he has specific ally stated that such allegation of misuse is levelled against him only after Ext.A1 complaint and that it is intended to harass consumers unnecessarily. Opposite party states that complainant had send Ext.B1 by registered post. Only after receiving Ext.B1 did opposite party issue Ext.A2 and Ext.A3 bills. The sequence of events definitely indicates that the bills are issued as an after thought to make the consumer succumb and stop voicing his grievances.


11. Even then we proceed to analyse whether there is any legality in issuing Ext.A2 and A3 bills. Opposite party has relied on Ext.B3 mahazar and B5 meter reading registers to issue the above bills. It is stated in Ext.B3 that inspection of the premises was conducted on 02-9-2003 by first opposite party along with other employees of the board. Complainant contends that no such inspection was conducted and that the mahazar is a fabricated one. On perusal it is seen that Ext.B3 is not witnessed by any independent witnesses. It is not stated in Ext.B3 that complainant or his agent was present at the time of inspection. It is not seen that a copy of Ext.B3 was given or tendered to complainant. It is seen signed only by employees of the board. In Ext.B3 it is only stated that meter cover not seen. Opposite party has no case that tampering of meter was detected. Though opposite party contends that additional 3KW load was connected, this is not specifically stated to inform the complainant. The other irregularity noted is that a fuse unit was seen outside the meter board of agricultural connection. When complainant has denied Ext.B3 the absence of independent witnesses to Ext.B3 is material irregularity. Then opposite party ought to have examined any witness of Ext.B3 to prove the contents of the same. For such reasons and considering the back drop of the case we are unable to hold Ext.B3 as reliable and acceptable.



12. Admittedly the meter of agricultural connection (No.5813) and domestic connection (No.4250) were working properly. Ext.A2 bill for Rs.15,804/- is issued towards consumer No.5813 for misuse of energy from agricultural connection to domestic connection for six months. Ext.A3 bill for Rs.1,800/- is issued towards consumer No.4250 for unauthorized additional load of 3KW. Opposite party has made a comparison of the consumption pattern in agricultural connection and domestic connection and made assumptions that complainant is using energy supplied for agricultural purpose to domestic connection. It is stated that the agricultural consumption during rainy season is high and that his land is less than 30 cents and that coconut and arecanut need less water. Without any basis or logic opposite party has compared the consumption of both connections prior to 1997. It is submitted that the meter reading pattern in domestic connection would bring clear picture of misuse because after disconnection of agricultural connection the energy reading in domestic supply has steeply increased.


13. The consumption in domestic supply as shown in Ext.B5(a) is as follows:-
  1. Date Meter reading Consumption for one month
26-02-2002 14757 125
07-04-2002 14882 125
27-06-2002 15070 188
29-08-2002 15260 190
28-10-2002 15424 164
23-12-2002 15598 169
22-02-2003 15725 132
28-04-2003 15924 199
24-06-2003 16115 191 agricultural connection
disconnected on 05-8-03
26-08-2003 16390 275
25-10-2003 16557 167
From the readings furnished as per Ext.B5 there is no indication that after disconnection of agricultural supply the domestic consumption has steeply increased continuously. Opposite party has no case that at the time of inspection any unauthroised extensions were seen from agricultural supply to the domestic supply. It is evident that opposite party has issued Ext.A2 bill basing only on assumptions and without any proper basis. The surmises that coconut and arecanut need less water and that irrigation is not needed during rainy season can in no way be accepted. In some years the monsoon has failed and farmers need to water their cultivation. Therefore Ext.A2 bill is only to be set aside and complainant is not liable to pay the same. Ext. A3 bill is issued for unauthorised additional load. This bill is based upon Ext.B3 mahazar. There is no other evidence to show that there is additional load. The submission on behalf of opposite party is that complainant was using water heater, fridge, electric iron and therefore the connected load is higher. No consumer would use all these gadgets together continuously for 24 hours. Opposite party has no case that any new plug point was installed in the domestic connection. It is apparent, on the back ground of the facts of this case that these bills were issued only to harass the consumer. We hold that Ext.A3 bill has no legal basis and is only to be set aside. Issuance of bills without any legal basis only to harass the consumer is deficiency in service. We find opposite parties deficient in service.


14. Point (ii):-
Complainant seeks cancellation of Ext.A2 and A3 bills. This is only to be allowed as already discussed in point (i). The consumer has to be compensated for the deficiency and harassment meted by him. In our view to deal with such a situation the decision rendered by Apex Commission in Lucknow Development Authority Vs. M.K. Gupta 1993 CTJ 929 SC (CP) is aptly applicable.
        1. “The jurisdiction and power of the courts to indemnify a citizen for injury suffered due to abuse of power by public authorities is founded as observed by Lord Hailsham in Cassell & Co. Ltd. V. Broome, 1972, AC 1027: (1972)1 ALL ER 801 on the principle that, 'an award of exemplary damages can serve a useful purpose in vindicating the strength of law'. An ordinary citizen or a common man is hardly equipped to match the might of the State or its instrumentalities, that is provided by the rule of law. It acts as a check on arbitrary and capricious exercise of power................................................A public functionary if he acts maliciously or oppressively and the exercise of power results in harassment and agony then it is not an exercise of power but its abuse. No law provides protection against it. He who is responsible for it must suffer it. ...............................Harassment of a common man by public authorities is socially abhorring and legally impermissible. It may harm him personally but the injury to society is far more grievous.”
The facts of the case reveals the victimization of a consumer at the hands of an officer who renders service in monopoly services of government owned agency. Such capricious acts should be put to a halt. Only because a consumer made a written complaint to restore connection he was served with shocking bills and had to approach this Forum to restore his connection. We consider that this is a fit case to impose punitive damages of Rs.25,000/- to the complainant which will serve to set right the quality and dignity of service rendered by opposite party. The amount so paid by the Board shall be recovered from the person who was holding office as Assistant Engineer, Kerala State Electricity Board, Changaramkulam during the period 05-8-2003 till 29-9-2003.


15. In the result we allow this complaint and order the following:-
      1. (i) Ext.A2 and A3 bills stand cancelled. Any amount paid by complainant towards these bills shall be refunded to him.
        (ii) Opposite parties shall jointly and severally to pay Rs.25,000/- as punitive damages to the complainant. The Kerala State Electricity Board is at liberty to realise the amount so paid from the person who was working as Assistant Engineer, Kerala State Electricity Board, Changaramkulam during the period from 05-8-2003 till 29-9-2003.
        (iii) Opposite parties shall also pay jointly and severally cost of Rs.2,500/- to the complainant.
        (iv) The time limit for compliance of this order is fixed as two months from the date of this receipt of copy of this order.


  1. Dated this 20th day of March, 2009.
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Comments

  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]O R D E R[/FONT]
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]By Smt.Preetha.G.Nair, Member[/FONT]




    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]The complainant is a consumer of the opposite parties having consumer No.K5377. The meter in the premises of the complainant provided by the opposite parties was in good condition till they visited the premises on 29.06.2006. The Anti Power Theft Squad led by the Assistant Executive Engineer of the Anti Power Theft Squad conducted a surprise inspection and pointed out that the meter seal which was there in the meter neither have any seal of the company nor bears the seal of the KSEB. Also pointed out that the lower portion of the meter is having a gap on the back side of the meter. Further allegation is that the complainant herein have chances to put some foreign objects like x-ray films and such other things to obstruct the correct reading of the meter. The billing pattern of the complainant will show that he is using the same units of electricity to his house and there is no much difference in the bills and the consumption. The complainant states that the site mahazar is silent on the fact that there was no foreign particles present inside the meter and at the time of inspection of the squad, the meter was working properly and no tampering was detected. The electricity connection to the complainant's house has been disconnected. He is forced to pay the imposed penalty bill for an amount of the Rs.11,973/- to the opposite parties and thereafter the connection is restored. Thereafter the complainant filed an appeal before the Deputy Chief Engineer, Anti Power Theft Squad. On 3.10.2006 a letter was received by the complainant stating that the personal hearing of the appeal [/FONT]
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]was fixed on 23.09.2006. The communication is received by the petitioner on 3/10/06. This fact has been informed to the Deputy Chief Engineer and demanded that the appeal should be heard in the Palakkad camp sitting. But the same was turned down by the authority and an exparte order was passed. Hence this complainant prays before the forum for refund of the said amount or adjust it towards future bills.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]After admitting the complaint notice was issued to the opposite parties. Opposite parties entered appearance and filed version stating the following contentions. The opposite parties admitted that the consumer number 5377 owned by the complainant was issued for domestic use. But on 29.06.2006, during a surprise inspection, at the complainant's premises the Special Squad noticed that the meter seal were tampered and a gap on the meter side cover was made so as to insert a foreign particle inside the meter which can stop the rotation of meter disc, thereby stopping the meter recording as and when required. Thereafter it was noticed that the meter disc show tamper marks on it. The opposite parties stated that all these facts were made clear to the complainant and he had admitted and acknowledged in the site mahazar. Thereafter the electric supply was disconnected and the meter was taken under safe custody with the complainant's signature on the wrapper. Further the opposite parties stated that the Deputy Chief Engineer, Anti Power Theft Squad requested the complainant to attend for a personal hearing at the camp office Palakkad on 23/09/06 vide letter dt.18/9/06. The complainant did not turn up for the hearing. Thereafter two opportunities were given to the complainant for attending the hearing. But the complainant has not attended the same. According to the opposite party the complaint is liable to be dismissed with costs.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]The complainant filed proof affidavit along with documents. Exts.A1 to A7 was marked. Opposite parties filed proof affidavit with documents to support their contentions. Ext.B1 to B3 was marked. Complainant filed questionnaire and opposite parties filed answers to the questionnaire. Evidence was closed and the matter was heard.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]The issues for consideration are;[/FONT]
    1. [FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]whether there is any deficiency of service on the part of opposite parties? and[/FONT]
    2. [FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]If so what is the relief and costs?[/FONT]
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]Issues 1 & 2: We have perused the proof affidavit as well as the relevant documents produced before the forum. The complainant states that Ext.A4 series shows that the letter dtd.18/9/06 was received by the complainant on 3/10/06. The date of hearing fixed as per the letter was 23/9/06. The opposite parties have not produced any documents for contesting the delay for issuance of letter marked as Ext.A4 series. There after the opposite parties sent another [/FONT]
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]letter dt.27/9/06 to the complainant to present for hearing on 7/10/06. Copy of the letter is produced and marked as Ext.B3. But the opposite parties have not produced any acknowlegement card or postal receipt to show that the same has been received by the complainant. Thereafter the complainant sent two letters to the Deputy Chief Engineer, Anti Power Theft Squad requesting to hear the appeal in the Palakkad Camp sitting. The complainant states that the opposite parties have not considered these letters and passed an exparte order on 24/01/2007. The opposite parties state that the complainant was provided ample opportunities to present his case but he did not make use of any of these opportunities. Analysing the evidence on record we are of the view that the complainant has not been given a single opportunity to present his case. Mere tampering of seals does not prove that the complainant was making theft of the electricity. The meter was not tested in the M & T Lab and no notice of testing was given to the complainant. Hence the principles of the natural justice has not been followed by the officials. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]6. Hence we hold the view that the allegation of theft being criminal in nature has to be proved with cogent and reliable evidence which the opposite parties failed to produce. In these circumstances, we attribute deficiency of service on the part of opposite parties. In the result complaint allowed.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]7. The impugned bill is set aside. Opposite parties are directed to adjust Rs.11,973/- (Rupees Eleven thousand nine hundred and seventy three only) towards the future electricity bill of the complainant. Rs.1,000/- (Rupees One thousand only) is to be paid as cost of the proceedings to the complainant. Cost to be paid within one month from the date of communication of the order[/FONT]

    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]8. Pronounced in the open court on this 3rd day of March, 2009 [/FONT]
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    ORDER
    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President

    The case of the complainant is that:
    The complainant is a consumer of respondents vide Consumer No.8830/I A 02-8 and has been paid the electricity charges regularly. Meanwhile a notice dated 25/10/06 was issued by the respondents demanding to pay Rs.1525/- as security deposit. So the complainant had approached the 2nd respondent to waive from the payment and it was replied to consider. But the 2nd respondent tried to disconnect the power supply to the complainant’s premises on 28/4/07 and was prevented by the complainant. The complainant is not liable to pay the Exhibit P1 notice amount. Hence this complaint.

    2. The averments in the version are as follows:
    The complainant is a consumer having a connected load of 5121 watts. The complainant has remitted only Rs.175/- at the time of registration and the service connection was effected on 16/5/88. As the average consumption per month has been increased an additional cash deposit bill amounting Rs.1525/- is issued on 25/10/06. According to Section 47(2) of the Electricity Act 2003 the Board has right to issue notice and collect the insufficient security deposit. So Exhibit P1 notice has issued. Complainant is liable to pay the notice amount and dismiss the complaint.

    3. The points for consideration are :
    1) Is the complainant liable to pay the Exhibit P1 notice amount ?
    2) Other reliefs and costs ?

    4. The evidence consists of Exhibit P1 only.

    5. According to the complainant the Exhibit P1 notice amount is illegal and the complainant is not liable to remit the amount. In the counter the Board has stated that the issuance of the notice was as per law and the complainant is liable to pay the amount stated in Exhibit P1 notice.

    6. In the counter filed by the respondent a statement is given to show the increase in the electricity charge from 1/2005 to 11/2005. So the respondent had taken the average bill of three months to demand the additional security deposit. The complainant did not produce any other documents to show their earlier consumption. So we do believe the statements put forward by the respondents. By Exhibit P1 notice the K.S.E.B. demanded the balance cash deposit amount and the complainant is liable to pay the amount. The amount is calculated as per Section 47(2) of the Electricity Act and no document is produced to show the previous consumption by the complainant.

    7. The Exhibit P1 notice is issued after complying the time prescribed by law and further discussion is not necessary to fix the liability of complainant.

    8. In the result complaint is dismissed and the complainant is directed to pay the Exhibit P1 notice amount within two months and if not paid within two months the respondents are entitled to get Rs.500/- (Rupees Five hundred only) as costs.







    Dictated to the Confdl. Asst., transcribed by her, corrected by me and pronounced in the open Forum this the 16th day of March 2009.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    ORDER
    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President

    The complainant’s case in brief is as follows:
    The complainant is a consumer of the respondents vide No.3477. He has been paying the electricity charges regularly and no dues are pending against him. But the respondents have issued a notice dated 25/10/06 demanding to pay Rs.4062/- as short assessment. Since no dues are pending the complainant is not liable to pay the amount and hence this complaint.

    2. In the counter filed the respondents have stated that the connection to Consumer No.3477 was given for construction purpose up to 31/10/03 under LT VII(A) Tariff and after that domestic connection under LT I (a) Tariff. The connected load pertaining to the complainant was 4 KW. But it was billed for 2 KW. In an inspection conducted by the Regional Audit Officer the above error was find out and the Exhibit P1 bill was issued. So the complainant is liable to pay the bill amount.

    3. The points for consideration are :
    1) Is the complainant liable to pay the Exhibit P1 bill ?
    2) Other reliefs and costs ?

    4. The evidence consists of Exhibit P1 and Exhibit R1 and R2.


    5. Points : The complainant’s case is that he has been paying the electricity charges regularly without making any dues. But as per the disputed notice he was asked to remit Rs.4062/- towards short assessment. According to him he is not liable to pay the amount. The respondents contended that the connected load of the complainant was 4 KW. But electricity bills were issued only for the connected load of 2 KW and the error was found out in the inspection of the Regional Audit Officer. So the Exhibit P1 bill was issued.

    6. It was found out from the inspection of Regional Audit Officer that from 1998 February to 2003 October the bill issued to the complainant was wrong and charged fixed tariff only for 2 KW. From the inspection it was found that there was 4 KW load. So this Exhibit P1 bill was issued. It was not a mistake of the complainant and only the mistake committed by the respondent. The only contention of the complainant is that since he has no arrears he is not liable. But the impugned notice is issued after finding out the short assessment. The complainant has no case that there was no use of 4 KW load. He simply stated that being a prompt consumer he is not liable and it does not mean the waiving of payment for consumed electricity.

    7. The issuance of a notice like Exhibit P1 long after the usage is a deficiency in service of respondent. There is no allegation of misuse of power and the finding out of the mistake is after a long period. The respondent failed to find out the correct usage in time and no fault is seen on the part of complainant. So the complainant is exempted from the payment of interest and he is liable to pay only the amount stated in Exhibit P1.

    8. In the result complaint is dismissed and the complainant is directed to pay the Exhibit P1 amount by three equal monthly instalments consecutively. The 1st instalment shall pay on or before 20/4/09.



    Dictated to the Confdl. Asst., transcribed by her, corrected by me and pronounced in the open Forum this the 16th day of March 2009.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    ORDER
    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President

    The averments in the complainant case is as follows:
    The complainant is a consumer of the respondents vide Consumer No.2021. Complainant and his wife are the only inhabitants in their home. The complainant has been paid all the electricity charges and no arrears pending. The electricity charges from 2001 April to 2003 April was Rs.6617/- and after that the charges were increased heavily and when they received the first increased bill on 2003 June they had stopped the use of electric apparatus. In spite of these the charges were increased. So the complainant is alleging defect to the meter. When he has noticed the reading after switch off all the use of electricity it was found that the meter was working in speedily. From 2003 June to 2005 February the electricity charges were Rs.17,757/- and the complainant is not liable to pay that amount. The complainant has put a complaint to the Assistant Engineer, K.S.E.B., but there was no remedy. The respondents were not taken any steps to cure the defect of meter or replace the same. Moreover the complainant has received a notice dated 2/8/06 demanding to pay Rs.2340/ as additional cash deposit. Complainant is not liable to pay this amount. Complainant is entitled to get back the amount of the meter also. Hence this complaint.

    The averments in the counter are as follows:
    The Consumer No.2021 is a domestic connection and the connected load as per the service connection agreement is 6734 watts. But the present connected load is 16906 watts. So the increase in the meter reading is not due to the fault of the meter. As per the complaint of the consumer the Sub Engineer inspected the premises and meter and reported that meter is working normally. The respondents filed additional counter and states that the meter is not faulty and every bimonthly billed consumer has to deposit an amount equal to their three months current charges as cash deposit and this is as per law. He is liable to pay the additional cash deposit. The meter to consumer No.2021 was supplied by the K.S.E.B and so the complainant is liable to pay rent. If the consumer wants to change the meter, the meter can be changed after getting requests from the consumer. There is no request from the consumer. Since the meter is not faulty the complainant is liable to pay the disputed bill amount. Hence dismiss the complaint.

    3. The points for consideration are :
    1) Is there any deficiency in service ?
    2) If so reliefs and costs ?

    4. The evidence consists of Exhibits P1 series to P4 and Exhibit X1.

    5. Points : The complaint is filed to get replacement of the meter of the complainant and also to refund the payment made to KSEB. The definite case of complainant is that because of the defect of the meter he had to pay Rs.17,757/- and he wants to return the amount. According to him he and his wife are only residing in their house and there is no usage of electricity to come to such a huge bill amount. He has produced some bills and receipts to prove his case.

    6. The respondents have produced the site mahazar and from which it can be seen that the electric apparatus and the bulbs and other fittings. A detailed description is there and also seen that a doctor’s clinic is working adjoining the house and a consulting room is also there. The complainant has also signed the site mahazar by realizing the connected load. The complainant is a doctor and no objection is raised ever after the signing. The site mahazar also reveals that the installation system of the complainant is in a dangerous situation. The number of bulbs, tubes, electric apparatus were shown in the mahazar and no counter evidence is produced to defend it. In the counter it is also stated that as per the service connection agreement the connected load of the consumer was 6734 and at present the load is 16906 watts. Since there is no defect to the meter the increase in the load will definitely because of increase in the consumption. Exhibit X1 report evidences the good working of the meter and no objection is also filed by the complainant. So it is proved that the increase in the charges was not due to the defect of meter but only due to the consumption of energy. So the complainant is liable to pay the disputed amount and not entitled to refund of the amount. Since there is no defect to the meter there is no need for replacement.

    7. The complainant sought another relief of refund of meter rent. In the counter the Board stated that the meter was supplied by them. So they have right to collect rent with the current charges. The complainant has no case that the meter was purchased by him. So the respondents are entitled to collect rent.

    8. Another point to be discussed is the demand of additional cash deposit. As stated by the respondents, every consumer has to remit the amount equal to three months current charges as cash deposit and the complainant is also liable to pay that amount. Exhibit P2 is the notice demanding the additional cash deposit. The notice is dated 2/8/06 and the date for payment stated is 31/8/06. As per Section 47(2) of the Electricity Act 30 days notice is compulsory. But in the present case the complainant has already remitted the amount and also not within the period. So in the circumstance of the case we are not interfering in the payment.

    9. In the result complaint is dismissed.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    ORDER
    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President

    The case of the complainant is as follows:
    The complainant is a consumer of Electricity supplied by the respondents vide Consumer No.A 758. The respondent issued a notice to the complainant dated 29/9/06 to remit an amount of Rs.1743/- as Additional Cash Deposit. The said notice is unfair and without any basis. There is no details in the notice. The respondents informed through the notice that they will disconnect the supply on failure to remit the amount. The act of the respondents is an unfair trade practice. Hence this complaint.

    2. The counter is as follows:
    The consumer No.A.758 is a domestic connection which has been issued by the electrical section, Vatanappilly. The notice for Rs.1743/- as ACD is not illegal and unfair. The Additional Cash Deposit was demanded by giving 30days time to remit the amount. The respondent issued the notice as per Electricity Act 2003 clause 47 and Supply code 2005 clause (13). If the consumers have any complaint regarding the notice they can approach their office and can give complaints as per Supply code 2005. But the complainant never done so. The respondent issued another notice for disconnection dated 23/11/06. The complainant has been asked to pay an average amount calculated on the basis of the bimonthly charges paid by him from 5/05 to 3/06. During the financial year he has remitted Rs.7216/- as the electricity charges. Hence average monthly charge is Rs.601/-. Accordingly three months average charge is calculated as Rs.1803/-. The complainant was demanded to remit Rs.1743/- by deducting Rs.60/- which was already deposited. Hence dismiss the complaint.

    3. The Points for consideration are :
    1) Is the complainant liable to pay the electricity charges as per the notice dated 29/9/06?
    2) Other reliefs and costs ?

    4. Evidence consists of Exhibit P1

    5. Points : The complainant’s case is that he had no dues but a notice dated 29/9/06 was issued by respondent asking to pay Rs.1743/- as Additional Cash Deposit. According to the complainant the said notice is illegal and not liable to pay the bill amount. The respondents have stated that the notice is issued as per the provisions contained in the Electricity Act 2003 and Supply Code 2005. As per these provisions an average of three months electricity charges will be levied as ACD. The average 3 months electricity charges of the complainant come to Rs.1803/-. So he was demanded to pay Rs.1743/- by deducting Rs.60/- which was already paid by him. They have also stated that 30 days time was given to remit the amount and 15 days time given for disconnection. The mode of calculation is also explained in the counter. They also stated that 30 days time was given to remit the amount and 15 days time for disconnection. Exhibit P1 shows the time for remittance The respondents have acted as per the Electricity rules and regulations. Hence the complainant is liable to pay the ACD amount as per the Exhibit P1 notice.

    6. In the result the complaint is dismissed and the complainant is directed to remit the amount stated in Exhibit P1 within 15 days from the date of acceptance of the copy of order.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    ORDER

    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President:

    The complainant’s case is as follows: The complainant is a consumer of the Kerala State Electricity Board, Vadanappilly Section vide consumer No.B-1118. He received a notice dated 8.11.06 demanding to pay Rs.682/- as additional cash security deposit and failing which the supply will be disconnected. The complainant is not liable to pay the amount as per the disputed notice. Hence the complaint.

    2. In the version filed by the respondents they have stated that the complainant is not the consumer as per registration B-1118 connection and it is in the name of Muhammed Ali, Mathilakam, Cheerakuzhi, Vadanappilly. The complainant has been served with the notice to pay Rs.682/- as Additional Cash Deposit and it is not illegal. The notice is issued as per the provision of 47(2) of Electricity Act 2003 and also based on K.S.E.R.C. Supply Code 2005 Clause 13(4), 13(5). 30 days time was given to remit the amount. The complainant never made any complaint in this office regarding the notice issued. Another notice issued on 8.11.06 for disconnection is also not illegal and as per Supply Code. The complainant has been asked to pay an average amount calculated on the basis of the bimonthly charges paid by him from 5/05 to 3/06. During the financial year he has remitted Rs.7126/-. Hence average monthly charge is Rs.595/-. Accordingly three months average charge is calculated as Rs.1782/-. The complainant was demanded to remit Rs.682/- deducting Rs.1100/- already deposited. Hence dismiss the complaint.

    3. The points for consideration are:

    (1) Is the complainant entitled to pay the electricity charges as per the
    notice dated 8.11.06?
    (2) Other reliefs and costs.

    4. The evidence consists of Ext. P1 only.

    5. Points: The complainant’s case is that the Ext. P1 notice dated 8.11.06 issued by respondents asking to pay Rs.682/- as Additional Cash Deposit is illegal and unfair. Hence he is not liable to pay the bill amount. The respondents stated that Ext. P1 notice is issued as per the provisions contained in the Electricity Act 2003 and Supply Code 2005. As per these provisions an average of three months electricity charges will be levied as Additional Cash Deposit. As per that the average charge of complainant comes to Rs.1782/- and he was demanded to pay Rs.682/- deducting Rs.1100/- already paid by him. They have also stated in counter that 30 days time was given to remit the amount of Additional Cash Deposit. According to the respondents they have issued notice on 9.9.06 demanding the payment and the time specified by law was also allowed. But there was no payment and after that Ext. P1 notice was issued. As per Section 27(2) of the Electricity Act 2003, thirty days notice is a pre-requisite for demanding the Additional Cash Deposit amount. In the present case there is no evidence to show that it was complied by the respondents. Ext. P1 is the only evidence before us and it doesn’t contain 30 days time for payment. The respondents simply stated that on 9.9.06 they had issued notice by giving 30 days time, but no document produced to show it. So we have no other option but to cancel the Ext. P1 notice.

    6. In the result, complaint is allowed and the respondents are directed to issue fresh notice of the same amount stated in Ext. P1 after giving 30 days time for payment.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    ORDER

    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President:

    The complainant’s case is as follows: The complainant is a consumer of the Kerala State Electricity Board, Vadanappilly Section vide consumer No.A-1018. He received a notice demanding to pay Rs.834/- as Additional Cash Deposit failing which the supply will be disconnected. The complainant is not liable to pay the amount as per the disputed notice. Hence the complaint.

    2. In the version filed by the respondents they have stated that a notice was issued to pay Rs.834/- as Additional Cash Deposit and it is not illegal. The notice is issued as per the provision of 47(2) of Electricity Act 2003 and also based on K.S.E.R.C. Supply Code 2005 Clause 13(4), 13(5). 30 days time was given to remit the amount. The complainant never made any complaint in this office regarding the notice given. Another notice issued on 9.11.06 for disconnection is also not illegal as per supply code. The complainant has been asked to pay an average amount calculated on the basis of the bimonthly charges paid by him from 5/05 to 3/06. During the financial year he has remitted Rs.3638/-. Hence average monthly charge is Rs.303/-. Accordingly three months average charge is calculated as Rs.909/-. The complainant was demanded to remit Rs.834/- deducting Rs.75/- already deposited. Hence dismiss the complaint.

    3. The points for consideration are:

    (1) Is the complainant liable to pay the electricity charges as per the
    notice?
    (2) Other reliefs and costs.

    4. The evidence consists of Ext. P1 only.

    5. Points: The complainant’s case is that the Ext. P1 notice dated 9.11.06 issued by respondents asking to pay Rs.834/- as Additional Cash Deposit is illegal and unfair. Hence he is not liable to pay bill amount. The respondents stated that Ext. P1 notice is issued as per the provisions contained in the Electricity Act 2003 and Supply Code 2005. As per these provisions an average of three months electricity charges will be levied as Additional Cash Deposit. As per that the average charge of complainant comes to Rs.303/- and he was demanded to pay Rs.834/- deducting Rs.75/- already paid by him. They have also stated in counter that 30 days time was given to remit the amount of Additional Cash Deposit. According to the respondents they have issued notice on 13.9.06 demanding the payment and the time specified by law was also allowed. But there was no payment and after that Ext. P1 notice was issued. As per Section 47(2) of the Electricity Act 2003, thirty days notice is a pre-requisite for demanding the Additional Cash Deposit amount. In the present case there is no evidence to show that it was complied by the respondents. Ext. P1 is the only evidence before us and it doesn’t contain 30 days time for payment. The respondents simply stated that on 13.9.06 they had issued notice by giving 30 days time, but no document produced to show it. So we have no other option but to cancel the Ext. P1 notice.

    6. In the result, complaint is allowed and the respondents are directed to issue fresh notice of the same amount stated in Ext. P1 after giving 30 days time for payment.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    ORDER

    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President:

    The complainant’s case is as follows: The complainant is a consumer of the Kerala State Electricity Board, Vadanappilly Section vide consumer No.A-4274. He received a notice dated 14.11.06 demanding to pay Rs.1270/- as Additional Cash Deposit failing which the supply will be disconnected. The complainant is not liable to pay the amount as per the disputed notice. Hence the complaint.

    2. In the version filed by the respondents they have stated that a notice was issued to pay Rs.1270/- as Additional Cash Deposit and it is not illegal. The notice is issued as per the provision of 47(2) of Electricity Act 2003 and also based on K.S.E.R.C. Supply Code 2005 Clause 13(4), 13(5). 30 days time was given to remit the amount. The complainant never made any complaint in this office regarding the notice given. Another notice issued on 14.11.06 for disconnection is also not illegal as per Supply Code. The complainant has been asked to pay an average amount calculated on the basis of the bimonthly charges paid by him from 5/05 to 3/06. During the financial year he has remitted Rs.5281/-. Hence average monthly charge is Rs.440/-. Accordingly three months average charge is calculated as Rs.1320/-. It was demanded to remit Rs.1270/- deducting Rs.50/- already deposited. Hence dismiss the complaint.

    3. The points for consideration are:

    (1) Is the complainant liable to pay the electricity charges as per the
    notice dated 14.11.06?
    (2) Other reliefs and costs.

    4. The evidence consists of Ext. P1 only.

    5. Points: The complainant’s case is that the Ext. P1 notice dated 14.11.06 issued by respondents asking to pay Rs.1270/- as Additional Cash Deposit is illegal and unfair. Hence he is not liable to pay the bill amount. The respondents stated that Ext. P1 notice is issued as per the provisions contained in the Electricity Act 2003 and Supply Code 2005. As per these provisions an average of three months electricity charges will be levied as Additional Cash Deposit. As per that the average charge of complainant comes to Rs.1320/- and he was demanded to pay Rs.1270/- deducting Rs.50/- already paid by him. They have also stated in counter that 30 days time was given to remit the amount of Additional Cash Deposit. According to the respondents they have issued notice on 18.9.06 demanding the payment and the time specified by law was also allowed. But there was no payment and after that Ext. P1 notice was issued. As per Section 47(2) of the Electricity Act 2003, thirty days notice is a pre-requisite for demanding the Additional Cash Deposit amount. In the present case there is no evidence to show that it was complied by the respondents. Ext. P1 is the only evidence before us and it doesn’t contain 30 days time for payment. The respondents simply stated that on 18.9.06 they had issued notice by giving 30 days time, but no document produced to show it. So we have no other option but to cancel the Ext. P1 notice.

    6. In the result, complaint is allowed and the respondents are directed to issue fresh notice of the same amount stated in Ext. P1 after giving 30 days time for payment.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    ORDER
    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President

    The Complaint is filed to set aside the notice issued by the respondents to pay Rs.4037/- as Additional Cash Deposit. The case is as follows: The complainant is a consumer of the respondents having Consumer No.613. He was issued with a notice directing to remit Rs.4037/- as additional cash deposit failing with the supply of electricity will be disconnected. According to the complainant the notice is illegal and baseless. Hence the complaint.

    2. In a counter version filed the respondent it is stated as follows: As per records the consumer No.A.613 belongs to S.B.Kunju Muhammed and complainant is not a consumer. The disputed notice is issued as per clause 47(2) of the Electricity Act 2003 and as per Clause 13(4) and (5) of Supply Code 2005. Hence it is quite legal. The consumer was asked to pay additional deposit on the basis of the electricity charges paid from 5/05 to 3/06. An amount equal to three months charges has been calculated as additional cash deposit. An average electricity charges of the complainant was calculated as Rs.2049/-. Thus he had to pay Rs.6147/- by the three month charges as additional deposit. Hence notice was issued to pay Rs.4037/- reducing Rs.2110/- as already deposited. The respondents have acted only according to the existing rules and regulations. Hence dismiss the complaint.

    3. Complainant has produced the disputed notice which is marked as Exhibit P1.

    4. Points for consideration are :
    1) Is the complainant liable to pay the bill as per the Exhibit P1 notice ?
    2) Other reliefs and costs ?

    5. Points : Complainant’s case is that he was asked to pay Rs.4037/- as additional cash deposit without any basis and hence the disputed notice is illegal and it is to be set aside. In the counter it is stated that the bill is issued as per Clause 47 (2) of the Electricity Act 2003 and also based on the provisions contained in the Supply Code. As per these an average amount of three months electricity charges is levied as cash deposit. Since this average amount comes Rs.6147/- notice was issued to remit Rs.4037/- after deducting the amount already paid as deposit. Hence the notice is legally based and the complainant is liable to pay this. Since the action of the respondents is based on the provisions contained in Electricity rules and regulation no deficiency in service can be alleged against the respondents.

    6. In the result the complaint is dismissed and the complainant is directed to remit the amount stated in Exhibit P1 notice on or before 6/5/09.

  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    ORDER ADV. RAVI SUSHA, MEMBER.
    The complainant filed this case for getting compensation and cost from the opp.parties.
    The contents of the complaint can be briefly summarized as follows”
    On 10.7.2007 the complainant’s electrical appliances such as Two ceiling Fan, Mixi Two electron ic tube light, C.F Lamb, and Telephone were destroyed due to fire. According to the complainant it was so happened due to the overflow of electricity through the 33 KV electric line and alleged deficiency in service on the part of opp.party. Hence filed complaint for getting compensation and cost.
    PW.1 examined. Ext.P1 to P4 series marked.

    opp.parties did not file version or not adduced any evidence.
    We are carefully perused the complaint, affidavit and documents filed by the complainant. As no evidence is adduced from the side of the opp.parties, we are constrained to rely upon the evidence adduced by the complainant. Through Ext.P1 to P4 series the complainant has proved his case, There is deficiency in service on the part of the opp.parties.

    In the result the complaint is allowed. Opp.parties are directed to pay Rs.6,800/- to the complainant as compensation. Opp.parties are also directed to pay Rs.500/- as cost. The order is to be complied within one month from the date of receipt of this order.

    Dated this the 30th day of March, 2009.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    PRESENT
    SRI. G. SIVAPRASAD : PRESIDENT
    SMT. BEENAKUMARI. A : MEMBER
    SMT. S.K.SREELA : MEMBER
    O.P. No. 160/2003
    Dated : 30.03.2009
    Complainants:
        1. Consumer Vigilance Centre, Sree Kovil, Kodunganoor P.O, Thiruvananthapuram.
        2. M. Vanajakumari, W/o R. Madhukumar, Meena Cottage, Karipu, Malayinkeezhu P.O, Thiruvananthapuram.


    Opposite parties:


        1. Assistant Engineer, KSEB Sub Section, Vattiyoorkavu, Thiruvananthapuram – 695 013.
        2. Secretary, Vaidyuthi Bhavan, KSEB, Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram – 4.


    (By adv. G. Gopidas)


    This complaint is disposed of after the period so specified under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Though the case was taken up for orders by the predecessors of this Forum on 10.03.2005, the order was not prepared accordingly. This Forum assumed office on 08.02.2008 and re-heard the complaint. This O.P having been heard on 12.02.2009, the Forum on 30.03.2009 delivered the following:
    ORDER
    SRI. G. SIVAPRASAD: PRESIDENT
    The facts leading to the filing of the complaint are that 2nd complainant is a consumer of opposite parties vide Con. No. 8213 under LT commercial tariff, that opposite party replaced the ordinary meter with an electronic meter without the consent of the complainant in the year 2002, that thereafter there was no significant difference in the meter reading till the issuance of a bill dated 01.01.2003 and that the said bill dated 01.01.2003 for Rs. 5,175/- is illegal and void. Hence this complaint to cancel the said bill and to refund the excess amount collected from the complainant.


    2. Opposite parties entered appearance and filed version contending that the complaint is not maintainable, that the opposite parties have every right to replace the ordinary meter by electronic meter, that the bill dated 01.01.2003 is for the energy consumed by the complainant, that the premises is occupied for one STD booth and one barber shop is not correct, that one beauty parlour is also functioning in the premises, that one Sri. C. Rajan, Proprietor of Glits Beauty Parlour has requested for testing the meter and remitted Rs. 60/- as testing fee, opposite parties received the meter test report from TMR only on 29.04.2003 and that in the said report it is seen that the meter is slow in full load. There is no deficiency in service. Hence opposite parties prayed for dismissal of the complaint.


    3. The points that arise for consideration are:-
        1. Whether the complainant is entitled to get the bill dated 01.01.2003 cancelled?
        2. Whether the complainant is entitled for refund of remitted amount?
        3. Other reliefs and costs.
    4. In support of the complaint, 2nd complainant has filed affidavit in lieu of chief examination and Exts. P1 to P13 were marked. In rebuttal, 2nd opposite party has filed proof affidavit. Opposite parties did not file any documents.


    5. Points (i) to (iii):- Admittedly, 2nd complainant is a consumer of opposite parties vide consumer No. 8213 under LT commercial tariff. It has been the case of the complainant that in the year 2002, 1st opposite party replaced the ordinary meter with an electronic meter without the consent of the complainant, that even after the replacement of meter, there was no significant difference in the meter reading, that on 01.07.2002 consumption was 110 units for which complainant remitted an amount of Rs. 376/-, on 02.09.2002, consumption rose to 163 units upon which complainant remitted a sum of Rs. 519/- and on 08.11.2002 consumption was 71 units upon which complainant remitted a sum of Rs. 271/- and that complainant has no dispute regarding the said bills. It has also been the case of the complainant that complainant was served with a bill dated 01.01.2003 for Rs. 5175/-. Ext. P1 is the copy of the bill dated 01.07.2002, Ext. P2 is the copy of the bill dated 02/09/2002, Ext. P3 is the copy of the bill dated 01.11.2002, Ext. P4 is the copy of the bill dated 01.01.2003. As per Ext. P4, previous reading was 1919 on 01.11.2002 and reading on 01.01.2003 was 2770. Hence the consumption is 851 units for two months upon which the bill issued for Rs. 5175/-. Submission urged by the complainant is that from 07/02 to 11/02 (for 5 months) the average consumption was only 100 per bi-month, that the premises is occupied by one barber shop and STD booth, that the bi-month energy will not in any case come more than 150/200 units and that the abnormal increase in consumption as shown in Ext. P4 under challenge will only be due to defective meter. On a complaint before the opposite party, complainant was asked to pay Rs. 60/- on 31.01.2003 for examining the meter. Ext. P5 is the copy of the receipt for Rs. 60/- dated 31.01.2003. On receipt of Rs. 60/- it is submitted by the complainant that the meter was taken for testing on 15.02.2003. Ext. P6 is the copy of the bill dated 01.03.2003. As per Ext. P6, bimonthly consumption is 171 units on installation of the new meter and the amount to be remitted is Rs. 720/- and on 17.03.2003 it is seen remitted by the said amount by the complainant. Main thrust of argument advanced by the complainant was to the effect that even though the old meter was taken for testing on 15.02.2003 which was sent for testing to TMR unit only on 07.03.2003, but till date the meter test report was not furnished by the opposite party. In the affidavit of opposite party it is stated that the meter testing report received only on 29.04.2003 and in the report it is seen that the meter is slow in full load. Opposite party did not file the meter testing report. Ext. P7 is the copy of the letter informing the complainant that complainant was allowed to remit arrears of current charges in instalments. Ext. P8 is the receipts. As per Ext. P8, it is seen remitted Rs. 2010(current charges Rs. 1585/-, RF/others Rs. 125/- and interest Rs. 300/-) on 01.02.2003 and Rs. 1675/- (current charges Rs. 1585/-, RF Rs. 30/- and interest Rs. 60/-) on 04.03.2003 by the complainant. Opposite party admitted the said remittances in their affidavit. It is pertinent to note that the said remittances (as per Ext. P8) were in connection with Ext. P4 bill dated 01.01.2003 for Rs. 5175/-. As per Ext. P13 bill on 02.05.2003 energy consumption is 129 units. While as per Ext. P11 bill on 01.07.2003 the energy consumption is 243 units and as per Ext. P12 bill on 01.09.2003 energy consumption is 119 units. It will be useful if we take the pattern of energy consumption prior to and after the issuance of bill under dispute dated 01.01.2003. It is pertinent to note that prior to 01.01.2003, the energy consumption as on 01.07.2002 was 110 units as per Ext. P1, 163 units as on 02.09.2002 as per Ext. P2. That means from 01.05.2002 to 02.09.2002(for four months) total consumption is 110+163 units=263 units. Hence the average bi-monthly consumption would become 263/2=131.5 units. After 01.01.2003, on installation of new meter as per Ext. P6 dated 01.03.2003, bimonthly consumption was 171 units, as per Ext. P13 dated 02.05.2003, bimonthly consumption was 129 units, as per Ext. P11 dated 01.07.2003, bimonthly consumption was 243 units and as per Ext. P12 dated 01.09.2003, the bimonthly consumption was 119 units. Evidently as per Exts. P6, P11 and P12 after installation of new meter, the average bimonthly consumption for six months period was 171+129+243/3=543/3=180.9 units. Before the installation of new meter the bimonthly average was 131.5 units. New meter is seen installed as per Ext. P6. On going through the pattern of energy consumption, it is seen that the bimonthly energy consumption recorded in Ext. P4 is 851 units. Though the said meter was taken for testing by the opposite party, opposite party did not furnish the test report. Installation of new meter as per Ext. P6 and non-production of test meter report by opposite party would confirm complainant's stand that the prior meter was defective and meter reading recorded was abnormally. In view of the above we have to take average of bimonthly average energy consumptions prior to and after the installation of new meter to determine the actual bimonthly consumption as on 01.01.2003. As aforesaid the bimonthly average prior to 01.01.2003 is 131.5 units and bimonthly average after 01.01.2003 is 180.9 units. The average of both averages will become 131.5+180.9/2=132+181/2=313/2=151.5=152 units. We fix bimonthly average consumption as on 01.01.2003 at 152 units and as such the meter readings recorded in Ext. P4 dated 01.01.2003 as 851 units is found abnormal and incorrect. Complainant is liable to remit energy charge only for 152 units. Complainant is entitled for refund of excess amount if any collected by the opposite party in connection with Ext. P4 bill dated 01.01.2003. As per Ext. P8, there are two receipts seen served by opposite parties in connection with Ext. P7 instalment facilities regarding Ext. P4 bill dated 01.01.2003. On 01.02.2003 an amount of Rs. 2010 is seen collected from the complainant by the opposite party and on 04.03.2003 Rs. 1675/- is also seen collected from the complainant by the opposite party. Evidently(as per receipts in Ext. P8) opposite party had collected an amount of Rs. 3685/- from the complainant in connection with Ext. P7 instalment facilities regarding Ext. P4 bill dated 01.01.2003. Collection of excess amount on the basis of faulty meter reading will amount to deficiency in service. In the light of evidence available on records, we find complainant is entitled to get cancelled the bill dated 01.01.2003 and complainant is also entitled for refund of excess amount remitted, after adjusting the amount for 152 units .


    6. In the result, complaint is allowed. The bill dated 01.01.2003 for Rs. 5,175/- (Ext. P4) issued by the 1st opposite party to 2nd complainant is hereby quashed. Opposite party is directed to levy energy charge only for 152 units in connection with Ext. P4 bill dated 01.01.2003. Opposite party shall adjust the energy charge for 152 units as on 01.01.2003 from the remitted amount of Rs. 3685/- and refund the balance amount to the 2nd complainant along with compensation of Rs. 1,000/- and cost of Rs. 500/-. The said amounts shall carry interest at the rate of 12% if not paid, within two months from the date of receipt of this order.
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    O.P. No. 78/2002 Filed on 11.03.2002
    Dated : 30.03.2009
    Complainants:


        1. Sukumaran, Kattuvila Veedu, Melvettoor P.O, Varkala.
        2. Alex Babu.S, Madathikuzhi Veedu, Panthuvila, Ayanthi, Varkala.


    Opposite parties:


        1. Assistant Engineer, Electrical Section, Palachira, Varkala.
        2. Sudhakaran, Sub Engineer.
        3. Bhasi, Overseer
        4. Secretary, K.S.E.B, Vaidyuthi Bhavan, Pattom.
    (By adv. G. Gopidas)
    This complaint is disposed of after the period so specified under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Though the case was taken up for orders by the predecessors of this Forum on 08.11.2004, the order was not prepared accordingly. This Forum assumed office on 08.02.2008. This O.P having been taken as heard on 16.02.2009, the Forum on 30.03.2009 delivered the following:


    ORDER


    SRI. G. SIVAPRASAD: PRESIDENT
    The facts leading to the filing of the complaint are that complainant is a consumer of the opposite parties vide consumer No. 5969 under Electrical Section, Palachira, that on 11.07.2001 the spot biller of the opposite parties informed the complainant about the faultiness of the meter and on the same day itself the complaint was entered in the complaint book, that the bill for 07/01 was assessed on the basis of average consumption and the same was continued in 09/01 also, and that the meter was not replaced by opposite party. On 08.12.2001, an official of the KSEB came to the complainant's house on pretext to seal the meter and removed it and telephoned the officials of KSEB and informed them of theft of energy and disconnected the supply. The said inspection was done by the opposite parties in the absence of complainant and complainant was asked by opposite parties to pay Rs. 3,006/- in order to get reconnection and accordingly complainant paid the same on 10.12.2001. Opposite parties replaced the faulty meter with new one on 16.01.2002. Opposite party created the theft story only to conceal the fact of dereliction of duty on the part of opposite parties in not replacing the faulty meter even after repeated requests. Hence this complaint to quash the bill dated 10.12.2001 for Rs. 3,006/- and to get Rs. 25000/- towards compensation.


    Opposite parties entered appearance and filed version contending that the complaint is not maintainable either in law or on facts, that consumer No. 5969 is in the name of one Sathya Babu, who was employee of the opposite parties and he obtained electric connection under Board Employees' priority category, that during 07/01 it was found that the meter was faulty and on the basis of average consumption a monthly bill was issued to the complainant. Complainant never filed any complaint before the opposite parties as alleged in the complaint.

    On 08.12.2001 Sub Engineer inspected the premises and detected that energy was illegally drawn from the meter by the complainant by shortening the incoming point and outgoing point of the energy meter, that on that day itself the electric connection of the consumer was disconnected, that on the basis of the connected load the bimonthly average consumption of the consumer is 270 units and issued an invoice for Rs. 3006/- to the complainant, that on remittance of the said amount reconnection was effected, that the meter was again inspected on 16.01.2002 and found that the meter was not working properly and the same was replaced with new one. There is no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties. Hence opposite parties prayed for dismissal of the complaint.
    The points that arise for consideration are:-

        1. Whether the complainant is entitled to get the bill of Rs. 3006 dated 10.12.2001 cancelled?
        2. Whether there has been deficiency in service on the part of opposite parties?
        3. Reliefs and costs.
    In support of the complaint, 2nd complainant has filed affidavit and Exts. P1 to P10 were marked. In rebuttal, opposite party has filed affidavit and Ext. D1 series was marked.


    Points (i) to (iii):- The case of the complainants is that 1st complainant is a consumer of the opposite parties vide consumer No. 5969 under electrical section, Palachira and 2nd complainant, the son of the 1st complainant is residing along with the 1st complainant, that on 11.07.2001, the spot biller informed the complainant about the faultiness of meter and on the same day itself the same was entered in the complaint book and that the bill for 07/01 was assessed for 90 units on the basis of average consumption and the same was continued in 09/01 also. Since the meter was not replaced by the opposite parties, complainant personally met the 1st opposite party and requested him to replace the faulty meter. On 08.12.2001, an official of the KSEB came to complainant's house on the pretext to seal the meter and removed it and telephoned other officials of the KSEB stating about the theft of energy and disconnected the supply of energy.


    It is submitted by the complainant that the said act was done by the opposite party in his absence, while the complainant's wife was alone in the house, who refused to sign the mahazar, in order to conceal their fault of not replacing the meter even after repeated requests. Complainant was asked by the 1st opposite party to remit Rs. 3,006/- in order to get reconnection and accordingly paid the amount on 10.12.2001 and opposite party replaced the faulty meter with a new one on 16.01.2002.


    Main thrust of argument advanced by the complainant was that opposite parties created the theft story only to conceal the fact of dereliction of duty on their part of not replacing the faulty meter even after repeated requests. The main plea of the opposite party is that the Consumer No. 5969 is in the name of Mr. Sathya Babu, who was an employee of the opposite party, that during 07/01, it was found that the meter was faulty and on the basis of average consumption a monthly bill was issued to the complainant, that no such complaint was filed by the complainant before the opposite party on 08.12.2001.


    On inspection by the Sub Engineer it was detected that the energy was illegally drawn from the meter by the complainant by shortening the incoming point and outgoing point of the meter, and that on the basis of the connected load, the bimonthly average consumption was 270 units, on the basis of which, an adjustment invoice for Rs. 3,006/- was issued to the complainant and the complainant remitted the said amount on 10.12.2001 and reconnection was effected on that day itself and on 16.01.2002 the meter was again inspected and found the meter was not working and the same was replaced with new one.



    Ext. P1 is the copy of the bill dated 11.09.2001 for Rs. 100/-. As per Ext. P1 in the consumption column it is stated that MSFAV 100 units. Ext. P2 is the copy of the receipt for Rs. 97/- issued by the opposite parties. Ext. P3 is the copy of the bill dated 06.11.2001 for Rs. 106/- where in the consumption column it is recorded that MSFAV 100 units. Ext. P4 is the copy of invoice dated 10.12.2001 for Rs. 2996/-. Ext. P5 is the copy of the receipt dated 10.12.2001 for Rs. 3006/-. Ext. P6 is the copy of the bill dated 09.01.2002 for Rs. 106/- for 100 units. Ext. P7 is the copy of the bill dated 08.03.2002 (after the installation of new meter on 16.12.2001) for Rs. 167/- for 140 units. Ext. P8 is the postal receipt addressed to the Minister, KSEB. Ext. P9 is the acknowledgement card and Ext. P10 is the copy of the letter addressed to the Minister, KSEB.


    On going through Exts. P1 to P3, it is seen that meter reading remained stagnant, that means the meter was not working from 11.07.2001 to 06.11.2001, which continued till the replacement of the faulty meter with new one. During the said period the consumption was assessed as 100 units.

    After replacement of the faulty meter with new one, on 16.01.2002 meter reading was taken as 122 units, on 08.03.2002 as per Ext. P7 the consumption is seen recorded as 140 units. The allegation raised by the opposite party is that complainant had stolen energy from the meter by shortening the incoming point and outgoing point and on detecting the theft, the electric connection of the consumer was disconnected and notice was issued to the complainant to remit the amount as per Ext. P4.

    It is pertinent to note that in case of unauthorized misuse of electricity, the same can be dealt with in accordance with law. Under the Electricity Act, in the case of alleged unauthorized use of electricity, procedure prescribed under 126 of the Act is required to be followed.


    Even if we refer to the amended provisions of Sec. 135, whereby 135(IA) is added with effect from 15.06.2007, then also in the case of apparent theft of energy the officers are required to make assessment under 126 of the Act. In this case, it is pertinent to note that without issuing any notice as contemplated under Sec. 126, or without passing any provisional order as contemplated under Sec. 126 of the Act, the officers straight way issued notice directing the complainant to pay an amount.


    This is nothing but arbitrary and against law. If the procedure prescribed under the Act is not followed, it is to be highlighted that the Act nowhere empowers the officers of the electricity company to act according to their whims and harass the consumers at large. Further in this case, it is submitted that the faultiness of meter was noted in the complaint book on 11.07.2001 on getting information from the spot biller. Even the officials of the opposite parties' office noted the faulty meter on 11.07.2001 and on 11.09.2001, 'No action was seen taken by the opposite party till 16.01.2002.


    It is pertinent to note that even after replacement of faulty meter with new meter, the consumption remained at 140 units. In the prior bills average consumption was 100 units. The difference comes around 40 units. Further, no police investigation was done, mahazar witnesses were not examined, no crime was registered and prior meter was not tested.

    Hence theft of energy not proved. Disconnection was illegal. Issuance of Ext. P4 invoice dated 10.12.2001 for Rs. 2996/- and collection of Rs. 3006/- by way of Ext. P5 dated 10.12.2001 is without basis. Hence Ext. P4 invoice and Ext. P5 receipts deserve to be cancelled. On the basis of Ext. P7 bill we fix average consumption at 140 units during the meter faulty period from 07/01 to 09.01.2002 (that is for four bimonthly bills).


    Opposite parties already had collected current charge on the basis of 100 units per bill. Opposite parties are entitled to get current charge for further 160 units (40x4) during the period of faultiness of meter. Evidently as per Ext. P5 opposite party had collected an amount of Rs. 3006/- from the complainant. This would amount to deficiency in service.


    In the result, complaint is allowed. The invoice dated 10.12.2001 for Rs. 2996/- and receipt dated 10.12.2001 for Rs. 3,006/- issued by the opposite parties are hereby cancelled. Opposite parties are directed to levy extra current charge for 160 units from the complainant in connection with Ext. P4 invoice dated 10.12.2001 and Ext. P5 receipt dated 10.12.2001, and adjust the said extra current charge for 160 units from the remitted amount of Rs. 3,006/- as per Ext. P5 receipt dated 10.12.2001 and refund the balance amount collected to the complainant. Opposite parties shall also pay a compensation of Rs. 1,000/- and Rs. 500/- towards costs.


    A copy of this order as per the statutory requirements be forwarded to the parties free of charge and thereafter the file be consigned to the record room.
    Dictated to the Confidential Assistant, transcribed by her, corrected by me and pronounced in the Open Forum, this the day of 30th March 2009.



    G. SIVAPRASAD,
    President.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited September 2009
    THUDISSERI YUSUF, S/O. KOMUKUTTY ...........Appellant(s)

    Vs.

    ASST. EXECUTIVE ENGINEER, K.S.E.B

    SECRETARY, K.S.E.B ...........Respondent(s)








    ORDER

    1. Complainant challenges the additional bill for Rs.16,120/- dated, 28-02-2001 for the period 1/99 to 12/2000. It is stated that the meter was faulty and that opposite party changed the meter on 24-3-2001. It is averred that opposite party did not take proper meter readings and did not take steps to assess the consumption within six months. That later opposite party issued spot bill for Rs.3,114/- and also collected excess of Rs.597/- which is illegal. That complainant is not liable to pay the additional bill and hence this complaint seeking to cancel the bill, to refund Rs.3,114/- with interest, and other ancillary reliefs.

    2. First opposite party filed version onbehalf of himself and second opposite party. It is stated that the additional bill for Rs.16,120/- was issued for the excess consumption of energy during the period 1/99 to 12/2000. That complainant was paying charges only under provisional invoice card for 140 units/month during this period.


    As per the meter readings noted on 1/99 and 12/2000 the monthly consumption for the relevant period is 379 units. Therefore the additional bill was issued for the charges of excess consumption after deducting the charges already paid under provisional invoice card. Detailed calculation is given in the version. It is submitted that the consumer increased his connected load to 4385 watts with effect from 23-10-1998. His consumption also has increased thereafter. That at the time of sanctioning increased load the single phase connection was converted to a three phase connection on request of the consumer which was necessary to meet the additional load. On such conversion three single phase meters were provided.


    Thereafter readings were taken on 1/99, 12/2000, 8/12/2001 and 23/3/2001. On receiving complaint that meter is faulty, the three single phase meters were replaced by a three phase new electronic meter on 24-3-2001. Only one of the three meters were faulty. That the meter was faulty only after 23-3-2001 and that the meter was not faulty during the relevant period for which bill was issued. That the bills issued are legal and proper. Complainant is liable to pay the same. That an amount of Rs.597/- was collected in excess in the spot bill of 07-2-2001 for Rs.3,441/- which was adjusted towards the next spot bill. That there is no deficiency in service.

    3. This case was initially disposed off by my predecessor on 07-11-2003. Against this order opposite parties preferred appeal No.1016/2003. As per judgment in the said appeal dated, 05-8-2008 the matter was remanded to the Forum for fresh disposal. Notice was issued to both sides on 19-11-2008. But the complainant was absent and the case was dismissed for default on 07-2-2009. Thereafter as per orders in I.A.223/09 filed by complainant the case was restored and posted to 25-6-2009.

    4. Evidence consists of the proof affidavit filed by complainant. No documents marked for him. Opposite party filed counter affidavit Exts.B1 and B2 marked for opposite party.

    5. Complainant challenges the additional bill for Rs.16,120/- dated, 28-02-2001 which according to him was served only on 24-3-2001. He has not produced the bill. Much beating about the bush has been attempted by the complainant in the complaint, affidavit and in the submissions made on his behalf to substantiate that the meter was faulty during relevant period for which the additional bill is issued. It is contended by the complainant that meter was faulty during the period 1/99 to 24-3-2001 and that the meter was changed without complying Sec.26(6).


    That in any case the bill can be issued only for 6 months under Sec.31(c). Opposite party has disputed these contentions and affirms that the meter was not faulty during 1/99 to 12/2000, the period for which the bill was issued. It is the case of opposite party that the meter was faulty only on 24-3-2001 and the meter was changed on 24-3-2001 itself. Opposite party relied upon Ext.B1 meter reading register. It is seen in Ext.B1 that meter readings are taken on 1/99, 12/2000, 12/2001 and 3/2001. Complainant has not challenged these readings by cross examining opposite party. Further there is no documentary evidence to show that he complained the meter to be faulty during the period 1/99 to 12/2000.

    6. Moreover, opposite party has put forward reliable explanation for the basis of issuing the additional bill which is supported by ext.Ext.B1 meter reading register. According to opposite party the complainant was paying monthly charges under the Provisional Invoice card (PIC) in which he was assessed for 140 units only. With effect from 23-10-1998 complainant increased his connected load to 4385 watts. While giving sanction for this increased load the single phase connection was converted to three phase connection in order to meet the additional load. Three single phase meters were installed for this three phase connection. Readings were taken on 1/99, 12/2000, 12/2001 and 23-3-2001. On 24-3-32001 complaint was received that meter was faulty and it was found by opposite party that one of the single phase meters was stuck. All the three meters were then replaced with a new electronic meter.


    It is submitted by opposite party that during the period 1/99 to 12/2000 the meter was not faulty. On perusing the evidence and records it is seen that the average consumption for the relevant period (1/99 to 12/2000 = 23 months) as per readings of 1/99 and 12/2000 is 8719 units. After deducting the units billed and collected by PIC (ie., 140 units x 23 months = 3220 units) the balance is the excess consumption availed by complainant during the 23 months which is 5499 units. That additional bill for Rs.16,120/- was issued for these units as per tariff.

    7. While Provisional Invoice card system existed monthly readings were not taken. But readings were taken at intervals and the consumers were charged for the excess consumption if any over and above the monthly Provisional Invoice Card charges.


    Thus the additional bill for Rs.16,120/- is issued by opposite party for the excess consumption over and above the charges collected under Provisional Invoice card. There is absolutely no evidence to show that the meter was faulty during 1/99 to 12/2000. The meter was noted to be faulty only on 24-3-2001 and therefore does not vitiate the validity of the bill. Sec.26(6) or Sec.31(c) does not have any application to the additional bill issued in this case. It is not in dispute that complainant increased his connected load with effect from 23-10-1998. He does not dispute that he was paying only for 140 units per month under Provisional Invoice card during the period 1/99 to 12/2000.


    This provisional invoice card assessing monthly charges was admittedly issued to complainant prior to increase of his connected load. So the excess units consumed by him during the relevant period has to be paid by him. We therefore hold that the additional bill for Rs.16,120/- issued by opposite party is legal and proper. Complainant is liable to pay the same.

    8. It is further contended by complainant that opposite party collected Rs.597/- in excess in the spot bill for Rs.3,114/-. He has not challenged the bill amount alleging any specific grounds but is aggrieved by the collection of excess of Rs.597/-. Opposite party admits collection of excess but has stated that the amount was adjusted to the next spot bill. Opposite party has not produced any document to show such adjustment. It is not stated in the affidavit by opposite party as to what was the amount of the next spot bill and in what manner the adjustment was made. Hence the contention that the amount has been adjusted is untenable. Complainant is entitled to refund of this excess amount.

    9. Further it is seen that the complainant has been burdened with an additional bill for a period of 23 months. If opposite party had taken readings at least once in six months the consumer would not be burdened with such huge amount. Failure to take regular meter readings is definitely deficiency. For the failure to take proper and regular meter readings the consumer cannot be harassed by issuing bills for the consumption of several months together.

    We therefore are of the view, that opposite party cannot charge any surcharge or interest upon the bill amount. So the amount of Rs.16,120/- only can be collected by opposite party. We hold that waiving of the surcharge would be adequate relief to the complainant.
    10. In the result we partly allow the complaint and order the following:-

    (i) Complainant is liable to pay the amount of Rs.16,120/- (Rupees Sixteen thousand one hundred and twenty only) as per the additional bill.

    (ii) Opposite party is directed to waive the surcharges upon the above amount.

    (iii) Opposite party is ordered to refund Rs.597/- (Rupees Five hundred and ninety seven only) which shall be adjusted to the above amount payable by complainant.

    (iv) We make no order as to costs.

    (v) The time fixed for complying this order is two months from the date of receipt of copy of this order.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited September 2009
    Seena Vilson
    ...........Appellant(s)

    Vs.

    Electrical Major Section Chavakkad

    K S E B. Kunnamkulam
    ...........Respondent(s)





    ORDER




    The case of complainant is that she is a consumer of respondents vide consumer No.10860. She is conducting a Jewellery by name Wilson Jewellery, Chavakkad. She is conducting the jewellery business as a means of livelihood. The average consumption charges of electricity usually come to Rs.6000/-. On 2002 April the respondents issued a bill for Rs.9774/-. After that the bills for 8 months were issued for Rs.9774/-. Only after getting the bill in the month of 2002 November she realized that she was paying the charges of Rs.9774/-for the last 8 months.


    It was came to know that the meter was defective and bills were issued on the basis of earlier rate. The first respondent had not intimated about the defect of meter to the complainant. After her complaint to the respondents the meter was replaced. The amount charged from her was excessive and she is not liable to pay the bills under the rate of Rs.9774/-. She is entitled to get back the excess amount paid by her and also compensation. Hence this complaint.

    2. The complaint was amended as per order in I.A.192/09.

    3. The counter is that the connected load of the service connection to consumer No.10860 is 12840 Watts. The service connection was availed by the complainant for her jewellery shop named Wilson Jewellery under LT VII (A) Commercial Tariff. The date of connection was 1.3.97. As the electrical connection was availed by the complainant to run a commercial establishment like a jewellery employing several salesmen and others the complainant will not become a consumer as defined in Consumer Protection Act and the complaint is liable to be dismissed. The monthly electricity consumption of the consumer was in the range of 720 units to 1250 units until the meter became faulty during 6/02. As the meter became faulty bill was issued for an average consumption of 990 units during 7/02 to 11/02. Due to the shortage in availability of three-phase meter, the meter could be changed only on 28.9.02.


    This also became faulty within a short time. Again it was changed with another one and this meter started to record electricity consumption properly. When the meter started recording consumption correctly the consumer wilfully restricted the energy consumption by switching off the 5560 watts AC unit. So the consumption has been reduced. There is no deficiency in service on the part of respondents. The complainant is not eligible for any refund or adjustments on the already remitted current charges. Hence dismiss the complaint.

    4. The points for consideration are:
    (1) Is the complaint maintainable before this Forum?
    (2) If so, reliefs and costs.

    5. The evidence consists of Exts. P1 to P3 series and Exts. R1 to R3.

    6. Points-1 & 2: The case of complainant is that she is conducting a Jewellery by name Wilson Jewellery, Chavakkad and consumer of respondents vide consumer No.10860. The average consumption charges of electricity usually come to Rs.6000/-. But it was increased and bills issued for Rs.9774/-. She had remitted the amount for 8 months. After that she questioned it and found that her electric meter was defective and it was replaced. According to her, she is entitled to get back the excess amount remitted in the K.S.E.B.

    7. In the counter the respondents attacked the complaint by stating that the complaint is not maintainable before this Forum. According to them the service connection availed by the consumer is for jewellery business and comes under LT VII(A) Tariff. As the connection availed by the complainant to run a commercial establishment like a jewellery employing several salesman and others, the complainant will not become a consumer as defined in Consumer Protection Act.

    8. So the first question to be decided is the maintainability of the complaint. It is an admitted fact that the complainant is running jewellery business. She has filed an amendment application to amend the complaint and to include a pleading that she is conducting the jewellery business as a means of livelihood. It was allowed and the complaint was amended. In the counter the respondent stated that she is running a commercial establishment like a jewellery employing several salesmen and others. It was the duty of complainant to disprove this fact. As per Section 2(1)(d)(ii) of the Consumer Protection Act the services availed for commercial purposes are not come under the purview of the Act. Here the complainant pleaded that she is running the business for earning her livelihood only.


    There is no averment that she is doing the business by means of self-employment. Both the aspects are co-related and it was the duty of the complainant to prove that she is availing the services not for the purpose of “commercial purpose” stated in the Consumer Protection Act. She did not even produce a document to show that she is running the business by means of self-employment. Mere pleadings are not sufficient without evidence. So the complaint is found not maintainable before this Forum.

    9. We refrain from making any comments regarding the merit and demerit of the case. The complainant is at liberty to approach the proper Forum for remedies.

    10. In the result, complaint stands dismissed.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited September 2009
    V.J. Thomas
    ...........Appellant(s)

    Vs.

    Asst Engineer

    KSEB
    ...........Respondent(s)






    ORDER



    The complainant is a consumer of first respondent vide consumer No.9253. The connection is to a service station namely National Auto Service Station. The complainant is conducting the service station as a means of livelihood by self employment. He is conducting the business since 20 years. The average consumption of electricity for 2 months was 750 units till 2005. From 2006 onwards the meter was defective and the consumption shown as more and the complainant intimated the matter to the first respondent. But it was not considered. Subsequently he made written complaints on 24/6/06 and 24/8/06. Later on 2/1/07 the respondent installed parallel meter and it was found increased unit of consumption.


    So meter was replaced with a new one. Subsequently Exhibit P2 bill was issued. When complained against this bill, another bill was issued demanding to pay Rs.37196/- and was wanted to pay by 2 instalments. But from the issuance of Exhibit P1 and P2 notices, it is clear that the respondent made mistake. It shows deficiency in service of respondents. Hence dismiss the complaint.

    2. Both the respondents called absent and set exparte.

    3. To prove the case complainant filed affidavit and documents produced by him are marked as Exhibits P1 to P9.


    4. Points: In the complaint it is stated that the complainant is conducting the Auto Service Station as a means of livelihood by self employment. But there is no evidence to show that he is conducting the service station as a means of livelihood. As per the notices issued by the K.S.E.B. the connection to the service station comes under 7A Tariff. It is a commercial tariff. As per Section 2(1)(d) of Consumer Protection Act 1986 any service for consideration availed for commercial purpose does not come under the purview of Consumer Protection Act.


    In this case the complainant failed to prove that he is conducting the service station as a means of self employment. He does not even aver that there is only one man to conduct the business. Usually more than one person will engage in the activities of service station. He not even produced any document to show that he is doing the business as self employment. So the complaint will not stand here.

    5. In the result the complaint stands dismissed.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited September 2009
    Nandakumar.P.B.
    ...........Appellant(s)

    Vs.

    Assistant Executive Engineer

    KSEB

    Nabeesakutty

    Abdul Majeed
    ...........Respondent(s)






    ORDER



    Complainant is the owner of Sandhya College & Commercial Institution. He is a tenant of Abdul Majeed Haji and conducting the institute in the said building. He is the consumer of respondents vide Consumer No.2649. He has paid the electricity bills regularly. While so the landlord demanded increased rent and tried to evict the complainant from the building. So the complainant approached the Munsiff Court, Chavakkad by filing OS 1065/04 and obtained an injunction order restraining the respondents from disconnecting the electricity. Subsequently under the enmity the landlord instigated the earlier landlord to put an application before the K.S.E.B and on 7/1/05 the power supply was disconnected. This caused very inconvenience to the complainant. Hence this complaint.

    The averments in the counter of 1st and 2nd respondents are as follows:
    2. As per records of K.S.E.B Consumer No.2649 stands in the name of Mohammed Kassim. He has submitted an application on 3/1/05 requesting dismantling of electric connection and the connection was dismantled on 7/1/05. Subsequently the complainant come to the office of 1st respondent and submitted a letter requesting to restore the dismantled connection. Along with the letter he submitted an injunction order issued by Munsiff Court, Chavakkad.


    The complainant has stated that about 10 persons are working in his institute. He is occupying the building and enjoying the electricity without the approval or willingness of the building owner. So he is not a consumer. Since the complainant is running a commercial institute employing about 10 people he does not include the purview of Consumer Act. He has no claim that he is using electricity for his livelihood by self employment. When the complainant came to the office of 1st respondent, it was come to know that it is the complainant who is remitting current charges. But as the connection was already been dismantled, the complainant was advised to take a fresh connection.


    To this he was agreed but was not turned up. The dismantled connection was restored as per the order of the Forum. Since an injunction order from the Munsiff Court is pending the complainant was supposed to approach the Munsiff Court and so obtain the restoration of electric supply. The registered consumer is Mohammed Kassim and the respondents have the responsibility to honour his request. These respondents acted as per the rules. The respondents have no information that electricity has extended from Consumer No.2649 to the complainant’s institute and he is paying the current charge. Hence dismiss the complaint.

    The counter of additional respondents 3 and 4 is as follows:
    3. These respondents are necessary parties in the complaint and impleaded as per the order of Hon’ble High Court of Kerala. Complainant is a tenant of these respondents and has no other rights. At the time of taking the electricity connection to the complainant’s institute there was stipulation that the complainant has to pay the electricity charges. But the complainant unauthorisedly extended supply to the institute from the ground floor. So the connection was disconnected by the 1st respondent. Complainant was not a consumer at any time. These respondents are parties in OS.1062/04 pending before the Chavakkad Munsiff Court and contesting the case. The demand of increased rent is lawful. The unauthorized use of electricity by complainant is to be restrained. The order to restore the electricity is to be cancelled. Hence dismiss the complaint.

    4. The points for consideration are :
    1) Is there any deficiency in service?
    2) If so reliefs and costs?

    5. The evidence consists of Exhibits P1 to P5 and Exhibits R1 to R3.

    6. The case is filed to get restoration of the electricity supply which was disconnected by the respondents and also for compensation. The case of complainant is that he is a tenant of one Abdul Majeed Haji and taken a building for rent and conducting an institute namely Sandhya College and Commercial Institute. The electricity Consumer No. to that building is 2649 and he is the consumer. According to him he has paid the electricity bills regularly. He further states that due to a dispute regarding the rent the landlord tried to evict him from the building and he filed OS.1065/04 before the Munsiff Court Chavakkad and obtained an injunction order against disconnection of electricity. According to him upon this grudge he compelled the earlier owner to apply to KSEB for disconnection of power supply and it was disconnected by the respondents and so he has filed this complaint.

    7. In the counter 1st and 2nd respondents stated that as per records of KSEB the Consumer No.2649 stands in the name of Mohammed Kassim. The connection was dismantled only on application by him. After the dismantling the complainant came to their office with request to restore the dismantled connection. The connection was restored as per the order of this Forum. They further stated that since original suit is pending before the Munsiff Court and an injunction order is obtained, the complainant was supposed to approach the Munsiff Court, Chavakkad. So according to them they have no liability towards the complainant.

    8. The respondents 3 and 4 who were impleaded additionally stated that the complainant has unauthorisedly misused the electricity. The complainant was not a consumer at any time. This complaint is filed by colluding with respondents 1 and 2. In OS.1065/04 these respondents are the opposite parties and contesting the matter. The order to restore the dismantled connection is to be set aside.

    9. The reliefs sought by the complainant are restoration of electric connection and also for compensation. It is admitted by all the parties that OS.1065/04 is pending before the Munsiff Court, Chavakkad regarding rent control matters. In that suit the respondents 1 and 2 are not parties. The respondents 1 and 2 produced the copy of injunction order. In that order the respondents are restrained from disconnecting the electricity. The order was dated 30/11/04.


    The defendants in that case are respondents 3 and 4 in this case. So it is true that the land lord Abdul Majeed may instigate Mohammed Kassim to put application before KSEB for disconnect the electricity. In the counter all the respondents stated that the complainant has unauthorisedly used the electricity. Being no parties to the suit the injunction order is not applicable to KSEB. So up on the application of a third party the KSEB dismantled the connection. According to the KSEB as per their records the original consumer is Mohammed Kassim.


    The change of land owners not intimated to the KSEB timely. So there is no deficiency in service can be seen from the Board. They stated that up on application of the consumer as per their records they acted up on. There is also no evidence brought by the complainant to show that up on the instigation of 3rd respondent Mohammed Kassim put application to KSEB for dismantling connection. As stated by KSEB the complainant had to approach the Munsiff Court for appropriate remedy. There was strict order against the defendants i.e. the respondents 3 and 4 in this case not to disconnect the electricity supply. If any violation the complainant had to take action against the parties in that suit itself. He did not do so. So he is not entitled for any reliefs sought.

    10. The first relief is sought for restoration of connection. He is only a tenant and not a consumer. If any curtailment in the amenities enjoyed by him, he has to approach the rent control Court and not Consumer foras. More over the KSEB acted as per law and not liable for payment of compensation to the consumer. In the absence of evidence against respondents 3 and 4 they are also not liable to compensate the complainant. It was the best way to the complainant to approach the Munsiff Court and proceed against the respondents. The complainant miserably failed to establish his case.

    11. In the result the complaint stands dismissed.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited September 2009
    R.A. Hassan
    ...........Appellant(s)

    Vs.

    Assistant Engineer

    KSEB
    ...........Respondent(s)







    ORDER





    The case of complainant is as follows: The complainant is a consumer of the respondents vide consumer No.A-746. He paid the electricity charges regularly. But a notice dated 28.9.06 was issued by the respondent demanding to deposit Rs.603/- as security. This notice is illegal. The notice does not contain any reading and such other details. So the complainant is not liable to pay the amount stated in the notice. Hence this complaint.

    2. The averments in the counter of respondents are as follows. The connection to consumer No.A-746 is for domestic purpose. The notice was issued as per Section 47(2) of Electricity Act and Clause 13(4) and 13(4) of Supply Code. On 28.9.06 a notice was issued by permitting 30 days time to pay the bill. The notice was issued by complying all the formalities of law. Hence dismiss the complaint.

    3. The points for consideration are:

    (1) Is there any deficiency in service?
    (2) If so, reliefs and costs.

    4. The evidence consists of Ext. P1 and Exts. R1 and R2.

    5. Points-1 & 2: The case of complainant is that he has no arrears in electricity charges. But Ext. P1 notice was issued to pay Rs.603/- as additional security deposit. Sine has no arrears, he is not liable to pay the amount stated Ext. P1.

    6. In the counter the respondents stated that the bill was issued as per Indian Electricity Act and Supply Code.

    7. It is mandatory that 30 days time be given for payment of additional cash deposit. Ext. P1 is the notice demanding additional cash deposit shows that it was issued on 28.9.06. The date of payment stated as 28.10.06. So it can be considered that 30 days was given to the complainant for payment of amount. But it was not paid by the complainant by challenging that it is illegal. No evidence and no document produced by the complainant to establish that Ext. P1 is illegal and baseless. Ext. R2 is the copy of details of A.C.D. notice. It clearly shows how they arrived at Rs.603/-. No counter evidence adduced by the complainant. So the complainant is liable to pay the amount.

    8. In the result, the complaint is dismissed and the complainant is directed to pay the Ext. P1 notice amount within one month. If not, the respondents are at liberty to disconnect the power supply.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited September 2009
    Thankamma,Kollethu Padinjattathil
    ...........Appellant(s)

    Vs.

    The Asst. Exe. Engineer,K.S.E.B.,Anchalummoodu

    The Executive Engineer,K.S.E.B.,Kollam

    The Secretary,Vaidhyuthi Bhavan,Pattom
    ...........Respondent(s)




    ORDER


    The complaint is filed for getting a direction for reconnection of Electric supply and compensation and cost.



    The averments in the complaint can be briefly summarized as follows:



    Aggravated by a complaint lodged before Dist. Collector about a connection granted by the opp.parties through over the premises of the complainant, the 1st opp.party disconnected Electric Connection in the premises of the complainant. The learning of the complainant is daughter interrupted and complainant has sustained losses because of this illegal act. Hence the complaint.


    The opp.party 1 and 2 filed version contending that the complaint is not maintainable either in law or on facts. The complainant violated Indian Electricity Act 2003 by cutting down Electric line to her neighours’s house. Both lines to her and her neighbour Vijayakumari is starting from the same end of an electric line from the adjacent Electrical Post. The act of complainant caused disconnection of both connection at the starting end of the lines from the Electric post. The opp.party lodged a complaint before Anchalummoodu Police Station on 28.12.2005. The Electric line of Vijaykumari is passing through the pathway to her house and not over the house of complainant. There is no deficiency in service on the part of opp.party. Hence the complaint is liable to be dismissed with cost.



    The complainant filed affidavit. PW.1 examined. Exts. P1 and P2 were marked. From the side of opp.parties.



    DW.1 examined. Exts. D1 and D2 were marked. Heard both sides.



    The points that would arise for consideration are:

    1. Whether there is any deficiency in service on the part of the opp.party?

    2. Compensation and costs.



    Points 1 and 2



    The allegation of the complainant is that the opp.parties disconnected Electric Connection in her premises because of the opp.parties have aggravated by the complaint lodged by her before the District Collector.



    The complainant failed to prove her allegation that opp.parties purposefully disconnected Electric Supply. On a careful verification of documents we find that there is no deficiency in service on the part of opp.party. As per the order of Consumer Disputes Redressal forum, Kollam dated 31.10.2001 Electric Connection was reconnected. The complainant is not entitled to get any compensation or other reliefs as prayed for



    In the result the complaint fails and the same is hereby dismissed. No costs.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited October 2009
    E P Jose,S/o Varghese,Edasserikunnil House,Meppadi Post,Vythiri Taluk, Wayanad
    ...........Appellant(s)

    Vs.

    The Executive Engineer,K S E B, Meppadi.

    The Secretary, K.S.E.B, Vydyuthi Bavan, Thiruvananthapuram.

    ...........Respondent(s)






    ORDER





    The Complainant is the consumer of connection No.9738, which is a domestic connection. The registered owner of this connection is Mr. Mathew, Chirayil House from whom the Complainant purchased the house.




    2. On 30.8.2008 the Regional Audit Officer of the Opposite Party along with Sub Engineer came to the premises of the connection and gave a notice stating that the complainant is using the premises as the office of the mill. The Opposite Party issued a bill for Rs.9,091/- on 29.9.2008. The Complainant in using the connection exclusively for domestic purpose. The Opposite Party has issued the bill under LT VIIA tariff without any reason. This is deficiency in service on the part of the Opposite party. Therefore, the Complainant prays for an order quashing the bill for Rs. 9,091/- and directing the Opposite Party to pay a compensation of Rs.15,000/-.




    3. The Opposite Parties appeared and filed version. They state that the Complainant is not a consumer as far as connection No.9738 concerned. The disputed bill is issued to one Mathew, Chirayil House, Thazhe Arappetta, Meppadi, who is the registered owner of connection No.9738. If the Complainant has purchased the above said premises, he should have intimated the same to the Opposite Party and should have get it registered in his name. The Complainant has not done so.



    4. It is true that the Regional Audit Officer of K.S.E.B along with the Sub Engineer of Electrical Major Section, Meppady has inspected the premises of the electrical connection No.9738. The connection was given for domestic purpose. But at the time of inspection it was seen that a part of the premises is used as the Office of a saw mill. This is without the knowledge and permission of the K.S.E.B. So this is misuse of tariff and a penal bill for Rs.9,091 was issued to the Complainant as per Section 126 of the Electricity Act 2003. All the facts noticed at the time of inspection were recorded in the site mahazar and the Complainant has signed it acknowledging the statements made therein. The disputed bill was issued as per rules and there is no deficiency in service on the part of the Opposite Party. Hence the Opposite Party prays for an order dismissing the complaint.


    5. Complainant was examined as PW1 and documents were marked as Ext.A1 to A4. Opposite Party was examined as OPW1 the document was marked as Ext.B1 on the side of the Opposite Party.




    6. The matters to be considered as follows.

    1. Whether there is any deficiency in service on the part of the Opposite Parties?

    2. Whether the Complainant is entitled for any relief?




    7. Point No.1:- The site Mahazar (Ext.B1) states that the premises of connection No.9738 is partially used as the office of a saw mill. Ext.B1 does not mention about the particulars. No office staff or no office materials found at the time of inspection. Ext.B1 clearly states that the premises is used for residential purpose also. Even then the entire connection is

    entirely charged twice under VII A tariff as penal charge for misuse of tariff. Ext.A4 shows that there is separate office for the saw mill. As per Ext.A4, the saw mill and its office is purchased by the Complainant in the year 1996. Ext.A3 shows that the building in dispute is purchased by the Complainant in 2003. This shows that the mill and its office are separate from the disputed premises and electric connection. Therefore, the point No.1 is found against the Opposite Party.




    8. Point No.2:- Since the disputed bill Ext.A2 is found issued without any basis or reason, the Complainant is entitled to get it quashed. Hence the bill dated 29.9.2008 for Rs.9,091/- (Rupees Nine thousand and Ninety One only) is quashed. No order as to cost or compensation.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited October 2009
    K.M.Basheer
    ...........Appellant(s)

    Vs.

    Asst.Engineer

    Kerala State Electricity Board
    ...........Respondent(s)







    ORDER





    The complainant’s case is as follows. The complainant is a consumer of the respondents vide consumer No.15836. He is running the firm as part of the self-employment for livelihood. The respondents have issued a notice dated 16.5.08 to pay Rs.5940/- as additional security deposit and threatened to disconnect the supply if the amount is not paid. But no such amount is pending against the complainant and the respondents have issued the notice without any basis. So the complainant is not liable to pay the bill as per the disputed notice.

    2. The respondents called absent and set exparte.

    3. The complainant has filed affidavit and produced the disputed notice and is marked as Ext. P1.

    4. The complainant’s case is that he is paying the electricity charges regularly without making any dues. The Ext. P1 notice is issued without any basis. So the complainant is not liable to pay the amount stated in Ext. P1 notice. Ext. P1 notice is issued to collect the additional security deposit vide Clause 13(4) of the Electricity Supply Code and being a statutory requirement one month time was allowed to remit the amount. So the complainant is liable to pay the bill as per the Ext. P1 notice.

    5. In the result, the complaint is dismissed and the complainant is directed to remit the Ext. P1 notice amount by two equal monthly instalments consecutively. The first instalment shall pay on or before 1.10.2009.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited October 2009
    M.L. Joy.
    ...........Appellant(s)

    Vs.

    Secretory, kseb

    Assistant Engineer,Kseb
    ...........Respondent(s)




    ORDER




    Petitioner is a consumer of the opposite party electricity board with vide consumer No. 11939. Petitioner is conducting a milk Freezing Plant, with SSI registration as a means of his livelihood. According to the petitioner electric connection was given to him after conducting proper inspection and satisfaction of the opposite party since day light is there no seperate light is needed for the petitioner. So, no o light meter along with light point was installed at the premises of the petitioner . According to the petitioner he is regularly remitting ther bill amount as per the demand of the opposite party. On 21..4..2008 petitioner was served with a bill for an amount of Rs. 18817/-. According to the petitioner issuance of the said bill is illegal and is clear deficiency of service. So, petitioner prays for cancellation of the bill dtd: 21..4..2008 and also for a

    -2-

    direction of the Forum to not to disconnect of the electric connection of the petitioner and he prays for Rs. 5,000/- as compensation and cost of the proceedings.

    Opposite party entered appearance and filed version contenting that the petition is not maintainable. According to the opposite party apart from the power point a seperate light point is necessary for the petitioners premises. As per law all industrial consumers shall segragate the light load and power load and metered seperately. Audit wing of the opposite party find the said abnormality and the bill was issued as per their direction and according to them there was no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party. So, they pray for a dismissal of the petition with their costs.

    Points for determinations are:

    i) Whether there is deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties?

    ii) Reliefs and costs.

    Evidence in this case consists affidavit filed by both parties and Ext. A1 and A2 documents on the side of the petitioner.

    Point No. 1

    Petitioner produced the disputed demand notice bill dated 21..4..2008 for an amount of Rs.18817/- and said document is marked as Ext. A2. In Ext. A2 reason for the demand is stated as light load not segregated. In the present case there is no site inspection done by the opposite party. No mahazar prepared further more there is nothing to prove that the light load and power load and metered by same meter. The officials of the opposite party has a bounden duty to inspect the premises and give appropriate direction for segregation before giving connection to the consumer. Further more if the




    -3-

    case of the opposite party is believed then ny non segregation the petitioner had forced to remit electrical charges for the light point consumption in a greater tariff and by the said act opposite party is gained and as such no loss is sustained to the opposite party. The petitioner on the otherhand sustained loss. In our opinion the act of the opposite party is a clear deficiency of service. So, point No. 1 is found accordingly.

    Point No. 2

    In view of the finding in point No. 1, petition is to be allowed and petitioner is

    entitled to relief sought for. The bill issued by the opposite party Dtd: 21..4..2008 for an amount of Rs. 18,817/- is cancelled. Opposite party is also ordered to pay an amount of Rs. 1,000/- as compensation to the petitioner. Opposite party can adjust said amount in the future bill of the petitioner. Since there is no evidence with regard to loss and sufferings, no compensation is ordered.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited October 2009
    A.V.Pushpavally,

    Nisha Jewellary Works,

    Near K.K.Residencey, Complainant

    Old Bus stand, Payyannur.





    M/s.Hindustan Business Corporation,

    Near KSEB,

    Sara Complex, Opposite party

    South Bazar, Payyanur.



    O R D E R






    This is a complaint filed under section 12 of Consumer Protection Act for an order directing the opposite party to refund Rs.3995/- the value of mixie along with compensation of Rs.5000/- with cost.

    The complainant’s case is that she had booked for an instagrind mixie by giving Rs.100/- on 25.2.2008 from opposite party in an exhibition at Police maidan, Payyannur. On 31.5.08, the opposite party had given delivery of the same by receiving the balance purchase amount of Rs.3895/-. But within one month itself it became defective and the same was intimated to opposite party and they come after 3 days and repaired the same. But again it became defective and the opposite party had taken back the mixie and returned it back by saying that they had replaced the motor of the same. But there after it is not in a position to use it for grinding. Again during 2009 March the opposite party had taken back the same along with 4jars. But they retuned back the mixie only. So the complainant had issued a lawyer notice to opposite party but the same was returned unclaimed. Hence this complaint.

    On receiving the complaint the forum has issued notice to opposite party but it was returned unclaimed and hence the opposite party was called absent and set exparte.

    The main point to be decided in this case is whether there is any deficiency on the part of the opposite party.

    1The evidence in this case consists of the chief affidavit filed in lieu of evidence Exts.A1 to A5.

    The Ext.A1 and A2 is the warranty card with brochure and e bill. This document proves that the complainant has purchased an instagrind mixie from opposite party for an amount of Rs.3995/- on 31.5.2008. As per Ext.A1 it has a warranty of 12 months from the date of purchase i.e. from 31.5.08. The complainant’s case is that it became defective within one month itself and had issued notice to opposite party. Eventhough the opposite party had repaired it; the mixie is not in working condition. The opposite party has neither turned before the Forum nor filed version or produced any contra evidence.


    This itself shows the deficiency in service on the part of opposite party and hence we are of the opinion there is deficiency on the part of opposite party for which they are liable. So the opposite party is bound either to replace the mixie having sufficient warranty or to return back the purchase price f Rs.3995/- to the complainant. The opposite party is also liable to pay Rs.1000/- as compensation and cost of this proceedings and the complainant is entitled to receive the same.

    In the result, the complaint is allowed directing the opposite party either to replace the mixie with a new one with sufficient warranty or to refund the purchase price of Rs.3995/-. The opposite party is also liable to pay Rs.1000/- as compensation including the cost to the complainant within one month from the date of receipt of this order, failing which the complainant is at liberty to execute the order under the provisions of consumer protection act. The complainant is also directed to return back the mixie on the event of such receipt.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited October 2009
    Mathodan Pavithran,

    Kolmotta, P.O.Parassinikadavu. Complainant

    (Rep. by Adv.C.Krishnan)



    1. Asst.Engineer,

    Electrical section, KSEB,

    Dharmasala, Parassinikkadavu.P.O.

    2. Secretary,

    Kerala State Electricity Board, opposite parties

    Vyduithi Bhavan,

    Thiruvananthapuram.



    3. Junior Agricultural Officer,

    Krishi Bhavan, Bakkalam, P.O.Kanool.



    O R D E R





    This is a complaint filed under section 12 of consumer protection act for an order directing the opposite parties to reinstate the service connection and to pay Rs.50,000/- as compensation.

    The case of the complainant in brief is as follows: Complainant is the consumer with consumer No.3423. The connection was given w.e.f 9.4.92 for the purpose of agriculture. The average consumption of the complainant, who has been in possession of 63 ½ cents of coconut garden, is 10 units. The charges were being paid by 3rd opposite party since it is an agriculture connection .On 20.1.2006 1st opposite party issued notice stating that the service connection No.3423 is under disconnection for more than six months and demanded to clear the dues within 7 days. But the 1st opposite party has been issuing bills for payment of current charges till June 2006.


    On enquiry it is learnt that the connection has been changed into domestic connection. No notice was issued while changing the status from agriculture purpose to domestic purpose. Connection for agriculture purpose is essential for complainant. Now the service connection has been dismantled. The act of opposite parties in dismantling the service connection without notice is arbitrary and illegal and deficiency in service. Complainant has sustained great monetary loss. Hence this complaint for a direction to reinstate the connection and to pay compensation.

    Opposite parties 1 and 2 filed version together denying the main allegations. The case of these opposite parties in brief is as follows: Complainant is a consumer. The connection 3423 was given for agriculture purpose. Average consumption was 10 units per month. The bill amount up to 8/2002 was paid by the 3rd opposite party. During 8/2002 these opposite parties noticed using electricity by the consumer for domestic purposes from the alleged agricultural connection and the same was intimated to 3rd opposite party. Thus 3rd opposite party deleted the complainant from the list of agricultural consumers who are exempted from paying current charges. The complainant used to pump water to his overhead tank made on the top of his house for his domestic purposes. Hence there was heavy consumption during monsoon period also.


    After 68/2002 no amount was remitted by agriculture officer for the consumption of electricity by the complainant. The service connection was disconnected on 19.6.2005 as per section 38(1) (9) of conditions supply of electricity Energy. But no payment has been made by the consumer after 8/2002. Notice was issued to complainant on 20.1.2006 for clearing the dues. The complainant rejected to accept the notice. Notice was posted on the wall of his premise. But he has not made any payment. A person to whom notice has been served shall file objection before the assessing officer. Complainant has not approached the assessing officer with objection till date.


    As per terms and conditions no service shall remain disconnected for more than six months for non payment of amount due to the Board. As such the service connection was dismantled after giving notice on 21.6.2006. The total arrears on the account of the complainant is Rs.2944/-. As the complainant has misused energy for domestic purpose, the tariff in the bill was changed from agricultural tariff to domestic tariff. This opposite party had given sufficient time to the consumer to remit the current charges. There is no negligence or deficiency on the part of these opposite parties. These opposite parties are not liable for any loss. Hence to dismiss the complaint.

    3rd opposite party filed version separately. 3rd opposite party contended as follows: The complainant misused the service connection which was given for agricultural purpose under agricultural tariff. As per the intimation from Electrical section KSEB Dharmasala the complainant’s name was excluded from the list of consumers whose current bill for the agricultural purpose had been paid by agricultural department. It was reported seven consumers out of 100 included in this list were misused the connection using electricity other than for the purpose of agriculture. Upon the report of the electrical section the names of these 7 consumers including that of the complainant excluded from the list.


    The service connection given for agriculture purpose shall not be used for any other purpose and incase of violation the department cannot pay the bill. It was under such circumstances the bill during the period from 1/2001 to 5/2003 had not been paid. Complainant was explained these fact when he came to office. There is no deficiency in service on the part of 3rd opposite party.

    On the above pleadings the following issues have been taken for consideration.

    1. Whether there is any deficiency in service on the part of opposite parties?

    2. Whether the complainant is entitled for the remedy as prayed in the complaint?

    3. Relief and cost.

    The evidence consists of the oral testimony of PW1, DW1, and Exts.A1 to A4 and B1 to B3.

    Issue Nos. 1 to 3

    Admittedly the complainant is a consumer under Sharmasala Electrical section bearing consumer No.3423 for agriculture purpose and consumer No.3494 for domestic purposes. The case of the complainant is that on 20.1.2006 1st opposite party issued notice stating that the service connection 3423 has been under disconnection for more than 6months and demanding to clear the dues. On enquiry it is understood that the agricultural connection has been changed into that of domestic category and charges were computed as a domestic connection.


    Now the connection dismantled. The opposite parties 1 and 2 on the other hand contended that the 1st opposite party noticed that the complainant used the electricity supply of agriculture connection for domestic purposes and it was intimated to 3rd opposite party. 3rd opposite party deleted his name from the list of free charge connection. The average consumption from this connection allowed was 10 units per month. But even in monsoon season the complainant’s consumption was above the average consumption of 10 units.


    The complainant misused the agriculture connection for domestic purpose. Agriculture department had not paid the bill. The bill was issued to complainant. The complainant’s consumer number was not included in the list issued by Agricultural department in the year 2005. Complainant’s bill was pending from 8/2002. Though notice was issued on 20.1.2006 complainant refused to accept it and it was pasted on the wall of the premises on 27.1.2006. Complainant made no payment even after that. No objection also filed. Since the disconnection exceeded 6 months the agricultural connection3423 was dismantled on 21.6.06.

    It can be seen that the main case against the complainant is that he has misused the agricultural connection for domestic purpose. It is understandable that in the usual course the consumption will be very less in monsoon season. Complainant has not taken care to note the reading of the monsoon season. That means complainant is not able to say whether he has used electricity over and above the average limit or not. Ext.B1 meter reading register was produced by 1st opposite party. Ext.B1 shows that complainant has used more electricity during monsoon season.


    Specific question was put to this witness PW1 “ Though the complainant has the case that there is motor for both his connections he has deposed in cross examination that “ It is not certain whether the complainant is having motor for his domestic connection In the absence of evidence whether he has motor for his domestic connection together with the high level consumption in the monsoon season leads to assume that he has misused the agricultural connection for domestic purpose.


    There were 100 consumers in the panchayath who had been enjoying the opportunity of free service provided for agricultural purposes. The names of 7 out of this hundred happened to be cancelled on the reason that these consumers were misused the connection for other than agricultural purposes in which complainant is one among them. Complainant has no case that either the electricity Board or Agricultural Department is having any personal grudge to these 7 consumers separately. Then there is no reason to disbelieve the departments.


    Both these departments are bound to take more care to prevent the misutilisation of free service which is absolutely meant for agricultural purpose. Many schemes introduced for the welfare of the society could not achieve fruitful result for reasons of misutilisation in large scale. Hence in the usual course one cannot blame the concerned departments for taking such steps in order to prevent misutilisation of a rightful facility for the better protection of class community..

    More over, in the above case the complainant admittedly received notice on 201.06 by `1stopposite party stating that the service conenctionNo.3423 is under disconnection for more than 6 months and demanding to clear off the dues. What has been done by the complainant after receiving the notice is also a relevant question to be considered. The main allegation of the complainant or in other words the cornerstone of the complainant’s case depends upon the allegation of non-issuing of notice. Complainant has admitted that on enquiry he has learnt that the connection has been changed into domestic connection. Complainant is an agriculturist qualified enough to enjoy the free service of electricity. The 3rd opposite party Krishi Bhavan is a Unit of agricultural department where the complainant is expected to have continuous connection and permanent link as an agriculturist.


    The entire agricultural activities of govt. are performed through the Krishi Bhavan in a panchayath. Every agriculturist will have close connection with Krishi Bhavan. Thus it is quite usual that he will have full information with respect to the facilities that he has been enjoying through the Krishi Bhavan if he is a real agriculturist. Thus as a genuine agriculturist complainant, cannot pretend ignorance. Anyhow, complainant admitted that he has received notice on 20.1.2006. After receiving the notice the complainant agriculturist has not even approached the department to solve the issues.


    Complainant has not even given an application to reconsider the question of his electricity free connection. The current bill for consumer No.3423 was issued to the complainant every bi-monthly. As a free consumer the complainant has an obligation to make assure that the bill has been paid. The complainant is enjoying a free connection. He should bear in mind that the money is paid by the Govt. on behalf of him and protecting his status as a consumer and thereby he is not expected to discard the obligation on his part to be aware of the state of affair to keep up the service smooth.


    The complainant should have bear in mind that there are certain purpose for which the bill was issued to complainant though the amount has been paid by the Krishi Bhavan. The bill is issued to the complainant not for the purpose of getting mere satisfaction of passing information. He is duty bound to accept the bill and to handle it in proper way. Objection if any he could have approached the proper authority assessing officer or else the Krishi Bhvan then and there, for to take remedial measures. It is a fact that the Agricultural department had not paid the current bill from August 2002. The current bill for consumer No.3423 was issued to complainant every bimonthly.


    Complainant himself admitted that he has received notice on 20.1.2006. He has also stated that 1st opposite party has been issuing bills for payment of current charges till June 2006. Complainant could understand on enquiry that the service connection 3423 for agricultural purpose has been changed into that of a connection for domestic purpose. Complainant has not filed objection to the notice issued to him on 20.1.2006. Complainant kept mum till the connection has been dismantled. A genuine agriculturist will definitely react as and when anything happens that adversely affect his agriculture. But the complainant herein did not mind even the notice on 20.1.2006 which resulted into dismantle.


    This is a negative approach on the part of complainant which if encouraged shall spoil the very spirit of this type of schemes that meant for the poor agriculturists. Hence the opposite parties departments cannot be charged with deficiency in service. The complainant is not entitled for any remedy. He is at liberty to approach the department concerned for to seek remedial measures and the Forum expect that the authorities shall deal the issue without any prejudice but helpful to find a final solution. Thus the issues 1 to 3 found against the complainant.

    In the result, the complaint is dismissed. However, there is no order as to costs.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited October 2009
    V.K.KUHABDULLA
    ...........Appellant(s)

    Vs.

    ASSST.EXECUTIVE ENGINEER

    CHAIRMAN,KSEB
    ...........Respondent(s)


    ORDER






    The complainant is a consumer of the opposite parties and he was having four electric connections with consumer Nos. G-82, G-109, E-29 VLY and A-1690, of which the first two connections were agricultural, the third commercial and the last domestic connection. Disputes had started from 2001 onwards regarding unauthorized and excessive billing, which finally culminated in O.P. No.155/04 filed before this Forum. The opposite parties had entered appearance and filed their version. The frequent failure in the supply is seen admitted therein regarding the connection to the oil/flour mill. When the opposite parties did not appear in spite of several chances given to them, this Forum had set them exparte and after considering the materials available before this Forum including the version and document submitted by the opposite parties, was pleased to allow the complaint as per order dated 9.8.2005 and directed the opposite parties to reinstate the electric connection.


    There was no direction for payment of any amount whereby the contentions raised by the opposite parties were negative. The opposite parties had reinstated the electricity connection of the complainant only on 10.10.2005 and took an endorsement to that effect. Thereafter the opposite parties had been sending false and baseless bills for the periods when the connection was not there and the complainant had through his lawyer issued a registered notice dated 22.10.2005 bringing the same to the notice of the opposite parties.


    Upon receipt of the said lawyer notice the opposite parties had again disconnected the connections without any notice whatsoever thus rendering the decision of the Forum a mockery. The complainant was constrained to file execution proceedings as E.P.No.8/06, and the same was dismissed as there was no representation from the side of complainant. He received a notice dated 20.7.2006 issued by the Assistant Engineer, Electrical Section, Vatakara North demanding payment of Rs.20,925/- claiming it to be alleged arrears for the period from 2/04 to 2/06 of the electricity connection E-29.


    It is illegal and against the earlier order of the Forum. The charges for short period for which the connection was resumed the complainant is always ready and willing to pay, but the same can and will not be Rs.20,925/-, because the complainant is not liable to pay any amount as alleged arrears or otherwise until the date of the order in O.P. No.155/04 and thereafter he is only liable and responsible for the actual energy consumed. Therefore praying for setting aside the bills/demand notice issued by the opposite parties and other allied relief, the above complaint is filed.



    Opposite parties have entered appearance and filed a detailed version contenting that the complaint is not maintainable, the same is bad for non-jointer of necessary parties, that the complainant is not an agriculturist, but a trader by profession, that the bills issued are proper and correct, that the complainant is a defaulter who owes a huge amount to the Board, that the order in O.P.155/04 was duly complied and that the service was again disconnected for non-payment of arrears, that the complainant could have availed the benefits of schemes like one time settlement and paid the current charge regularly if he had an ardent wish and extreme need of energy and in short, prayed for dismissal of the complaint.



    An interim order restraining the opposite parties from removing the meter and from taking Revenue Recovery proceedings was granted in I.A. No.183/06 as per order dated 17.8.2006. An advocate Commissioner was deputed in the matter and he has filed a report dated 5.10.2006. Evidence in the matter consists of the oral testimony of the complainant as PW1 and document marked as Exts. A1 to A10 and Ext. C1. No evidence, oral or documentary has been adduced on the part of the opposite parties:



    Points for consideration: 1) Whether the complaint is maintainable? (2) Whether there is any negligence, deficiency in service or unfair trade practice on the part of the opposite parties? (3) What order as to relief and costs?



    Point No.1: Admittedly the complainant is a consumer of the opposite parties. Allegations are made regarding negligence, deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of the opposite parties. What is seen set out in the complaint is a consumer dispute as contemplated under the Consumer Protection Act. Further no serious contentions regarding maintainability of the complaint is seen raised during arguments on the part of the opposite parties. Hence we find that the above complaint is maintainable before this Forum.



    Point No.2: Admittedly an earlier complaint was filed as O.P. No.155/04 before this Forum by the complainant. The same was relating to the four connections covered in the present complaint as well. Ext. A1 is the copy of complaint. It is seen contented that the complainant has been using the agricultural connections for operating two pump sets for irrigating his banana, vegetable and grass cultivation. For domestic purpose there is a separate motor installed at his house.


    Towards the end of the year 2001, for the last three months or so, G-109, connection was hardly being used. But on 10.12.01 the complainant received a bill for an amount of Rs.55/- which was highly excessive, as the normal bill was only Rs.32/-. A submission in writing was given before the concerned KSEB office but since there was no response at all, a complaint was lodged before the Executive Engineer, KSEB, Vatakara on 4.1.2002 and a copy was issued to the Chief Engineer, KSEB, Calicut. G-82 connection was being paid for by the Agricultural Department.


    Suddenly the connection was disconnected without any notice to the complainant and on 2.8.2002 a bill for an amount of Rs.87/- was issued to the complainant. It was disconnected stating that the said connection was being used for alleged domestic purposes and that bill was issued for prior usage also. There is a house connection and the house is kept locked as the owner and family are abroad and the minimum charges whatever applicable are being regularly paid. The complainant submitted a complaint before the Assistant Executive Engineer, KSEB, Calicut and the Divisional Engineer, KSEB, Vatakara. But they have not even responded to his complaint.


    He had to discontinue irrigation at both his lands and consequentially lost the benefits he was availing of from the Agricultural Department on account of the act and conduct on the part of the opposite parties. On 5.11.2003 he received two notices from KSEB stating that his two connections, viz., G-82 and G-109 were disconnected for more than 6 months as he had not paid arrears due. He was asked to clear the dues immediately, failing which the meters would be removed and Revenue Recovery proceedings initiated against him. The opposite parties had not replied for the letters issued by the complainant and gave a deaf ear to the grievances of the complainant. The action of the opposite parties amounts to deficiency of service and unfair trade practice.


    The Industrial connection E-29 to his oil/flour mill runs by him for earning his livelihood by means of self employment. In this contrary to the understanding a three-phase connection was not given to him and only a single phase was given, on that a motor could not be run in the oil/flour mill. Thus he was forced to send a complaint to the Chief Engineer at Calicut on 27.12.2001. Thereafter a three-phase connection was given. During that period due to some personal problems and lack of adequate business, the mill had to be temporarily closed from 14.2.2004 onwards. The last meter reading was taken on 11.2.2004. But the complainant was issued a bill dated 17.3.2004 for an amount of Rs.3968/-.


    The same has been issued without taking any meter reading. A complaint was submitted before the Assistant Engineer, KSEB, Vatakara on 26.3.2004. The same has also met with the same fate as that of the previous letters sent by the complainant. Even till the date of closure of the mill, all the three-phases of the connection never worked properly. As he has lost the benefits due to him from the Agricultural Department, the complainant was constrained to file a complaint before this Forum as O.P. No.155/04. The opposite parties had filed a detailed version marked as Ext. A2 raising similar contentions as in this case as well.


    The frequent failure in the supply is seen admitted therein regarding the connection to the oil/flour mill. They had even contended that a sum of Rs.1004/-, Rs.1597/- and Rs.5050/- were due from the connections G-82 VLY, G-109 VLY and E-29 VLY for the periods from March 2000 to June 2004 and February 2000 to May 2004 respectively and further stating that in the event of failure to remit the said alleged arrears, the services are liable to be dismantled and Revenue Recovery action initiated for realizing the dues.


    They had specifically contended payment of the aforementioned amounts was a precondition for reinstating the connections. The complainant had filed an application as I.A.No.76/05 for causing production of the certified copies of the extracts of the entries in the complaint book made by him since 1998, which is marked as Ext. A3. The contentions of the complainant that the opposite parties finding that the case and claim set out by them was untenable and unsustainable and a decision was likely to be rendered against them did not willfully participate in the further proceedings before this Forum appears to be very probable from the facts and circumstances.


    When the opposite parties did not appear in spite of several chances given to them, this Forum had set them exparte and after considering the materials available before this Forum including the version and document submitted by the opposite parties had allowed the complaint as per order dated 9.8.2005 and directed the opposite parties to reinstate the electric connection. There was no direction for payment of any amount whereby the contentions raised by the opposite parties were negative. The copy of the said order is marked as Ext. A4. There was non compliance of the order and Ext. A5 lawyer notice is seen issued. Electricity connection is reinstated on 10.10.2005 and thereafter a bill for the periods when the connection was not there were issued by the opposite parties, another lawyer notice , Ext. A6 is seen issued.


    The electricity connections were disconnected on the ground of non-payment of the bills, another lawyer notice Ext. A7 is seen issued on 5.12.2005 and still the electricity supply was not reinstated. E.P.8/06 marked as Ext. A8 is seen filed, but the same was dismissed for default on 10.3.2006. Thereafter the complainant received a notice dated 20.7.2006 demanding payment of Rs.20925/- being arrears for the period from 2/04 to 2/06 of the electricity connection E-29, which is marked as Ext. A9. A reply marked as Ext. A10 is seen issued.

    Our predecessor after considering the rival contentions, passed the following order dated 9.8.2005 in O.P. No.155/04, viz. Ext. A4 “the complaint is filed for reinstating the connection etc. The opposite party is called absent and set exparte. The complainant filed affidavit and marked Ext. A1 to A8. From the affidavit and Ext. A1 to A8 the complainant’s case is proved. In the result petition is allowed and the opposite party is ordered to reinstate the electric connection. Pronounced in open Court this the 3rd day of August 2005”. The opposite parties never challenged the order of this Forum claiming payment of any arrears before giving reinstatement of the connection. After the above order was passed the electricity connection was resumed and made available to the complainant only for a few days and thereafter the same was illegally and unauthorisedly disconnected again.


    All the three connections aforementioned are remaining as disconnected and there is no electricity supply. In view of the order in O.P. No.155/04, which remains unchallenged and fully accepted by the opposite parties, they cannot claim any amount till the reinstatement in compliance of the said order. It is pertinent to point out that the opposite parties in the said case had a specific contention that arrears as demanded by them will have to be paid for effecting reconnection and stating that it is an essential precondition.


    The said contention of the opposite parties is not seen accepted by the Forum. Hence we hold that the opposite parties, KSEB is only entitled to demand and collect the electricity charges which accrues after the reconnection as stipulated in the said order. Demand of alleged arrears for the prior period which has not been accepted or permitted in the earlier order and disconnection of the electricity connection on the ground of nonpayment of such improper, unauthorized and illegal bills amounts to negligence, deficiency in service and unfair trade practice.



    Point No.3: The complainant has claimed a sum of Rs.3,00,000/- as compensation for the loss and injury sustained by him on account of the negligence, deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of the opposite parties. The Advocate Commissioner in Ext. C1 report has stated that there is no electricity connections, there is no supply of electricity to the three connection, G-82, G-109 and E-29 and that the machinery and motor in the oil/flour mill at connection E-29 the pump set and motors at the electrical connections G-82 and G-109 were rusted, damaged and unusable on account of nonuser as there is no electrical supply. Jet pump with motor is found rusted and unusable damage to the crops is also seen reported. The machinery also is reported to be rusted and rendered completely useless. The Commissioner has opined that the replacement of the rusted pump sets and machinery will cost about Rs.1.7 lakhs at the present market rate.


    The loss and damage on account of loss of income from the mills and machinery and also loss in agricultural income is not assessed by the Advocate Commissioner. The Commissioner has reported that the damage caused to the machinery and pump set is due to nonuse which was resulted from the non-supply of electricity by the opposite parties. The report is seen dated 5.10.2006. The opposite parties have not filed any objections to the said report nor challenged the same or adduced by contra evidence. They have not examined any witness and were not able to effectively discredit the complainant in the cross examination.


    The pump sets being used for agricultural purposes has been rendered useless and defective. The entire cultivation is lost and serious damage has been caused to the coconut and araconut trees. Likewise because of nonuser the oil expeller, copra cutting machine, the machineries in flour mill including the milling machine have also become defective and nonfunctional whereby causing loss and injury to the complainant. The only reason for non removal of the meter and harassment by way of coercive Revenue Recovery steps appears to be on account of the interim order dated 17.8.2006 in I.A. No.183/06.


    The complainant relies on II 1992 CPJ 454 (NC) Ashok Kumar Singh Vs. M/s. Gujarat Cycles and another wherein it has been held that the reason stated by the lower Forum that the complainant has not adduced any detailed evidence furnishing particulars of the nature of inconvenience caused to him and hence not entitled to any relief is not correct or sound and that the Forums constituted under the Act has to take a realistic and pragmatic view in matters coming before them and where it is manifest that real inconvenience has been caused to complainant, it is the duty of the Forum to determine and award reasonable compensation without insisting that the complainant should perform the impossible task of furnishing particulars in regard to the nature of inconvenience suffered by him.


    The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, in Charan Singh Vs. Healing Touch Hospital and others, 2000 (III)CPR 1 (SC) has held that while quantifying damages, Consumer Forums are required to make an attempt to serve ends of justice so that compensation is awarded, in an established case, which not only serves the purposes of recompensing the individual, but also at the same time aims to bring about a qualitative change in the attitude of the service provider. In paragraph 13, it is further held that it is not merely the alleged harm or mental pain, agony or physical discomfort, loss of salary and emoluments etc. suffered by the complainant which is in issue, it is also the quality of conduct committed by the respondents upon which attention is required to be found in a case of proven negligence.


    The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Lucknow Development Authority Vs. M.K. Gupta, 1994 (1) SC 243 has held the jurisdiction and power of the Courts to indemnify a citizen for injury suffered due to abuse of power by public authorities is founded as observed by Lord Hailsham in Cassell & Co. Ltd. Vs. Broome, 1972 AC 1027, on the principle that an award of exemplary damages can serve a useful purpose in vindicating the strength of law. An ordinary citizen or a common man is hardly equipped to match the might of the State or its instrumentalities. That is provided by the rule of law it acts as a check on arbitrary and capricious exercise of power. In Rookes Vs. Barnard 1964 AC 1129 it was observed by Lord Devlin.


    The servants of the government are also the servants of the people and the use of their power must always be subordinate to heir duty of service. A public functionary if be acts maliciously or oppressively and the exercise of power results in harassment and agony then it is not an exercise of power but to abuse. No law provides protection against it. He who is responsible for it must suffer it. Compensation or damage as explained earlier may arise even when the officer discharges his duty honestly and bona fide. But when it arises due to arbitrary or capricious behavior then it loses its individual character and assumes social significance.


    Harassment of a common man by public authorities is socially abhorring and legally impermissible. It may harm him personally but the injury to society is far more grievous. Crime and corruption thrive and prosper in the society due to lack of public resistance. Nothing is more damaging than the feeling of helplessness. An ordinary citizen instead of complaining and fighting succumbs to the pressure of undesirable functioning in offices instead of standing against it. Therefore the award of compensation for harassment by public authorities not only compensates the individual, satisfies him personally but helps in curing social evil.


    It may result in improving the work culture and help in changing the outlook and so observing further held under our constitution sovereignty vests in the people. Every limb of the constitutional machinery is obliged to be people oriented. No functionary in exercise of statutory power can claim immunity, except to the extent protected by the statute itself. Public authorities acting in violation of constitutional or statutory provisions oppressively are accountable for their behaviour before authorities created under the Statute like the Commission or the Courts entrusted with responsibility of maintaining the rule of law.


    Each hierarchy in the Act is empowered to entertain a complaint by the consumer for value of the goods or services and compensation. The word compensation is again of very wide connotation. It has not been defined in the Act. According to dictionary it means, compensating or being compensated, thing given as recompense. In legal sense it may constitute actual loss or expected injury or loss. Therefore when the Commission has been vested with the jurisdiction to award value of goods or services and compensation it has to be construed widely enabling the Commission to determine compensation for any loss or damage suffered by a consumer which in law is otherwise included in wide meaning of compensation.


    The provision in our opinion enables a consumer to claim and empowers the commission to redress any injustice done to him. Any other construction would defeat the very purpose of the Act. The Commission or the Forum in the Act is thus entitled to award not only value of the goods or services but also to compensate a consumer for injustice suffered by him. Thus keeping in view of the above principles laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and Hon’ble National Commission and upon consideration of all the relevant matters in issue and especially conduct of the opposite parties we grand the following relief:-



    (1) Ext. A9 demand notice is hereby set aside and the opposite parties are directed to reconnect the electricity connection to the complainant and issue fresh bills for the energy consumed after such reconnection as well as for the energy actually consumed for the short period from 10.10.2005 till the earlier disconnection. It is made clear that the opposite parties are not entitled to demand or recover any amount towards arrears of electricity charges till the reconnection on 10.10.2005.



    (2) The opposite parties are directed to pay an amount of Rs.50,000/- as compensation to the complainant for the loss, injury and damage sustained by him on account of the negligence, deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of the opposite parties.



    (3) The opposite parties are also directed to pay a sum of Rs.3,000/- as costs to the complainant.



    The amounts aforementioned shall be paid within a period of one month from the date of receipt of the order, failing which the same shall carry interest at the rate of 12% per annum.



    Finally we reiterate the principles laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Lucknow Development Authority case regarding recovery of the amount awarded from the erring officers. It was held by the Supreme Court that when the Court directs payment of damages or compensation against the State the ultimate sufferer is the common man. It is the tax payers’ money which is paid for inaction of those who are entrusted under the Act to discharge their duties in accordance with law.


    It was further held that it is therefore, necessary that the Commission when it is satisfied that a complainant is entitled to compensation for harassment or mental agony or oppression, then it should further direct the department concerned to pay the amount to the complainant from the public fund immediately but to recover the same from those who are found responsible for such unpardonable behaviour by dividing it proportionately where there are more than one functionaries. Hence it is further directed that the K S E B shall take emergent steps to recover the amount awarded as damages from those employees who are found liable and responsible for the above acts instead of passing on the burden to the common tax payer.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited October 2009
    A.V.Pushpavally,

    Nisha Jewellary Works,

    Near K.K.Residencey, Complainant

    Old Bus stand, Payyannur.





    M/s.Hindustan Business Corporation,

    Near KSEB,

    Sara Complex, Opposite party

    South Bazar, Payyanur.



    O R D E R




    This is a complaint filed under section 12 of Consumer Protection Act for an order directing the opposite party to refund Rs.3995/- the value of mixie along with compensation of Rs.5000/- with cost.

    The complainant’s case is that she had booked for an instagrind mixie by giving Rs.100/- on 25.2.2008 from opposite party in an exhibition at Police maidan, Payyannur. On 31.5.08, the opposite party had given delivery of the same by receiving the balance purchase amount of Rs.3895/-. But within one month itself it became defective and the same was intimated to opposite party and they come after 3 days and repaired the same. But again it became defective and the opposite party had taken back the mixie and returned it back by saying that they had replaced the motor of the same. But there after it is not in a position to use it for grinding. Again during 2009 March the opposite party had taken back the same along with 4jars. But they retuned back the mixie only. So the complainant had issued a lawyer notice to opposite party but the same was returned unclaimed. Hence this complaint.

    On receiving the complaint the forum has issued notice to opposite party but it was returned unclaimed and hence the opposite party was called absent and set exparte.

    The main point to be decided in this case is whether there is any deficiency on the part of the opposite party.

    1The evidence in this case consists of the chief affidavit filed in lieu of evidence Exts.A1 to A5.

    The Ext.A1 and A2 is the warranty card with brochure and e bill. This document proves that the complainant has purchased an instagrind mixie from opposite party for an amount of Rs.3995/- on 31.5.2008. As per Ext.A1 it has a warranty of 12 months from the date of purchase i.e. from 31.5.08. The complainant’s case is that it became defective within one month itself and had issued notice to opposite party. Eventhough the opposite party had repaired it; the mixie is not in working condition. The opposite party has neither turned before the Forum nor filed version or produced any contra evidence.


    This itself shows the deficiency in service on the part of opposite party and hence we are of the opinion there is deficiency on the part of opposite party for which they are liable. So the opposite party is bound either to replace the mixie having sufficient warranty or to return back the purchase price f Rs.3995/- to the complainant. The opposite party is also liable to pay Rs.1000/- as compensation and cost of this proceedings and the complainant is entitled to receive the same.

    In the result, the complaint is allowed directing the opposite party either to replace the mixie with a new one with sufficient warranty or to refund the purchase price of Rs.3995/-. The opposite party is also liable to pay Rs.1000/- as compensation including the cost to the complainant within one month from the date of receipt of this order, failing which the complainant is at liberty to execute the order under the provisions of consumer protection act. The complainant is also directed to return back the mixie on the event of such receipt.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited October 2009
    K. P. Harilal
    ...........Appellant(s)

    Vs.

    Asst. Engineer

    KSEB
    ...........Respondent(s)




    ORDER




    The case of complainant is as follows: The complainant is a consumer of the respondents having consumer No.5488/P. The respondents issued a bill for an amount of Rs.54,917/- as the electricity charges for the consumption from 2/2000 to 12/2000. The issuance of such a bill is illegal. The complainant thinks that the electric meter installed by the respondents is defective.


    The complainant paid an amount of Rs.49,885/- under protest. Besides the above said bill, the respondents also issued another bills demanding extra charges. The respondents never taken readings within 6 months. After disconnection also the respondents issued bills. The bills issued by the respondents are on an experimental basis. So there is deficiency in service on the part of the respondents. Hence the complaint.

    2. The counter filed by the respondents is as follows: The consumer No.5488/P is allotted to one Mr. Kochiparambath Krishnan for commercial purpose having 4KW connected load. The said connection was used for cable TV network by his tenant named Mr. Nithyanandan, S/o. Nadupurakkal Sankaran, Perinjanam. The monthly charges paid were Rs.1160/- as per the provisional invoice card. When reading was taken as per tariff revision it was found that the consumer is liable to pay Rs.67,670/-. So after deducting Rs.12,740/- which was paid earlier, the demand notice was given for an amount of Rs.54,930/-.


    The bills are issued legally and the complainant’s meter is not having any defect. Even a small scale cable TV net work operators are using more than thousand units of electricity. The instalment payment was allowed as per the demand of the complainant as the reading was not taken within 6 months. The power supply was disconnected on 9.3.2001. The meter was not removed as the complainant did not put application for that and also there was instalment payment for an amount of Rs.7080/- on 23.11.2002.


    The complainant is liable to pay a fixed amount per month, as the meter is not removed. On 4/2003 the meter was removed. The complainant paid only Rs.49,870/- out of Rs.1,16,314/- and has a balance amount of Rs.66,444/- to pay. The respondents demanded legal amount. The tenant did not pay the electric charges and made the arrears. The respondents are going to take R.R. proceedings to get the arrears. The respondents are ready to give the statement which was demanded by the complainant. Hence dismiss.

    3. The points for consideration are:

    (1) Is there any deficiency in service?
    (2) If so, reliefs and costs.

    4. The evidence consists of Exts. P1 and P2 and Exts. R1 to R6.

    5. Points-1 & 2: The case is filed to get cancellation of the disputed bills. The complainant seeks to cancel a bill issued by the respondents for Rs.54,917/-. He has paid Rs.49,885/- towards the electricity charges under protest. The complainant produced copy of lawyer notices and is marked as Exts. P1 and P2. He did not even produce the copy of disputed bill. The respondents produced copy of documents and are marked as Exts. R1 to R6. According to the respondents after renewal of Tariff cut off reading was taken and was found that the complainant is liable to pay Rs.67,670/-. So according to them after deducting the amount paid as per the invoice demand notice was issued for Rs.54,930/-.


    But the date of cut off reading is not stated anywhere. Exts. R5 and R6 are the requests made by the complainant to the Board. In both these applications it is stated that complaints were put before the Apex Office of the first respondent. So the bill issued by the respondents is not admitted by him and challenged in limine. He paid some amount only to maintain the connection. Ext. R3 is the copy of calculation statement of arrears up to 4/03. The balance amount to be remitted shown as Rs.66,331/- as on 4/03. The remitted amount is deducted.


    The surcharge shown as Rs.40,712/-. In the counter the respondents stated that after taking cut off reading it was found that the complainant had to pay Rs.67,670/-. The date of reading not specified. The surcharge, which is imposing for belated payment, is not liable to pay by the complainant. The belated payment was only due to the default on the part of the respondents. The consumer is not liable for this type of acts of the respondents.

    6. In the complaint the reliefs sought are cancellation of bills and production of statement showing the entire accounts. He also states return of paid amount. The bills which are to be cancelled do not produced. The statement which is needed by the complainant to peruse is to be produced by application before the Forum. From the records submitted by the respondents it is seen that the amounts seen to be remitted is liable to be paid by the complainant.


    But we are inclined to exonerate the liability of the complainant in payment of surcharge. The balance amount as on 4/03 was Rs.66,331/-. The complainant is liable to pay only the amount after deducting surcharge with interest at the rate of 12%. Since there is no date of issuance of Ext. R3 we are ordering interest from today only.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited October 2009
    K. P. Harilal
    ...........Appellant(s)

    Vs.

    Asst. Engineer

    KSEB
    ...........Respondent(s)







    ORDER


    The case of complainant is as follows: The complainant is a consumer of the respondents having consumer No.5488/P. The respondents issued a bill for an amount of Rs.54,917/- as the electricity charges for the consumption from 2/2000 to 12/2000. The issuance of such a bill is illegal. The complainant thinks that the electric meter installed by the respondents is defective. The complainant paid an amount of Rs.49,885/- under protest. Besides the above said bill, the respondents also issued another bills demanding extra charges.


    The respondents never taken readings within 6 months. After disconnection also the respondents issued bills. The bills issued by the respondents are on an experimental basis. So there is deficiency in service on the part of the respondents. Hence the complaint.

    2. The counter filed by the respondents is as follows: The consumer No.5488/P is allotted to one Mr. Kochiparambath Krishnan for commercial purpose having 4KW connected load. The said connection was used for cable TV network by his tenant named Mr. Nithyanandan, S/o. Nadupurakkal Sankaran, Perinjanam. The monthly charges paid were Rs.1160/- as per the provisional invoice card. When reading was taken as per tariff revision it was found that the consumer is liable to pay Rs.67,670/-. So after deducting Rs.12,740/- which was paid earlier, the demand notice was given for an amount of Rs.54,930/-.


    The bills are issued legally and the complainant’s meter is not having any defect. Even a small scale cable TV net work operators are using more than thousand units of electricity. The instalment payment was allowed as per the demand of the complainant as the reading was not taken within 6 months. The power supply was disconnected on 9.3.2001. The meter was not removed as the complainant did not put application for that and also there was instalment payment for an amount of Rs.7080/- on 23.11.2002.


    The complainant is liable to pay a fixed amount per month, as the meter is not removed. On 4/2003 the meter was removed. The complainant paid only Rs.49,870/- out of Rs.1,16,314/- and has a balance amount of Rs.66,444/- to pay. The respondents demanded legal amount. The tenant did not pay the electric charges and made the arrears. The respondents are going to take R.R. proceedings to get the arrears. The respondents are ready to give the statement which was demanded by the complainant. Hence dismiss.

    3. The points for consideration are:

    (1) Is there any deficiency in service?
    (2) If so, reliefs and costs.

    4. The evidence consists of Exts. P1 and P2 and Exts. R1 to R6.

    5. Points-1 & 2: The case is filed to get cancellation of the disputed bills. The complainant seeks to cancel a bill issued by the respondents for Rs.54,917/-. He has paid Rs.49,885/- towards the electricity charges under protest. The complainant produced copy of lawyer notices and is marked as Exts. P1 and P2. He did not even produce the copy of disputed bill. The respondents produced copy of documents and are marked as Exts. R1 to R6. According to the respondents after renewal of Tariff cut off reading was taken and was found that the complainant is liable to pay Rs.67,670/-. So according to them after deducting the amount paid as per the invoice demand notice was issued for Rs.54,930/-.


    But the date of cut off reading is not stated anywhere. Exts. R5 and R6 are the requests made by the complainant to the Board. In both these applications it is stated that complaints were put before the Apex Office of the first respondent. So the bill issued by the respondents is not admitted by him and challenged in limine. He paid some amount only to maintain the connection. Ext. R3 is the copy of calculation statement of arrears up to 4/03. The balance amount to be remitted shown as Rs.66,331/- as on 4/03.


    The remitted amount is deducted. The surcharge shown as Rs.40,712/-. In the counter the respondents stated that after taking cut off reading it was found that the complainant had to pay Rs.67,670/-. The date of reading not specified. The surcharge, which is imposing for belated payment, is not liable to pay by the complainant. The belated payment was only due to the default on the part of the respondents. The consumer is not liable for this type of acts of the respondents.

    6. In the complaint the reliefs sought are cancellation of bills and production of statement showing the entire accounts. He also states return of paid amount. The bills which are to be cancelled do not produced. The statement which is needed by the complainant to peruse is to be produced by application before the Forum. From the records submitted by the respondents it is seen that the amounts seen to be remitted is liable to be paid by the complainant.


    But we are inclined to exonerate the liability of the complainant in payment of surcharge. The balance amount as on 4/03 was Rs.66,331/-. The complainant is liable to pay only the amount after deducting surcharge with interest at the rate of 12%. Since there is no date of issuance of Ext. R3 we are ordering interest from today only.
  • edited December 2009
    Respected sir,

    I am eldhose varghes,kothamangalam,ernakulam

    I applied for new electricity connection to my newly build house but the application are refused by officer he said that present law not allowed to give electricity connection to house situated in 3 cent plot .my house is near to the public electric post and it has not enough courtyard . i started to build my house in 2008

    Kindly request you to give me solution

    Yours faithfully
    Eldhose varghese
  • adv.singhadv.singh Senior Member
    edited February 2010
    consumer case(CC) No. CC/09/94

    Narayana Holla
    ...........Appellant(s)
    Vs.

    Assistant Engineer

    Sub Engineer

    Assistant Executive Engineer
    ...........Respondent(s)
    BEFORE:
    1. K.T.Sidhiq
    2. P.P.Shymaladevi
    3. P.Ramadevi


    Complainant(s)/Appellant(s):
    1. Narayana Holla


    OppositeParty/Respondent(s):
    1. Assistant Engineer
    2. Sub Engineer
    3. Assistant Executive Engineer
    OppositeParty/Respondent(s):

    OppositeParty/Respondent(s):

    ORDER

    Date of filing: 20-03-2009

    Date of order:07-12-2009

    IN THE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, KASARAGOD

    CC. No. 94/09

    Dated this, the 7th day of December 2009.

    PRESENT

    SRI.K.T.SIDHIQ : PRESIDENT

    SMT.P.RAMADEVI : MEMBER

    SMT.P.P.SHYMALADEVI : MEMBER



    M/s. K.N.H. Hospital,

    Rep.by its Managing Partner,

    Dr.K.P. Holla, Railway Station Road, } Complainant

    Uppala.Po, Kasaragod.Dt.

    (Adv. K.M.Ballakuraya, Kasaragod)

    1. Asst. Engineer, Electrical Section,

    K.S.E.B, Uppala, Po.Uppala

    2. Sub Engineer, Electrical Section, } Opposite parties

    K.S.E.B, Uppala, Po.Uppala

    3. Asst.Executive Engineer,

    K.S.E.B, Uppala, Po.Uppala

    (Adv. P.Raghavan, Kasaragod)

    O R D E R

    SRI.K.T.SIDHIQ, PRESIDENT



    This complaint depicts one of the grossest deficient nature of service rendered by Kerala State Electricity Board to it’s consumer.

    Facts of the complaint.

    The complainant obtained electric connection to the X-ray unit of the hospital in the year 1973. The approved connected load to the said unit was 5000 Watts (5 Kilowatts). Till January 2007 the opposite parties used to collect Rs.550/- towards the fixed charges in every bill. But in bill dated 6-2-07 the complainant was demanded to pay Rs.5940/- towards fixed charge alone. Though the complainant approached opposite parties and told them that they are not liable to remit the said amount, but they were asked to pay the bill to avoid disconnection. Thereafter in the bills issued during the subsequent bi-months also complainant was asked to pay the fixed charges on a higher rate that was not actually due. According to the complainant, the bills were issued under a wrong impression that the connected load of the X-ray unit is 17000 watts. The complainant has not received any order from any officer of the Board assessing the connected load or informing that the connected load is in excess of the approved connected load. The demand of fixed charges calculating the connected load at 17000 watts is illegal and improper. The objections raised against the issue of bills were went on vain. The acts of the opposite parties have caused mental agony and pain to the complainant. Hence the complaint for appropriate reliefs.

    II. Version of opposite parties

    2. That approved connected load to the premises of the consumer was 5 Kilowatts. But the complainant was abstracting power more than the connected load provided. On inspection, the Board had detected unauthorized additional load of 12 Kilowatt more than the sanctioned load. The consumer was directed to regularize the additional load. The complainant has neither regularized the unauthorized connected load nor removed the same till date. The complainant paid the fixed charges for the unauthorized load without protest. No complaints or objections were filed by the complainant stating that there is no additional load. The payment of bills from January 2007 onwards is an admission that there is additional load. The bills were raised as per rules. Hence opposite parties are not liable to refund the fixed charges collected from the complainant. The complaint is therefore liable to be dismissed.

    3. III. Evidence

    The evidence in this case consists of the affidavit of the complainant and Exts A1 to A12. On the side of opposite parties no evidence is adduced and no documents also produced

    4. IV. The points considered

    1. Whether the complainant had connected additional unauthorized load to his X-ray unit so as to attract penal liability as contended by opposite parties?

    2. Is there any deficiency -in-service on the part of opposite parties?

    3. Whether the complainant is entitled for the reliefs claimed?

    For the sake of brevity all the points are considered together

    5. No evidence is adduced by opposite parties to substantiate the contention that the complainant had connected unauthorized additional load of 12 KW to the X-ray unit attached to the hospital. It is the case of opposite parties that on inspection at the premises of the complainant’s firm they had detected unauthorized additional load of 12 KW. But to prove this allegation as per the procedure they should have prepared a site mahazar that contains the descriptions of the equipments alleged to be connected as additional load. But no site mahazar is prepared and produced to prove this aspect. Moreover, the bi-monthly consumption itself shows that the X-ray unit is using very little power say 1 or 2 units bi-monthly. Neither the complainant nor the opposite parties have a case that the meter is not working properly. Had it been so if the consumer was using unauthorized additional load of 12 KW then it should have reflected in the consumption pattern and meter readings. Therefore it is clear that the allegations raised by the opposite parties regarding the surplus unauthorized load is a created story to justify their deficient service. The fact that the complainant paid all the bills is not an admission of installation of unauthorized load. A consumer who fearing disconnection of electric connection will definitely pay the bills even though he feels aggrieved in the figure shown in the bill. The unjustifiable demand of fixed charge considerably at a rate of 5 times higher than that of the actual dues would certainly cause hardships to every consumer. The opposite parties are liable to compensate the complainant for the same.

    6. It is seen that from 2/07 onwards including the bill dated 15-01-09 the complainant had paid a sum of Rs.33,110/- towards the fixed charges alone as against the actual dues of Rs.6,600/- if the fixed charge is reckoned as Rs.550/- per month. Moreover, the complainant would have paid the subsequent bills also at such increased rate. Definitely he is entitled to get the refund of the said amounts also.

    In the result, the complaint is allowed and the opposite parties are directed to refund Rs.26,510/- the amount they illegally extracted from the complainant with interest @12% per annum from the date of complaint till payment along with the excess amount collected after the bill dated 15-01-09 with interest @ 12% from the date of collection till payment. The future bills of the complainant shall be revised assessing the actual connected load. The opposite parties are also directed to pay Rs.3500/- towards the cost of these proceedings. Time for compliance is limited to 30 days from the date of receipt of copy order.
  • adv.singhadv.singh Senior Member
    edited February 2010
    consumer case(CC) No. CC/09/100

    The Masjidul Jalaliya Pally Committee, Kottakunnu, Rep. by its Secretary, C K Saithalavy Haji, Chenakkattil House, Meenangadi Post,Wayanad.
    ...........Appellant(s)

    Vs.

    The Assistant Engineer, Electrical Section, K S E B, Meenangady,

    The Secretary, K S E B, Thiruvananthapuram.
    ...........Respondent(s)


    BEFORE:
    1. K GHEEVARGHESE
    2. P Raveendran
    3. SAJI MATHEW


    Complainant(s)/Appellant(s):


    OppositeParty/Respondent(s):


    OppositeParty/Respondent(s):


    OppositeParty/Respondent(s):


    ORDER

    By. Sri. K. Gheevarghese, President :-

    The complaint filed under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act 1986.

    The complaint in brief is as follows:- The Complainant is a consumer of electricity vide the consumer No.2536 in the electrical section, Meenangady. The Complainant herein is the former President of Mahallu of the Masjudul Jalaliya Pally Committee at Kottakunnu. The Mosque was already constructed with 1st and 2nd floor, to reach the 2nd floor there is one stair case and iron pipe works were arranged fencing the stair case. The hand work construction was done in use of electricity and the work was only a matter of 4 hours. When hand Rail work was going on the 1st Opposite Party made surprise inspection and mahazar was prepared. The penal bill of Rs.4,500/- was issued to the Complainant assessing the use of 3 KW of energy for 15 days and two times of penal charges calculated for the same. The maximum period used for cutting the hand rail amount to only 3 or 4 hours. The penal bill issued to the complainant is without any reason and under no bonafied circumstances. The act of the 1st Opposite Party is nothing but deficiency in service and the complaint is to be compensated . There may be an order directing the Opposite Party to cancel the additional bill dated 08.07.2009 absolving liability of the complainant as demanded by the bill issued. The Opposite Party may be directed to give the Complainant Rs.1,000/- as compensation and Rs.1,500/- towards cost.




    2. The Opposite Parties filed version. According to them the Complainant is a consumer with No.2536 within the limit of the 1st Opposite Party. On surprise inspection of the premises 2 KVA welding set and a 1200 W cutting machine were found to be connected temporarily to the above supply. The act of the Complainant is nothing but unauthorized use of energy no prior sanction and no formalities required were complied by the Complainant. In the roof of the mosque the truss works were done. On finding the unauthorized use of energy a penal bill was given. The temporary connection was taken for 15 days and the charge was levied for 15 days alone and the penalization of the amount was two times. There is no illegality on the demand of the amount as the penal charges by the Opposite Party for the unauthorized use of electricity of the Complainant.

    3. The points in consideration are:-

    1.

    Is there any deficiency in service on the part of the Opposite Party?
    2.

    Relief and cost.



    4. The Points No.1 and 2 :- The Complainant filed proof affidavit. Ext.A1 is the document produced for the Complainant. The Opposite Party has not tendered any oral evidence. Ext.B1 is the document marked for the Opposite Party. The Complainant is examined as PW1 and has given oral testimony in this case. The case of the Complainant is that the hand rail works with iron pipes were done in the mosque for which electricity was used. The work was carried out only for a period of 3 to 4 hours and the energy was used for that purpose from the supply received. Ext.A1 is the demand notice cum disconnection notice dated 08.07.2009. The amount charged as the penalization considering the consumption energy of 3 KW Rs. 50 per KW for a period of 15 days. The amount was twiced. It is admitted by the Complainant that the supply in the consumer number was used for truss work, but the dispute is with respect to levying of this charge for an extend of 15 days. The penalization was accrued in two times for the amount charged for a period of 15 days. We are in the opinion that the penalized bill amount is to be reduced. The demand cum disconnection notice in the consumer No.2536 dated 08.07.2009 is quashed. The Opposite Parties are directed to issue the Complainant afresh bill for a period of 10 days of 3 KW with Rs.50 per KW and instead of two times, the amount to be assessed 1 ½ times of the chargeable amount.




    In the result, the complaint is partly allowed. The Opposite Parties are directed to give the Complainant a fresh bill of 3 KW with Rs. 50 per KW for a period of 10 days in 1 ½ times. The demand cum disconnection dated 08.07.2009 of No.333341 stands quashed. The Opposite Party is directed to give the fresh bill as directed to the Complainant within one month from the date of this order. On receipt of the fresh bill issued, the Complainant has to remit the amount within 7 days. No order as to cost and compensation.
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