W.b.s.e.b.

adminadmin Administrator
edited February 2010 in Government Department
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Present [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Sri B. Niyogi - President[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Sri S. K. Ghosh - Member[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Miss. Swapna Saha - Member[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] [/FONT]
Consumer Complaint NO. : 4/2009

[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Sri Buddhadev Barman[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]S/o Lt. Surendra nath Barman[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Vill – Kantabari [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]P.S. – Tapan[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Dist. - Dakshin Dinajpur.………………………………Complainant(s)[/FONT]




[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]V-E-R-S-U-S[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]1. Station Superintendent[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Tapan Group Electricity W.B.S.E.B.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]P.O.&P.S – Tapan[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Dist.-Dakshin Dinajpur[/FONT]


  1. [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Divisional Manager,[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Dakshin Dinajpur District Division,[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Balurghat Prachya Bharati Road,[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]P.O.&P.S.- Balurghat, [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Dist.- Dakshin Dinajpur.………………………Opposite Party(s)[/FONT]




[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]For the complainant ……………… - Sri , Sushovan Chatterjee, Ld. Advocate [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]For the OP/OPs ……………………- Sri Vivekananda Ghosh, [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Station Superintendent, Representative[/FONT]




[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Date of Filing : on 20.01.2009[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Date of Disposal : on 28.04.2009[/FONT]


Judgement & Order dt. 28.04.2009



[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Instant C C case basis upon a complaint brought by the complainant Sri Buddhadev Barman on 20.01.2009 against the two OPs who are, in fact, officials of the W.B.S.E.D.C.L. u/s 12 CP Act, alleging deficiency in service.[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Complainant’s case as it appears from the said complaint, in brief, is that earlier he used to obtain electrical energy to his residence at village - Kantabari, through SC No.3348/D, Consumer No.B-572370. Subsequently, he got his residence shifted to a different place in the same village. Prior to the shifting he informed the Station Manager, Tapan Gr. E. Supply – the OP 1 herein, about his intention of changing his residence. OP 1 at that time advised him that for obtaining connection to his new residence, he would have to get his old service connection disconnected. He submitted application for effecting disconnection of the said old SC No. 3348/D on 17.7.2002. He also paid the necessary disconnection fees on 21.8.2002. He made payment of all the bills respecting the said old connection. He obtained Service Connection No.6090/D (Con. No.B-574948) to his new residence in the same village on 22.3.2003 and has been obtaining electrical energy through it since then by making payment of the bills regularly.[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] All on a sudden the Divisional Manager, Dakshin Dinajpur, District Division – the OP 2 herein served upon him a notice dt. 20/24.10.2008 demanding an amount of Rs.23,895/- as energy charges for the period from 8/02 to 1/06 respecting the said old connection namely, SC No.3348/D and threatened to disconnect the new connection in the event of failure in paying the amount within 20 days. The complainant wondered as to how such energy charge could be demanded despite effecting of disconnection. He approached to the offices of the OPs for a redressal but it proved abortive. In the backdrop of such circumstances the complainant brought the complaint seeking a direction to treat the said notice demanding payment of the amount to be void. In the complaint, the complainant also prayed for compensation of an aggregate amount of Rs.25,000/- and costs of litigation.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] The proceeding has been contested on behalf of the two OPs on whose behalf of w.v. was presented on 8.4.2009 admitting issuance of the notice demanding payment of the stated amount of Rs.23,895/- but disputing that the concerned service connection was disconnected permanently. It has been their case that as per the database of W.B.S.E.D.C.L. it could be found that the said amount of Rs.23,895/- remained due respecting the period 8/02 to 1/06. The service connection was disconnected only temporarily on 6.1.2006 and that the meter reading was taken continuously during the said period from 8/02 to 1/06.[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Now upon the pleadings of the sides following points come up for determination:- Points[/FONT]
  1. [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Was there deficiency in service on the part of the licensee – WBSEDCL?[/FONT]
  2. [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Has the demand for an amount of Rs.23,895/- laid by the OPs been proper?[/FONT]
  3. [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Is the complainant entitled to reliefs sought for by him?[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Decision with Reasons:[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Complainant’s averments made in his POC have been verified by the complainant himself. The complainant also, in support of the complaint, filed in this case on 8.4.2009 a number of documents with notice to the other sides. Such documents include copy of the impugned notice dt.20/24.10.2008, those of the written prayer for disconnection and of the receipt of payment of disconnection charge and of a quotation issued from OP 1 under Memo No: TPN/Discon/478 dt.20.8.2002. OPs on the other hand, in support of their case annexed to their w.v. two stated computer generated statements - one over meter readings and the other over outstanding dues. Despite giving of opportunities no other evidence was adduced in the case from any of the sides.[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Let us now, enter into the determination on the three points formulated above.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Points No. 1 & 2: [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] These two points are taken up together for consideration for convenience of discussion.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Copy of the OP 2’s notice dt.20/24.10.2008 impugned in this proceeding, furnished on behalf of the complainant on 08.4.2009 purports that the OP 2 – the Divisional Manager, Dakshin Dinajpur (D) Division under his Memo No: DM/DD/Adm.6/1580 notified the complainant that in course of a visit by divisional team it could be found that the outstanding dues amounting to Rs.23,895/- remained due respecting the period 8/02 to 1/06 concerning SC No.3348/D (Con. No.57237). Under the said notice the complainant was instructed to make payment of the said outstanding dues within 20 days and that the new connection standing in the name of the complainant was threatened to be disconnected in the event of the complainant’s default in paying the said outstanding dues.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Copy of the complainant’s application dt. 17.7.2002 purports that such letter was received at the end of the OP 1 on 17.7.2002. The impression of endorsement as to the receipt of the application appearing on the copy of such application though purports to bear a dated signature but not any seal of the office. Drawing our attention to such absence of impression of office-seal it was urged by the representative of the OPs that in the situation, it cannot be regarded that the prayer for effecting disconnection was actually made by the complainant. Copy of the quotation issued from end of the OP1 under Memo No:TPN/Discon/478 dt. 20.8.2002 purports that under the said memo the complainant was asked to make payment of Rs.20/- as permanent disconnection charge. The said copy of the quotation bears the impression of the seal of OP 1. As the quotation was issued by the OP1 asking to deposit permanent disconnection charge, the contention that it cannot be regarded that the prayer for disconnection was not actually made, cannot be accepted. [/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] It was also urged by the representative appearing for the OPs that despite making of payment of disconnection charge, such disconnection was not effected at the request of the consumer. No document has been filed by the OPs to show that such a request for disconnection was actually made. Such a case also does not appear to have been taken by the OPs in their w.v. The said explanation as to OPs’ omission in effecting disconnection, therefore, hardly warrants acceptance by this Forum.[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Copy of Other Receipt No.OR/G/02-03/065210 dt. 21.8.2002 furnished by the complainant goes to indicate that the complainant paid Rs.20/- on 21.8.2002 towards the said permanent disconnection charge. Failure on the part of the OPs in effecting permanent disconnection despite complainant’s making of an application for the purpose on 17.7.2002 and making of deposit of disconnection charge on 21.8.2002 in obedience to the quotation issued from end of the OP 1, has to be treated to be a deficiency in service on the part of OPs.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Complainant’s averment made in his POC that he was provided the new connection on 22.3.2003 does not appear to be in dispute. In course of hearing it was urged by the Ld. Counsel appearing for the complainant that had there been dues respecting old connection new connection would not have been provided by the licensee. However, nothing could be shown before us to show that at the relevant time i.e. in the early part of 2003 there was a provision prohibiting providing of a new connection to a person respecting of premises in the event of energy charge remaining due from such person concerning some other premises.[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] However, it was urged by the representative appearing for the OPs that the employees of the licensee might have given the new connection remaining oblivious about dues concerning the old connection through inadvertence. Such an explanation was not taken in the w.v. and therefore cannot be accepted. However, in view of such assertion made by the representative in course of arguments, we think, it may be regarded that at the relevant time, there was a provision or practice prohibiting the licensee to provide new connection to a person in the event of any dues remaining unpaid from such person respecting some other premises. Such being the situation as the new connection was given to the complainant it seems to be probable that no dues concerning the said old connection remained unpaid at the time of providing of the new connection to the complainant on 23.3.2003.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Sec. 56 of the Electricity Act, 2003 which has its heading “Disconnection of supply in default of payment” enjoins, in general, the power of the licensee to disconnect of supply line in case of default by a consumer in making of payment of energy charges and other dues. Sub.sec (2) of such Sec 56 runs as under :-[/FONT]
“[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]*** (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, no sum due from any consumer, under this section shall be recoverable after the period of two years from the date when such sum became first due unless such sum has been shown continuously as recoverable as arrear of charges for electricity supplied and the licensee shall not cut off the supply of the electricity ***”.[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]It thus, appears from a plain reading of the said provision that where a sum due relates to a period prior to two years, such sum shall not be recoverable unless the same has been shown continuously as recoverable as arrears of charges for electricity supplied.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Here the copy of the impugned notice goes to indicate that by the said notice issued in October, 2008 dues were claimed for the period 8/02 to 1/06 i.e. for some period over 2½ years prior to the issuance of the said notice.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]No document has been produced from side of the OPs to show that the said dues were shown continuously as recoverable as arrear of charges for electricity supplied. In course of hearing it was submitted by the representative of the OPs that had the complainant produced the earlier bills, it would have appeared that the said dues were claimed continuously from the end of the licensee. It is striking to note that despite complainant’s asserting in his POC that all on a sudden he received the said notice, the OPs in their w.v. do not appear to have claimed that dues demanded under the notice were actually continuously demanded under their different bills or notices. Such being the situation there is hardly any scope of taking an adverse inference against the complainant for non-production of any bill concerning the said service connection. The argument advanced by the representative of the OPs this time, thus faces the same consequence as before.[/FONT][/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]As the dues were demanded at a time after a period of two years from the time when any of the said sums became due first and as it has not been in the case of the OPs that the said dues or any part of it were continuously shown as recoverable, the OPs are not entitled to recover the said dues.[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Issuance of the impugned notice demanding payment of the dues and threatening to effect disconnection of the new service connection in case of default in paying up such dues, issued from the end of the licensee has thus to be viewed to have been improper. [/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Here it has been in the averment in the complaint and not disputed in the w.v., that the complainant having received the impugned notice approached to the offices of the OPs but officials did not consider the matter. Rather, they pressed for payment i.e. virtually insisted on giving effect to the said notice. Insisting on giving effect to such improper notice also constitutes deficiency in service on the part of the Ops.[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]From a consideration of the circumstances, and the materials on record we thus decide the Point No.2 holding that the demand for dues claimed under the impugned notice has been improper and the Point No.1 by holding that there were deficiencies in service on the part of OPs in not effecting the disconnection of the service connection No.3348/D despite making of application therefor and making of payment of disconnection charge as per their quotation and also in giving effect to the impugned improper notice despite complainant’s approach to them for not giving effect to it. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Point No.3[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Here the complainant virtually prayed for a direction forbidding the OPs to give effect to the notice impugned and to pay compensation and costs of litigation.[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] In view of our determination on Points 1 and 2 we think it proper to direct the OPs not to give effect to the notice impugned. From a consideration of the circumstances we do not think it proper to allow the complainant to get any amount as compensation but deem it wise to direct the OPs to pay to the complainant an amount of Rs.500/- as costs of this litigation.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] All the points are thus decided.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] In the result, the complaint succeeds.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] It appears from the case record that the complaint was admitted on 29.1.2009. It is getting disposed of this day i.e. within the time indicated in Sec 13(3A) CP Act.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Under such circumstance, it is [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]O R D E R E D[/FONT]




[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]That the complaint brought by the complainant - Sri Buddhadev Barman on 20.1.2009 u/s 12 CP Act, stands allowed on contest with costs.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]
The OPs are forbidden to give effect to their notice dt. 20/24.10.2008 issued under Memo No: DM/DD/Adm.6/1580 demanding payment of an amount of Rs.23,895/- respecting the period 8/02 to 1/06 concerning SC No.3348/D from the complainant.[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] OPs shall also pay to the complainant a sum of Rs. 500/- as costs of this proceeding. They shall, however, be at liberty to adjust the cost amount of Rs.500/- against the energy bill or bills that may be issued to the complainant concerning the SC No.6090-D (Con No.B-574948 standing in the name of the complainant).[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]In case the OPs prefer to get the cost amount adjusted, they shall do so at the first available opportunity.[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Let plain copies of this order be furnished to the parties free of cost forthwith.[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, sans-serif][/FONT]

Comments

  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    Consumer Complaint NO. : 8/2009

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Smt. Nim Mahato.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]W/O Late – Giren Mahato[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Vill –Chakfarid[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]P.O- Chingishpur,[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]P.S- Balurghat, Dakshin Dinajpur - Complainant(s)[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]V-E-R-S-U-S[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]1. Divisional Manager, W.B.S.E.D.C. Ltd.,[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Division Office,[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Prachya Bharati Road,[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]P.O-Balurghat, Dist. Dakshin Dinajpur.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]2. Station Asst. Manager -cum -A/E,[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]W.B.S.E.D.C. Ltd.,[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Balurghat Group Electric supply,[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Near Old Zail Khana[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Balurghat, [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Dist. Dakshin Dinajpur -Opposite Party(s)[/FONT]






    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]For the complainant - Sri Biswajit Saha, Advocate [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]For the OP/OPs - Sri Rahul Chattopadhyaya, Representative[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] [/FONT]




    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Date of Filing : on 04.03.2009[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Date of Disposal : on 23.04.2009 [/FONT]
    Judgement & Order dt. 23.04.2009



    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Instant C.C. Case bases upon a complaint brought by the complainant Smt. Nim Mahato on 04.03.2009 against the two OPs who are, in fact, different officials of the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd. u/s 12 C.P. Act, alleging deficiency in service.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]The complainant’s case as it appears from the said complaint, in brief, is that she has been an aged widow and has been maintaining her livelihood by cultivating 3/4 bighas of land. On 24.01.2009 she applied for electricity connection to her submersible pump for irrigating her said land. She was served with a quotation for an amount of Rs.20,610/- for the said connection. Quotation amount was paid by her on 16.02.2009. Thereafter she got the connection to her said submersible pump and cultivated paddy in the said land by getting them irrigated by the said pump. Subsequently on 21.02.09 the complainant received from the Assitt. Engineer, Balurghat Gr.E. Supply – the OP 2 herein, a letter intimating that they were unable to provide connection till the disposal of Balurghat PS Case No. 62/2009 dt. 13.02.2009 initiated upon an FIR lodged against her son Kajal Mahato on 13.02.2009.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Having received such communication the complainant told the OP 2 that she could not be held responsible for any act on the part of her son since her said son does not maintain any connection with her family and that, in fact, she had already been provided the connection. At this, the OP 2 responded saying that they would disconnect the said line immediately.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]In the event the supply line be disconnected, the crops cultivated upon the land would get damage. In such premises the complainant brought the complaint praying for a direction upon the OPs prohibiting disconnection of the supply line and asking them to pay compensation of an amount of Rs.1,000/-.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Proceeding has been contested by both the OPs on whose behalf a written version was presented on 24.03.2009 and an additional w.v. on 16.04.2009. The OPs in their w.v. dt. 24.03.2009 admitted as to their having issued the quotation over the application for providing of the supply line but have denied the other material averments the complaint. It has been stated that in course of a raid organized by the OP 2 on 13.02.2009 it was detected that Kajal Mahato- son of the complainant, was consuming electricity illegally for running submersible pump by hooking from Low Tension Electricity Line belonging to WBSEDC Ltd. About 750 meters of PVC wire and DOL starter which had been found connected with the WBSEDCL mains illegally were seized by the OP 2 from the spot in presence of the said Kajal Mahato. Over such theft of energy an FIR was lodged in Balurghat PS upon which Balurghat Case No.62/2009 has been initiated.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Over such incident the theft of the energy OP 2 made a provisional assessment and the provisional assessment bill of an amount Rs.48,342/- was sent to the said Kajal under Memo No: BES/3085 on 14.02.2009 in terms of the provision of Section 126, Electricity Act. Such provisional assessment still remains unpaid.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] On 16.02.2009 the complainant deposited the quotation amount of Rs.20,610/- on the basis of the quotation that had been sent to her earlier with an oblique motive of getting new connection at the same place where theft had been detected on 13.02.2009. The cash section remaining oblivious of the incident of the theft, received the amount. The OP 2 noticed deposit of the said quotation amount on 21.02.2009 and issued immediately on that date a letter to the complainant under Memo No: BES/Power Theft/3101 expressing their inability to effect the connection in view of the theft of energy on 13.02.2009. In fact, the OP 2 cannot provide the connection until and unless the provisional assessment amount remains paid.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] It has further been the case of the OPs that instant proceeding before this Forum under the CP Act is untenable in terms of the provisions of the Section 153 & 154 of the Indian Electricity Act as FIR was lodged over the incident of theft of energy punishable u/s 135 Electricity Act.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] In their additional written version the OPs stated as to how temporary connection is provided by them for running of submersible pumps. It has further been claimed in such additional W.V. that the connection could not be provided till disposal of the said Balurghat PS Case No.62/2009. It has also been claimed in the said additional w.v. that on 14.03.2009 the complainant was asked to appear for final hearing on 17.03.2009 but she did not appear. A report has already been received by the OPs to the effect that the complainant managed to effect connection to her submersible pump without any office order.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] On the pleadings of the sides following points come up for determination :-[/FONT]
    Points

    1. [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Is the proceeding maintainable ?[/FONT]
    2. [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Was there deficiency in service on the part of the OPs?[/FONT]
    3. [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Is the complainant entitled to the reliefs sought for by her?[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Decision with reasons:[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] The averments made in the petition of complaint appears to have been authenticated by the complainant simply by putting her thumb impression. That apart, the complainant in support on her case filed copies of a number of documents. Such documents include complainant’s letter dt. 24.01.2009 addressed to the OP 2 seeking electricity connection for the purpose of ‘Boro’ cultivation, quotation issued from the OP 2 respecting the temporary connection, receipts of payment of the quotation amount, certificate issued from local Panchyat to the effect that Kajal – the son of complainant has been residing separately from complainant’s family and OP 2’s letter dt. 21.02.2009 expressing their inability to provide the connection till disposal of the Court case over the allegation of theft. The averments made in the original written version dt. 24.03.2009 have been verified by the OP 2 and those of the additional w.v. dt. 16.04.2009 have been authenticated by OP 2 by simply putting his signature. Despite giving of opportunity no other evidence was adduced in the case from any of the sides.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Let us now the enter into the determination on three points formulated above.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Point 1: [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]In this case it is virtually not in dispute that Balurghat PS Case No. 62/2009 registered upon an FIR lodged by the OP 2 alleging theft of electrical energy by Kajal Mahato – son of the complainant, now remains pending for determination.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] In course of hearing it was the bold contention advanced by the representative of the OPs that since the said case over the allegation of theft of energy punishable u/s 135 Electricity Act now remains pending before the Special Court constituted under the Electricity Act, the present proceeding is untenable in view of the provisions enshrined in Section 154 of the Electricity Act. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Section 153 of the Electricity Act envisages provisions of constitution of Special Courts for the speedy trial of offences referred to in Section 135 to 139 of the said Act, namely, the Electricity Act. Sub. Section (1) of the said Section 154, Electricity Act says – [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] “*** (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 (2 of 1974), every offence punishable u/s 135 to 139 shall be trial-able only by the Special Court within whose jurisdiction such offences has been committed ***” [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] User of the word ‘only’ in the aforesaid provision no doubt indicates that no court other than a ‘Special Court’ constituted u/s 153 having territorial jurisdiction would have the competence to try any of the offences referred to Sec.135 to 139 of the Electricity Act. Here in case in hand before us it may be regarded that a case brought over an allegation of theft of electricity punishable u/s 135, Electricity Act remains pending before the Special Court against the son of the complainant. However, the present proceeding cannot in any way be regarded to be one for trial of offences u/s 135 or under any of the Sections 135 to 139 of the Electricity Act.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] The present proceeding brought by the complainant is one arising out of a complaint u/s 12 CP Act alleging deficiency in service on the part of the OPs. In the event it be found that there was no deficiency in service, instant proceeding brought by the complainant might fail but it cannot be said that such proceeding is untenable in view of the pendency of a case over an allegation of the complainant’s son’s having committed theft of the electrical energy. As the complaint is one u/s 12, CP Act, alleging deficiency in service such complaint cannot be said to be barred by the aforesaid provisions of Sub sec. (1) of Sec. 154, Electricity Act.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] No other point was raised assailing the maintainability. On the materials on record we do not find any thing, which may render such proceeding untenable. We, thus, answer this Point 1 in the affirmative holding that the proceeding brought by the complainant is maintainable.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Point 2: [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Here, it is not in dispute that in view of a prayer made by the complainant on 24.01.2009 for obtaining supply of electricity for running of her submersible pump for irrigating her land, the said complainant was served with a quotation dt. 05.02.2009 with an instruction to deposit Rs.20,610/- for a temporary connection for 105 days for operating running of the pump. It also goes undisputed that the quotation amount was paid by the complainant on 16.02.2009. Copy of OP 2’s letter dt. 21.02.2009 (furnished in this case on behalf of each of the two sides) purports and it does not appear to be in dispute that on 21.02.2009 the OP 2 informed the complainant that they were unable to effect the said temporary connection till disposal of a court case over an allegation of theft of electricity detected on 13.02.2009. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] It has been the case of the complainant that she had been provided the connection prior to her receiving the said letter from the end of the OP 2 and that in the situation the OPs cannot effect disconnection, more so, when the said Kajal - against whom the allegation of the theft was made, has been living separately from her family.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Defence case made out in their written version has been that following detection of energy at the place on 13.02.2009, they could not provide the connection sought for by the complainant and that, in fact, “the complainant managed to effect the submersible pump connection without office order”.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Here no document could be produced by the complainant to show that she was provided the temporary connection. However, no provision could be brought to our notice from the side of OPs to show that in every case of providing of such temporary connection office order for providing of such connection is served upon the consumer or that each of such consumers of temporary connection are given a document signifying that the concerned connection was provided.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] On behalf of OPs a list of holders of temporary connection for STW/ submersible pumps was filed to show that the said list does not bear the name of the complainant. Production of such list itself does not necessarily establish that the connection was not, in fact, provided from end of the WBSEDCL. It is a striking to see that even though it has been the case of OPs that the complainant “managed to effect the submersible pump connection without office order” (vide additional W.V. dt. 16.04.2009), it has not been the specific averment that the connection was not provided by any of the employees of the WBSEDCL. It has also not been claimed by the OPs that they took any steps for unauthorized use of electrical energy by the complainant in view of the said effecting of the connection.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] From a consideration of circumstances, we think, the claim of the complainant that she was provided the temporary connection prior to her receiving OP 2’s letter dt. 21.02.2009 appears to be preponderant and we, thus, think it wise to proceed treating that the complainant was provided the connection at some point of time in between the complainant’s depositing the quotation money on 16.02.2009 and her receiving the OP 2’s letter on. 21.02.2009. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] In course of hearing the representative for the OPs drew our attention to the provisions of Regulation 3.4.2 of the W.B.E.R.C. (Electricity Supply Code) Regulations, 2007 wherein it has been provided that the licensee shall be eligible to recover from the new and subsequent consumer the dues of the previous and defaulting consumer in respect of in the same premises where there exists nexus between previous and defaulting consumer and the new consumer and attempted to impress that since the amount of Provisional Assessment Bill remains unpaid, the complainant cannot be said to be entitled to the connection sought for by her. As we have already found earlier that the complainant has already obtained the connection, we think that the said provision of Regulation 3.4.2 should hardly be viewed to be any assistance to the OPs in this case.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] It was also urged by the representative for the OPs that since theft was committed at the place, the OPs cannot provide the connection.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Regulation 4.2.1 of the W.B.E.R.C.(ESC) Regulations, 2007 runs as under:-[/FONT]
    “[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]*** Without prejudice to the provisions of the act, the licensee may disconnect or cause to be disconnected the supply to a person and / or premises immediately upon detection of theft or unauthorized use of electricity ***”.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] From a plain reading of the said provision it appears that a licensee may disconnect supply to a person or to a premises immediately upon detection of theft or unauthorized use of electrical energy. But it has to be done without prejudice to the provision of the Electricity Act. Sec. 43 of the Electricity Act casts upon the licensee an obligation to provide connection to a consumer on request within a specified time. Here we have already observed that even though it has been stated by the OPs that the complainant managed to effect the connection, it has not been claimed by the OPs that they took steps against the complainant for unauthorized use of electricity by the complainant. So virtually, the allegation of theft is not against the complainant.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] The theft alleged is thus one stated to have been detected on 13.02.2009. Further, allegation of theft is against one Kajal Mahato. No doubt the said Kajal Mahato is a son of complainant but it has been the case of complainant that the said Kajal Mahato has been residing separately from the complainant’s family since long back. We have found earlier that the complainant obtained the connection at some point of time in between the complainant’s making of deposit of the quotation amount on 16.02.2009 and her receiving the OP 2’s notice on 21.02.2009. Since the connection was obtained by the complainant at a time subsequent to detection of theft by the said Kajal Mahato we are of the view that there is a hardly any scope of the licensees effecting the disconnection of line on ground of theft that has been stated to be detected on 13.2.2009. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] From a consideration of the circumstances, in particular, the OP 2’s letter dt. 21.2.09 we think, we cannot brush aside the claim of the complainant made out in Para 6 of her POC that the connection has been threatened to be disconnected from end of the OP 2. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Since disconnection has been threatened in view of the incident of the theft stated to have taken place prior to complainant’s obtaining the connection and that too, allegation of theft having been against another person, we think, such threatening of disconnection has to be viewed to have been a deficiency in service on the part of OPs.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] We, thus, decide Point 2 by holding that there has been deficiency in service on the part of the OPs who are, in fact, officials of the distribution licensee. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Point No.3: [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] In the complaint, the complainant has prayed for a direction upon the OPs prohibiting disconnection, to pay the compensation of amount of Rs.1,000/- and the costs of litigation.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] We have, in course of our discussion on Point No.2 virtually found that the OPs have no right to effect disconnection of the supply line that was obtained by the complainant at a point of time subsequent to the complainant’s making of deposit of quotation money on 16.2.2009. In the situation we think it proper to grant the prayer for an order prohibiting disconnection. However, since theft has been alleged to have been committed not too long before effecting of the connection and it is apparent that the investigation in the Criminal Case brought over the allegation of theft, still remains pending, we think, we should make it clear that such prohibitory order should not, however, stand in the way of OPs’ effecting disconnection under due of process of law.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] From a consideration of the circumstances, we do not deem it proper to grant the prayer for compensation or for litigation costs.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Point No. 3 is, thus, decided.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] All the points are, thus, disposed of.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] In the result, the complaint succeeds in part.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] The complaint was admitted on 4.3.2009. Instant case is thus being disposed of even within two months since the admission of the complaint i.e. well within the time indicated in Sec. 13 (3A) CP Act.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] Under such circumstances, it is.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]O R D E R E D[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] That the complaint brought by the complainant Smt. Nim Mahato on 4.3.2009 u/s 12 CP Act, stands allowed in part in contest.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif] OPs are, by an order, prohibited from effecting disconnection of the temporary connection to the complainant’s submersible pump within the 105 days’ term otherwise than under due process of law.[/FONT]
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited September 2009
    C. F. CASE NO.-CC/37/2008.

    PETITIONER =Vs. = O.P
    Smt. Renuka Mondal, WBSEDCL,Rep.by The Station
    W/o. Sri Jagannath Mondal, Superintendent, Ahmedpur Gr.E/Supply,
    Vill.&P.O. Sindurtopa.P.S.Sainthia, WBSEDCL,(W.B.S.E.D.C.L)
    Birbhum. Ahmedpur, Birbhum-731201.


    PRESENT:-Shri S.K. Roy
    President.
    :- Shri M.K. Pal
    Member
    :- Smt.Bula Koley
    Member
    :: J U D G E M E N T ::
    Dated: 16.04.2009

    The complaint story in short is that the complainant has a shallow Tube Well for irrigation of her own lands which runs with the aid of electric power .Due to financial stringency she applied for disconnection of her service connection and on receipt of the disconnection charge of Rs. 40/-the O.P.disconnected the service connection on 29.5.2002. Then after a few years the complainant while prayed for reconnection, the O.P. asked to pay Rs. 19753/- together with reconnection charge of Rs. 60/-. On receipt of that amount the O.P. restored the connection on 09.02.2008. The complainant by a letter dt. 19.02.2008 requested the O.P. to in form her on what account the amount of Rs. 19753/- has been received from her but without any reply. Hence this case.
    The O.P. contested the case by filing a written version wherein it has taken a few legal objections, denied all the material allegations and has contended that the amount of Rs. 19753/- has been received as outstanding dues for the period from 10.2002 to 10.2005 for the service connection. Hence the case merits dismissal.
    To prove the complaint case one Jagannath Mondal the husband of the complainant alone sworn and file an affidavit on evidence and a few documents exts. 1 to 4 as per list. On the other hand one Durga Charan Das sworn and file a counter affidavit on evidence to substantiate the defence case.
    Points for consideration are:-
    1.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Is the complainant a consumer as defined in the C.P. Act,1986?
    2.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Is the consumer Forum competent to entertain and adjudicate the present dispute?
    Contd…2/
    -::2::-

    3. Has there any deficiency in service of the employees of the Opp. Party?
    4. Is the complainant entitled to the reliefs prayed for?
    Point No.1:- The ld. Lawyer for the Opp. party raising this point argued that the complainant used the energy for commercial purpose by selling irrigation water to others and she employed persons for running the pump .Moreover her connection was originally for shallow Tube well, but subsequently behind the knowledge of the O.P. she has converted the S.T.W. into a submersible pump. Further that the service connection was disconnected on her prayer. So she can not be treated as a consumer as defined in the sec.2(1)(d) of the C.P. Act, 1986.
    Against the above argument the ld. Lawyer for the complainant submitted that admittedly the connection was disconnected on the prayer of the complainant but the reason was that due to financial stringency she was compelled to pray for disconnection. If, she used to sale water to others, there could be no necessity to pray for disconnection. There is no iota of evidence from the O.P. regarding selling of water to any person of the neighboring land owners. She never used the energy for commercial purpose. As regards conversion of S.T.W. into S.M.P. the receipt for disconnection charge will show that the service connection was for S.M. 1896 (Ext.3). So it can not be said that behind the knowledge of the O.P. the S.T.W. was converted into SMP. The submersible pump can be fitted in a shallow tube well or in a deep tube well. It is to be seen whether the load has been enhanced or not. In this case there is no allegation of enhancement of load in the pump. After disconnection as soon as the connection has been restored the complainant has become a consumer.
    In view of the above arguments of the ld. Lawyers for both the parties, I agree with the submission of the ld. Lawyer for the complainant as stated above. Mere allegation without evidence of proof can not be considered as a substantial one. When the service connection is in existence and as argued by the ld. Lawyer for the O.P. that the connection was temporarily disconnected, in my opinion the complainant is a consumer as defined in the C.P. Act, 1986.This point is answered in favour of the complainant.

    Point No.2:- This point was agitated by the ld. Lawyer for the O.P. The argument was that the complainant has prayed for refund of the amount of Rs. 19753/-. So, it is a fit case for money


    Contd…3/
    -::3::-

    Suit in the Civil Court the only competent Court to entertain the dispute. Moreover the allegation was for bill dispute; the matter should be referred to the Electrical Inspector; the consumer forum is not competent to entertain the matter. The ld. Lawyer placed Reliance on the decision reported in 1997W.B.L.R.(S.C.)44.
    Challenging the above argument the ld. Lawyer for the complainant submitted that the complainant has prayed for not only refund but also alternatively for adjustment of the amount in the future bills.
    There is no allegation of billing dispute for defective meter. When the correctness of meter is not involved, there is no question of reference to the Electrical Inspector.
    Giving due consideration to the above arguments and the decisions referred I am to say that there is relationship of consumer and service provider between the parties, no question of defectness or correctness of meter and of any bill. As the O.P inspite on written request of the complainant did not give any reply in what account the amount was taken from her under compulsion for restoration of her service connection, the dispute is very much comes within the ambit of Sec. 3 of the C.P. Act, 1986. The above decision has no application in the case in hand.
    This point is answered accordingly.

    Point No.3:-This point was raised by the ld. Lawyer for the complainant. His submission was that after reconnection on the prayer of the complainant on 09.02.2008 the complainant by her letter dt. 19.02.2008 requested the S.S. of Ahmedpur Gr. Electric Supply to let her know on what account the amount of Rs. 19753/- was taken from her. But the employees of the O.P. remained silent till filing of this case. This amounts to deficiency in service. Though the O.P. in the written version and in the affidavit on evidence has claimed that there was outstanding dues for the period from Oct.2002 to Oct.2005 for which the amount was charged from the complainant. But in fact according to the ext.2 the quotation for disconnection charge and ext.3 the receipt showing payment of disconnection are the two documents and the admission in para 9 of the written version together with contents of para 13 of the a counter affidavit on evidence are the materials to say that the service connection was disconnected on 29.05.2002.
    The reconnection has been done on 09.02.2008 which will be evident from ext.3/1 the receipt showing payment reconnection charge coupled with the admission of the O.P. in para 12 of the written version together with para 14 of the counter affidavit on evidence. As such during
    Contd…4/
    -::4::-

    the period from 29.05.2002 to 09.02.2008 there was no energy supplied to the pump of the complainant. So, without any consumption of energy the complainant can not be and should not be compelled to pay any amount for that period or for the period from Oct.2002 to Oct.2005. The claim of the O.P. is not correct and legal.
    Against the above argument the ld. Lawyer for the O.P. has submitted that as it was a temporary disconnection the complainant is liable to pay for the period and accordingly the amount was charged.
    I have care fully gone through the entire materials on record including the affidavits of the witnesses. The argument of the ld. Lawyer for the O.P. has no leg to stand. If, we for argument sake accept the view of the O.P. that in case of temporary disconnection for S.T.W. or S.M.P. connection the consumer will have to pay. Then what is the necessity of disconnection if one has to pay for the disconnected period. Again if the service provider can claim for that period then why for a fraction of the disconnected period has been claimed, why not for the entire period from July 2002 to Jan 2008.There is no acceptable reply from the ld. Lawyer for the O.P.
    In my opinion the O.P. has collected the large amount of Rs. 19753/- from the complainant against no legally chargeable account. The materials in the record show that there can not be any outstanding dues for the period from Oct.2002 to Oct 2005, because there was no connection during that period in the pump in question. What prevented the O.P. and its employees to give a satisfactory reply to the complainant against her request letter dt. 19.02.08 (ext.4). My view is that the O.P.’s employees collected the amount illegally for some other purpose and not as any legal due from the complainant. The act of the O.P. and its employees is nothing but gross negligence in duty and deficiency in the service.
    This point is answered accordingly.
    Point No.4:- In view of my above discussions I incline to say and hold that the complainant is entitled to the reliefs prayed for. This point is answered in favour of the complainant.
    In the result the complaint succeeds on contest.
    Fees paid are correct.
    Hence, it is
    Ordered
    That the complaint is allowed on contest against the O.P.

    Contd…5/
    -::5::-

    The complainant is awarded the amount of Rs. 19753/- to be adjusted by the O.P. against her future bills till the entire amount is exhausted. She is also awarded Rs. 1000/-towards compensation for harassment and for litigation cost.
    The O.P. is directed to adjust the said amount of Rs. 19753/- in bills consicutively starting from the month of may 2008 till the entire amount is exhausted.
    It is directed to pay the compensation and litigation cost of Rs. 1000/- within 30 days of this order failing which the amount shall carry interest @10% p.a. after the expiry of 30 days till payment.
  • SidhantSidhant Moderator
    edited September 2009
    Santosh Kumar Majumdar,

    Son of Late Bipin Bihari Majumdar,

    Suryapur, Chakulia, Uttar Dinajpur. Complainant.



    versus



    1) West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited,

    Bidyut Bhaban, D-J, Sector, Salt Lake,

    K O L K A T A : 7 0 0 0 9 1.



    2) The Divisional Manager,

    West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited,

    Raiganj, Uttar Dinajpur.



    3) The Station Manager,

    Kanki Group Electric Supply,

    West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited,

    Kanki, P.S.-Chakulia, Uttar Dinajpur. Opposite Parties.


    Judgment

    Date: 15.07.2009.

    The Case filed Under Section 12 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 by the Complainant Santosh Kumar Majumdar against the Opposite Parties on the ground that the officers of the Opposite Parties handed over him a bill of Rs.97,762.00 (rupees ninety seven thousand seven hundred sixty two) only and directed him to pay the amount, which has been charged for less registration of the consumption of the energy in his meter. So the Complainant sent a protest letter to the Opposite Parties on 08.03.2007 by registered post with A/D requesting therein to get his meter to be examined by Chief Electrical Inspector, West Bengal; but the Complainant has not received any answer from the Opposite Parties’ Company. On 29.06.2007 suddenly the movement of the machine of his mill came to a standstill and noticed that one of his three phase line went out of order. He registered a complaint on 30.06.2007 with Kanki Call Centre. But no one came to from the office of the said Call Centre to do the necessary repair of the defective phase line. So, he himself went to office and learnt there that no repairing work would be undertaken by the Company. So this complaint filed for restoration of the service connection and compensation of Rs.1,00,000.00 (rupees one lac) only and other litigation cost.

    The Opposite Parties/ W.B.S.E.D.C.L. has contested the case by filing a Written Version. Their case has been narrated in Para-6 of the Written Version. According to them on 03.08.2006 a team of Security of Loss Prevention Unit of Raiganj Circle comprising C.P., Raiganj Unit; Special Officer, Raiganj Unit; Manager, Kanki Electric Supply had been to the mill of the Complainant for formal inspection of the meter of the mill and service connection. During inspection by the Divisional Engineer in presence of the Consumer it was detected that some units appear to have not been claimed during billing for less registration and the Consumer make them know that this less registration of unit for a which he has applied in writing that for any sort of less registration of unit, he will pay the amount whichever will be calculated and claimed. Opposite Parties denied that there was ever any negligence in providing service to the Complainant.

    Decisions with reasons:

    The dispute here is alleged inflated bill. The Complainant admittedly a Consumer having No.I-010284 and Service Connection No. 1/86 under the Opposite Parties. The Complainant runs a mill where the paddies are husked. He claimed that he used to pay the bill as per the registration of energy in his meter. His further case as it appears is that prior to receipt of the disputed bill is monthly energy bill always remained around Rs.15,000.00 to Rs.20,000.00 (rupees fifteen thousand to rupees twenty thousand) only) per month. In this support he filed one Xerox Copy of the Bill of the January, 2007.

    Wherefrom, we find the net amount payable by the Complainant for that month was Rs.23,055.00 (rupees twenty three thousand and fifty five)only. We are to say now that the disputed bill has not been produced by the Complainant. According to him the disputed bill is of Rs.96,762.00 (rupees ninety six thousand seven hundred sixty two) only. The case of the Opposite Parties’ is that the bill they have submitted to the Complainant covered the period when the meter was registering the units more than, for which, the bills were asked for payment.

    The Complainant has not produced the disputed bill, which was handed over to him. Had the bill been produced this Forum could have got the idea as to the period for which the disputed bill was prepared and what was the units showed in the bills sent to the Complainant till the date of inspection and what was the excess units, for which the further demand for money was made in the disputed bill. So, in the opinion of this Forum, the papers produced by the Complainant are not sufficient to arrive at a decision that can go in favour of the Complainant. The Complainant has come before this Forum for an award together with compensation, but in order to succeed in his claim he has to tender such evidence that can establish his case at least prima-facie. When he asserts a particular thing and expects the Forum to belief, burden lies upon him to prove it. But in the opinion of the Forum he has failed to discharge his burden as such he is not entitled to get any award from this Forum. So the complaint fails.

    Fees paid are correct.

    Hence, ordered,

    That the complaint is dismissed on contest against the Opposite Parties with cost of Rs.1,000.00 (rupees one thousand) only to be paid by Complainant to the Opposite Parties.
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited October 2009
    Smt. Champa Rani Banerjee, Village & Post – Kushadeep, P.S. Patrasayer, Dist. – Bankura.



    ……………….Complainant.



    V e r s u s





    Station Superintendent, Group Electric Supply, Patrasayer, W.B.S.E.B., P.O. Patrasayer, Dist. – Bankura.

    ……….…….Opposite Party.











    The present case was instituted on the basis of a petition of

    complaint filed by one Smt. Champa Rani Banerjee, a resident

    of village Kushadeep, P.S. Patrasayar in the district of Bankura

    against the Station Superintendent, Group Electric Supply,

    Patrasayar under W.B.S.E.B. having allegations of excess

    billing and deficiency in service.



    In a nutshell, the case of the Complainant, as made out in the petition of complaint, is that the Complainant is a consumer under the O.P. having service connection no.341/RI-107 under category “Industrial”. Complainant runs a wheat grinding machine in her locality. In 1988 the electric meter was found inoperative and defective and this fact was duly reported to the O.P. for taking necessary action. For installation of a new electric meter money was deposited by the Complainant on 27.05.1988.


    From 1988 to 1987 the Complainant paid Rs.350/- only per month for consumption of electric energy. Further case of the Complainant is that the meter was not changed by the O.P. and average bills were sent and consumption of energy was shown increased day by day from 300 units to 900 units per month. O.P. demanded Rs.34,532/- only from this Complainant ; against that demand a case was filed by the Petitioner being P.C. No.97 of 1994 in this Forum. During pendancy of the said case O.P. served a notice under section 24 of the Indian Electricity Act demanding a sum of Rs.49,845/- only upto consumption period Septemebr, 1994. Said notice was challenged by the Complainant by filing another case bearing no. P.C. 13 of 1995 in this Forum.



    The defective meter was ultimately replaced by a new one on 01.10.1994. It appears from the Yellow Card that when the meter was OK Complainant consumed 350 units of energy per month on average. During pendancy of the aforesaid cases the O.P. served another notice under section 24 of the Indian Electricity Act demanding Rs.1788/- only for the month October,1994. According to the Complainant, this amount was excessive, wrong, fictitious and baseless and by filing this case the Complainant challenges the validity of the same and prays for proper relief.



    O.P. entered appearance and contested the case by filing a written version denying, inter alia, the material allegations made against him. Case of the O.P., in brief, is that the Complainant does not run a wheat grinding machine ; he, in fact, runs a husking machine in unauthorized way. Service connection is liable to be disconnected for that. The connected load of the line is 15 h.p.. In case the meter was defective the petitioner was bound to pay bills according to load average, as per Circular of the Board. Similarly, if the consumption is less than the “target consumption” the consumer is liable to pay A.M.G.R. to the Board. O.P. prays for dismissal of the case for want of merit.



    The main point for consideration is whether the demand of the O.P. was justified and whether there was any deficiency in service from the side of the O.P..



    Decision with reasons



    To establish their respective cases the parties did not prefer adducing any verbal evidence.



    Status of the Complainant as “Consumer” is nowhere challenged by the O.P.. The point relating to limitation period too is not challenged. Yet we have, on our own motion, examined the same and we are sure that the present Complainant is a “Consumer” as per the definition of the word laid down under section 2(d) of the Consumer Protection Act. Secondly, the petition of complaint, as we find, was presented well within the period of limitation as prescribed under section 24(A) of the Act.



    It transpires from the case record that this Complainant filed three cases altogether including the present one against the same O.P. with the very same allegation of excess billing. The other two cases bear nos. P.C.62 of 1995 and P.C.13 of 1995. Those two case records were called for by us and we perused the same. It is found that the subject matter in all the cases are same, only the consumption period differs. Out of those two cases one is disposed of (P.C. 97 of 1994) and the other one (P.C. 13 of 1995) is pending in the Board of hearing argument. Strictly speaking, as we understand, all the three cases ought to have heard analogously for sake of convenience.


    However, it was not so done. Since one matter (P.C. 97 of 1994) has already been disposed of after full hearing and judgement was delivered and pronounced on 10.02.2009 assigning reasons, the present case too should be guided by the spirit of the order passed in the disposed of case record. In other words, conclusion in this case be drawn in the same light and view given in the previous one. It is pertinent to note here that the order passed in P.C. no.97 of 2004 was accepted by the O.P.. Accordingly, the notice under section 24 of Indian Electricity Act issued on 10.05.1995 by the O.P. demanding Rs.1788.30 paisa only for consumption period 10/1994 be declared to be void. Fresh bill may be ordered to be prepared for consumption of 400 units only. Hence, it is









    Ordered

    that the present case is allowed on contest.



    Notice under section 24 of Indian Electricity Act issued on 10.05.1995 by the O.P. in the name of the Complainant (service connection no.341/RI-107)demanding Rs. 1788.30 paisa only for consumption period October,1994 stands cancelled. O.P. to prepare fresh bill for the aforesaid consumption period for 400 units of energy only at the rate prevailing in the relevant period. O.P. to comply with this direction within sixty days from the date of this order and the Complainant shall remain duty-bound to clear up the bill within the date to be specified therein.
  • devchakdevchak Junior Member
    edited October 2009
    ::{Let me explain my problem, I am a Consumer of WBSEB, Garia , Kolkata, West Bengal. From past One year My Electric Meter was being Stooped and Board has issued Average bills which is some times beyond my capacity. I am normal Service man. working in a private concern. I have written letter to their Complaint Box but its vain. With profound regret I does not have any other choice to lodge my complaint to any other establishment.It is Requested to Consumer Court to look in to the matter for a simple citizen of kolkata.
    Details as here under for your kind attention please -

    Consumer Name - Debashis Chakraborty
    Address - Fartabad, Beltala, Mahamayapur, Garia, Kolkata , West Bengal, India.
    Service Connection No. GD/26419
    Consumer No. C156084
    Consumer ID : 115068103
    Consumer Code : C152870
    Meter No- 4S-260703

    Hope my pray will be considered by the Consumer Court. Your early compliance is highly be solicited.

    Warm regards,
    S/d
    Debashis Chakraborty
    Fartabad , Beltala,
    Mahamayapur
    Garia
    KOlkata -700084
    Ph :- 2462-7067
  • devchakdevchak Junior Member
    edited October 2009
    My name is Debashis Chakrborty, residing at Garia , Kolkata under WBSEB supply jurisdiction.Let me explain my problem, I am a Consumer of WBSEB, Garia , Kolkata, West Bengal. From past One year My Electric Meter was being Stooped and Board has issued Average bills which is some times beyond my capacity. I am normal Service man. working in a private concern. I have written letter to their Complaint Box but its vain. With profound regret I does not have any other choice to lodge my complaint to any other establishment.It is Requested to Consumer Court to look in to the matter for a simple citizen of kolkata.
    Details as here under for your kind attention please -

    Consumer Name - Debashis Chakraborty
    Address - Fartabad, Beltala, Mahamayapur, Garia, Kolkata , West Bengal, India.
    Service Connection No. GD/26419
    Consumer No. C156084
    Consumer ID : 115068103
    Consumer Code : C152870
    Meter No- 4S-260703

    Hope my pray will be considered by the Consumer Court. Your early compliance is highly be solicited.

    Warm regards,
    S/d
    Debashis Chakraborty
    Fartabad , Beltala,
    Mahamayapur
    Garia
    KOlkata -700084
    Ph :- 2462-7067[/QUOTE]
  • adv.sumitadv.sumit Senior Member
    edited October 2009
    Abdul Rashid Khan, Suri Gr E/Supply, WBSEDCL,

    S/o Lt. Md. Isaque Khan Rep. by Station Manager, Suri Kalibari,

    of Kendua Fakir Para, PO & PS-Suri, Birbhum.

    PO & PS-Suri, Birbhum











    :: J U D G E M E N T ::



    That a consumer is a commercial consumer under WBSEDCL Suri Kalibari. His domestic line has been disconnected but the consumer enjoys electricity as a commercial consumer. The O.P. Company directed him by issuing a notice dated 04/07/08 to pay Rs.5607/- as unpaid energy bill for the period from 07.2004 to 03.2005. The petitioner requested the O.P. to grant him installments and agreed to pay the outstanding dues under protest. But after sometime O.P. demanded Rs.10685/- by issuing another bill on 15/09/2008. Petitioner mentions in his complaint that his domestic connection was disconnected in the year 2005 and he converted his service line from domestic to commercial connection.


    The petitioner also submits in his complaint that he runs a very small shop in his house and works for his livelihood. Then petitioner sends an advocate notice. The petitioner alleged deficiency in service on the part of the O.P. and came before this Forum with his prayer. He prays for cancellation of the notice dt.04.7.2008 demanding Rs.5607/- and also for cancellation of installment bill dt.15.9.08 of Rs. 10,685/-.

    2. He also prays for detail account for unpaid energy bills and surcharge issued by the O.P.

    3. Compensation for mental agony and harassment.

    The statement of O.P.:- By filing written version the O.P. alleged that the present complaint is not maintainable. He also alleged that the petitioner is a habitual defaulter and it is fact that he did not pay bill charges for the billing period 07.2004 to 03.2005. For realization the energy charges O.P. send the notice and bill for outstanding dues. The petitioner is also liable to pay surcharges on bill as well a s delaying charges. O.P. demanded this amount as per rules and regulation of the WBERC. There is nothing wrong and unlawful. The O.P. prays for dismissal of the complaint.





    Contd…2/



    -::2::-



    Both parties files evidence on affidavit in support of their petition and other relevant documents.

    Findings of the Forum:-

    1. The petitioner is a small businessman. He submits in his complaint that there is a small shop in his house. He converted domestic line into commercial connection on 2005. It is an admitted fact that the petitioner is a small business man and is working for his livelihood and not for gains.

    Hence I come to the conclusion that he is a consumer u/s 2(1)(d)(ii) of C.P. Act, 1986.

    2. The O.P. alleged in his written version as well as in his evidence on affidavit that there is no illegality and deficiency in service on the part of the O.P. But I observe that O.P. did not serve any notice upon the petitioner before issuing unpaid energy bill as well as notice upon the petitioner. He did not show continuously the amount of outstanding dues in the bills, which is a must. The present Electricity Rule and Regulation clearly stated this. More over no one can get a new service line unless and until the E.C. Board become satisfied there is no such bill unpaid by the consumer regarding the existing meter. Here the consumer applied for conversion of his old domestic connection in new commercial connection. Hence I can not understand how the O.P. Company install new connection without realisation the outstanding dues for energy which was consumed by the petitioner.


    The West Bengal Electricity Regularity Commission (Electricity Supply Code) Regulation 2004 u/s 3.4.2 clearly states that the licensee shall not be eligible to recover any sum due from any consumer after the period of two years from the date when such sum became first due unless such sum has been shown continuously as recoverable as arrear of charges for electricity supply and the licensee shall not cut of the supply of the electricity in such cases as laid down under section 56(2)of the electricity Act 2003. Again Electricity Act 2003 section 56 (2)clearly shows “no sum due from any consumer under this section shall be recoverable after the period of two years from the date when such sum became first due unless such sum shows continuously in the bills as recoverable as arrear of charges for electricity supply.” The ld. Advocate of the O.P. company referred a similar case filed in the Dist. Forum of Birbhum (CC no.36/, S.C. case no.178/A/2006 ).


    The O.P. Company preferred an appeal before Ld. State Hon’ble State Commission. Hon’ble State Commission allowed the appeal and dismissed the order of below Forum. But after perusal of the judgment of Hon’ble State Commission I come to conclusion that these two cases are different all together.


    The Section 126 of Electricity Act, of 2003 is not applicable here. Because there is no inspection report or either of the parties submits that there was an inspection performed by the officer of O.P. Company. Hence I come to conclusion that O.P. did not disclose the basis of the notice dt.04.07.2008 for claiming outstanding dues from the petitioner. O.P. did not show any outstanding dues in any bill of the petitioner.

    3. The O.P. also alleged that a consumer cannot come before a Consumer Forum and will go for redressal of grievances to the Special Court in this regard I referred the



    Contd…3/



    -::3::-



    judgment giving by Hon’ble N.C. in the case Jharkhand State Electricity Board Vs. Anwar Ali (C.P.C. 2008)(ii)NC reported also in Consumer Protection cases page 491). In his judgment Hon’ble N.C. clearly stated that Electricity Act 2003 sec.50,126,157,173and 175) and C.P. Act,1986 both run parallel regarding limited purpose in respect of arbitrary and illegal action under the rules and regulations framed under E.C. Act. Complaint regarding Electricity supply and deficiency in service by E.C. Board or any Pvt. Company is maintainable under C.P. Act. A person can file a complain under C.P. Act. as well as Electricity Act. Here petitioner came before this Forum which is his right under law of the land.

    Hence I come to the conclusion that the petitioner proved his case beyond doubt. This is a clear case of negligence and deficiency of service on this part of O.P. Hence, petitioner is entitled to get compensation. But here the O.P. company is Government organization. It is run by the Govt. Exchequer. Hence monetary compensation or fine ultimately becomes fine upon the common tax payer of the State. So, I do not allow any monetary compensation for mental agony and harassment.
  • adv.singhadv.singh Senior Member
    edited February 2010
    Case No: CC/ 150/2008. Date of Filing (Original):12.09.2008.

    Date of Order: 24-12-2009

    Name of the Complainant(s) Name of the Opposite party/parties

    Tozammel Hoque, S.M.Lalgoala Gr. Elecric Supply,

    S/O Late Sabdar Ali, Vill. Natun Gram, WBSEDCL at Lalgola,

    P.O.& P.S. Lalgola, Dist. Murshidabad. P.O.&P.S. Lalgola, Dist. Murshidabad.

    PRESENT

    1. Shri G. M. Midhya - President

    2. Smt. P. Ali - Member

    3. Shri T. K. Biswas - Member


    JUDGMENT

    This case has been filed by the complainant u/S 12 of C.P. Act, 1986(as amended up to date). The case of the complainant, in short, is that he is a resident of Vill. Natungram P.S. Lalgola, Dist. Murshidabad. He applied for domestic electric connection in his shop on plot No. 2658, Khaitan No. 1283 within Mouza Lalgola, P.S. Lalgola, Dist. Murshidabad and deposited requisite money on 11.11.1994 as per quotation with the office of the Station Manager, Lalgola Group Electric Supply who is the OP in this case. Thereafter, no connection was given by the OP. The complainant requested the OP again and again for the said connection , then the OP asked the complainant to deposit further amount of Rs.25/- and Rs.290/- which were also deposited by the complainant on 20.8.2007. Still no connection was given. On 10.9.2008 the complainant again met the OP but the OP did not take any step. It is an act of negligence and deficiency of service on the part of the OP. Hence, this case.



    The complainant prays for direction upon the OP to give electric connection immediately. Also he prays for compensation of Rs.5, 000.00 for harassment and mental agony.



    The OP filed written version and contested the case. According to him, there was no deficiency of service on the part of the OP. It has been admitted by the OP that the petitioner applied for service connection and he deposited requisite charges. But connection could not be given due to objection of one Mongal Sk who submitted a copy of Information Slip pertaining to partition Suit No.90/93of the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Berhampore. There was clear indication in the Information Slip that there was an order of injunction of Court involving plot no. 2658, Khaitan No. 1283. Therefore, the OP did not disobey the order of injunction granted by the court. So, the case should be dismissed.



    In order to prove his case the complainant has filed copy of his applications and receipts showing deposit of requisite charges for taking service connection long with quotations thereon. On the other hand, the OP has filed copy of Information Slip bearing Sl. No. 258 dt. 15.9.2007 issued from the court of Ld. Civil Judge, Senior Division, Berhampore. The Op has admitted that the complainant deposited the requisite charges for service connection. On the other hand, the complainant has not denied about the Civil Suit in which there was an order of injunction involving the plot to which the connection was sought for. The Information Slip clearly indicates that there was injunction involving the disputed property on which the shop of the complainant is claimed to be situated. Therefore, in our opinion, the OP did not show any negligence or have any deficiency of service by not giving electric connection to the disputed plot even though the complainant had deposited requisite charges. Under the above circumstances the allegation of the complainant has no merit and the case is liable to be rejected.



    However, in his usual fairness Ld. G.P. submitted that the order of injunction subsisted till 18.06.2008. If the complainant meets the OP with the final result of the suit, the service connection to his plot may be effected provided there is no adverse order of the court of law.



    Hence,

    O R D E R E D

    that Consumer Complaint No.150/2008 be and the same is dismissed on contest . However, as per the suggestion of the Ld. G.P. who appears on behalf of the OP, the complainant may contact the OP with final result of the Partition Suit No. 90/93 and the OP shall give connection to the disputed plot No.2658 provided there is no adverse order of the court of law touching the said plot.

    Considering the circumstance there is no order as to cost.



    The case is thus disposed of.

    Dictated and corrected by us.
  • adv.singhadv.singh Senior Member
    edited February 2010
    Name of the Complainant(s) Name of the Opposite party/parties

    Alim Sk. Station Manager, Mr. S. Boral

    S/O Late Nasser Sk., WBSEDCL, Raghunathganj Gr.Elec.

    Vill. Sadikpur. P.O.Gankar, Supply,

    P.S. Raghunathganj, Dist. Murshidabad.

    PRESENT

    1. Shri G. M. Midhya - President

    2. Smt. P. Ali - Member

    3. Shri T. K. Biswas - Member

    JUDGMENT

    The case is represented by lawyers of both parties.

    Complainant , Ali Sk. Applied for providing new electric connection for submersible pump to the OP, WBSEDCL, Raghunathganj and duly deposited a total sum of Rs.1,22,771.00 on 14.01.2009 to the OP, as per their quotation issued from the office of the OP. However, no electric connection so far has been provided, moreover, the OP made claim for excess charge. Hence, this case.

    The OP filed written version. As per written version, the OP’s case is that another person named Sejamuddin Sk along with this complainant had applied for connection. The approximate cost was apportioned between them. Now Sejamuddin Sk withdrew himself from the scheme. So, the complainant was required to pay additional charge and cost for effecting connection.

    In order to prove his case the complainant filed copy of receipts showing payment of quotation money. On the other hand, the OP filed copy of map of the proposed line, affidavit of Sejamudddin Sk and his application for return of money.

    Heard both sides. Examined the papers.
    In our reasoned view, when the OP issued quotation and the complainant deposited the quotation money, a liability grew on the OP for effecting service. Non- participation of Sejamuddin Sk can not be a reason for deprivation of right of the complainant and also the complainant can not be compelled to compensate the loss, which occurred due to the withdrawal of Sejamuddin Sk from the scheme. We can not approve the plea of the OP and so the case of the petitioner must sustain.

    Hence,
    O R D E R E D
    That the Consumer Complaint No.54/2009 be and the same is allowed on contest. The OP is directed to give connection to the submersible pump of the complainant, an the basis of deposit of quotation money already made by the complainant within one month from the date of this order. No further order as to cost is given right now; but if the OP fails to carry out this order right within time, Rs.10, 000.00 shall be levied as cost and compensation and the petitioner shall be at liberty to execute this order, as per law and procedure.
  • adv.singhadv.singh Senior Member
    edited February 2010
    Complainant Opposite party (s)

    Sri Kishore Rajak, 1. West Bengal State Electricity

    S/o. Rabi Rajak, Distribution Company Limited,

    Baishnab Para, Rep. By: Divisional Engineer,

    Sarubad Horibol Mandir, Zilla Parishad Bhaban, Purulia,

    Post Office: Namopara, P.O., P.S. & Dist: Purulia

    Police Station: Purulia (Town), 2.Stn. Manager/Divn. Manager,

    District: Purulia (W.B.) Zilla Parishad Bhaban, Purulia,

    P.O., P.S. & Dist: Purulia.

    3. Sunil Rajak.

    4. Madhu Rajak,

    5. Nimai Rajak,

    O.P.No. 3,4&5 are:

    S/o. Late Balaram Rajak,

    Baishnab Para,

    Sarubad Horibol Mandir,

    P.O.Namopara, P.S.Purulia (T),

    District: Purulia.

    Present:

    1. Sri B. Das, President.

    2. Sri A.K. Sinha, Member.

    3. Smt. S. Sengupta (Santra), Member.

    For the complainant : Sri S. Bose, Advocate.

    For the O.P.No. 1& 2 : Sri H. Chatterjee, Advocate.

    For the O.P.No. 3 : Sri P. Roy, Advocate.

    Order No. 15, dated 06.01.2010, CC No. 19 of 2009

    The fact of the case in brief is that the complainant is the son of Rabi Rajak who is the owner of Holding No. 182 of Ward No. 19, Purulia Municipality where there is no electric connection. The father by affidavit has given no-objection for providing electric connection in the name of the



    complainant. Accordingly, the complainant submitted application before WBSEDCL (herein after O.P.No. 1 and 2) for giving electric connection in the aforesaid holding of his father and deposited Rs. 500/- on 20.3.2009 and Rs. 750/- as security deposit on 26.5.2009 with O.P. No. 1 & 2 against proper receipts. Men of O.P. No. 2 visited the spot after such deposit for verification but after a lapse of fortnight no electric connection was provided. On enquiry from the office of the O.Ps. the complainant came to know from O.P. No. 2 that Sunil Rajak, Madhu Rajak and Nemai Rajak (herein after O.P. No. 3,4&5) raised objection to give service connection to the premises of his father, although these O.Ps. being the co-sharer took electric connection in their premises. The complainant also alleged that O.P. No. 2 could provide electric connection with the help of local police as the obstruction was negligible and the O.Ps. did not visit the spot 2nd time after 28.5.2009 for giving the electric connection which appear to him a clear instance of deficiency in service on the part of the O.P. No. 1 & 2 and hence this application has been filed for the reliefs as has been prayed for.

    O.P. No. 2 has filed written version denying material allegations stating that within 15 days from the date of completion of papers the technical person went to the spot on 03.7.2009 to effect the service connection to the premises of complainant but it could not be materialized due to objection by Sunil Rajak (O.P. No. 3) and subsequently the technical personal went to the spot on 08.7.2009 to give service connection but due to stiff resistance by O.P. No. 3 the stuff returned back. The O.P. has claimed to dismiss the complaint as there is no deficiency of service on the pat of the WBSEDCL.

    O.P. No. 3 has also filed written version alleging therein that the complainant could not show way leave to provide electric connection to his premises. It is also alleged that the complainant wanted to get his electric connection to his premises by way of stretching the electric line through joint property which he has got no right to do so. He prays that the complainant is not entitled to any relief as he has suppressed the material fact regarding location of his premises as well as way-leave which is the prime condition for erection of electric line by WBSEDCL.
    O.P. No. 4 & 5 did not appear inspite of receipt of notice and therefore, case against them is heard ex-parte.

    From the pleadings of both sides the following points have emerged for effective disposal of the case.

    1) Whether the complainant is a consumer as per C.P.Act 1986?

    2) Whether the service of O.P. No. 1 &2 suffer for deficiency?

    3) Whether the complainant is entitled to the relief as prayed?

    -:Decision with reasons:-

    Point No.1:-

    According to Section 2(1)(d)(ii) of C.P.Act a person is said to be a ‘Consumer’ who hires any service for a consideration paid or promised, partly paid or promised etc. ‘Service’ means service of any description which is made available to potential users.

    In the instant case the complainant has paid Rs. 500/- on 27.3.2009 and Rs. 750/- on 26.5.2009 to the O.Ps. against which the O.Ps. have issued receipts (Exbt. 1 & 3) for his electric connection to Holding No. 1 & 2 of Ward No. 19 of Purulia Municipality. Having regard to the facts and circumstances there can be no dispute that the complainant has hired the services of the O.Ps. and he is consumer within the meaning of Act which disposes of the point no. 1 in the affirmative.


    Point No. 2&3:-

    Both the points are taken together as both are interrelated.

    The complainant has filed affidavit-in-chief, documents like receipts for payment of Rs. 500=00 and Rs. 750=00 to the O.Ps. for providing electric connection to his premises which are marked Exbt. “1” & Exbt. “3”. He has also filed holding tax paid to Purulia Municipality, two rent receipts

    of the plot which are also marked as Exbt. “4”, “5” & “5/1”. In the cross-examination the complainant admitted that O.P.No.3 is his cousin brother, and the property over which he sought for electric connection is a joint property of his father and uncle. He also admitted that men of O.P.No. 1&2 went to the spot for giving electric connection but returned back due to the objection raised by O.P.No. 3 who protested claiming the property in question as ‘ejmal’. He further admitted that men of WBSEB went to the spot twice but returned due to resistance offered by O.P.No.3.

    In reply to cross-examination of O.P.No.3 the complainant stated that the house of O.P.No.3 stands to the adjacent east of house and there exists one narrow lane to the extent of 2/3 feet in width in front of his house which leads to Baishnabpara lane. He also admitted that there exists one electric pole 10/12 feet away to the south from the connecting point and if he wants the line from the pole, the said line will cross the ‘ejmal’ property.


    Let us scrutinize the evidence of O.P.No.3 who has filed his affidavit-in-chief and is cross-examined by O.P.No. 1&2. This O.P. stated that complainant wanted to take electric connection to his premises by overhead wire over his house for which he raised objection and he will have no objection if the electric line to that premises is drawn from any other direction.

    O.P.No.3 in reply to cross-examination of complainant stated that there is a ‘pucca’ road to the west of his house and there is a electric pole to the right side of his home and from the main entrance. He further stated that either sides of the main entrance he has got his houses, and the house of complainant stands to the north of his house intervening the house of his uncle and also stated that there are houses on both sides of narrow lane and the said narrow lane connects the main road.

    O.P.No. 1&2 has filed affidavit admitting therein that the technical personnel went with meter to effect the service connection twice immediately after issuance of meter but the service connection could not be effected due to objection raised by O.P.No.3 and there is no fault on the part of the O.Ps.

    Having heard both sides, scrutinizing the evidences on record including the arguments advanced from both sides we find that O.P.No. 1&2 made sincere attempts to provide electric connection to the premises of the complainant but did not find way-leave to erect the overhead electric wire to be drawn between the electric pole and to the premises of the complainant without encroachment of the premises of other. It appears from the evidences of complainant and O.P.No.3 that the overhead electric line to the premises of the complainant cannot be effected without crossing the premises of O.P.No.3 and O.P.No.3 is not willing to give way-leave certificate in doing so. The dispute between complainant and O.P.No.3 to 5 is of civil in nature and O.P.No.1&2 are not anyway party to the issue and therefore, it can safely be said that the service of the O.P.No.1&2 does not suffer from deficiency. We have taken into consideration case laws (2009) 3 WBLR (CPSC) 1074 and (2009) 2 WBLR (CPSC) 809 but not entertained as the matter of issues are not anyway co-related.

    In view of the above facts and circumstances we are of opinion that the complainant has miserably failed to prove his case which is liable to be dismissed.

    Proper fees have been paid.

    Hence,

    O r d e r e d
    That Purulia Consumer Complaint No. 19 of 2009 is dismissed on contest as against all the O.Ps. with no order as to the cost.
    Let certified copy of this order be supplied to the parties free of charge.
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