Decided on 16.12.2009
Chaman Singh aged about 65 years son of Sh Karam Singh resident of village Jassowal Tehsil Garhshanker District Hoshiarpur.
Punjab State Electricity Board through its Chairman, The Mall, Patiala.
Punjab State Electricity Board Sub Division Saila Khurd District Hoshiarpur through its Sub Divisional Officer.
Complaint u/s 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
Present; Sh Manoj Kumar Verma, counsel for the complainant.
Sh B.S.Choudhary, counsel for the OPs.
The complainant namely Chaman Singh has filed the present complaint under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act,1986 (as amended upto date) “hereinafter referred as the Act.”. In short,the facts of the case are that the complainant is the holder of electricity connection no. H44-BC430106 N. The complainant is regularly paying the electricity bills, thus, he is a consumer of the OPs. That in the first week of March 2009, one official of the OP came to his house and asked him to pay Rs.25461/- as penalty without disclosing any reason. The complainant in order to avoid the disconnection, made the payment of Rs.25461/- on 9.3.2009.
It is the allegation of the complainant that subsequently he came to know that penalty of Rs.25461/- has been made due to theft of energy. The complainant never committed theft of energy nor officials of the OP conducted the raid in his house. . The complainant made a request to the OP that penalty has been wrongly imposed upon him but of no consequences.
It is the allegation of the complainant that he received electricity bill for the period 4.5.2009 to 4.7.2009 qua which sundry charges of Rs.10954/- had been added. The complainant approached the OPs with the request to withdraw the said demand but of no use. The OPs also failed to provide the detail of the amount imposed as penalty. The demand of Rs.25461/- and Rs.10954/- is stated to be illegal, hence this complaint.
OPs filed the joint reply. Preliminary objections vis-a-vis maintainability,locus standi , suppression of material facts and jurisdiction were raised. On merits, the claim put forth by the complainant has been denied. That the complainant is not the consumer of the OPs as the electricity connection is in the name of Charan Singh. It is replied that task force of the OPs headed by Tarlochan Singh checked the connection of the complainant on 6.3.2009. The consumer was caught red handed while stealing the energy. It was found that the complainant had removed the grips and fixed the direct wires in the PVC line and had by-passed the meter. The complainant had also switched off the main switch but the power was going on, as such, the consumer was committing theft of energy.. The checking report was prepared at the spot , however, the consumer refused to sign the checking report . That show cause notice no. 305 dated 6.3.2009 was served upon the complainant with direction to deposit Rs.25461/- on account of theft of power, which was deposited by him on 9.3.2009.
It is further replied that the audit party checked the record of the consumer and found that amount of Rs.25461/- was wrongly calculated. That the amount of Rs. 10954/- was found due towards the complainant on account of theft of electricity. Accordingly, notice no. 833 dated 24.6.2009 was served upon the consumer to deposit the amount of Rs.10954/- but the consumer refused to accept the same.
In order to prove the case, the complainant tendered in evidence affidavit Ex.C-1, bill dated 04.08.2009 Ex CA,, 3.10.2008 Ex CB, 8.12.2008 Ex.CC, 1.2.2009 Ex CD, 31.3.2009 Ex.CE2.6.2009 Ex.CF, receipt Ex CG, CH, receipt dated 22.12.2008 Ex. CI, receipt dated 16.2.2009 Ex. CJ, receipt dated 17.6.2009 Ex.CK, receipt dated 9.3.2009 EX. CL and bill dated 3.8.2009 Ex. CM and closed the evidence.
In rebuttal, the opposite parties tendered in evidence affidavits of Tarlochan Singh Ex.R-1,R-2, site checking report Ex.R-3, calculation sheet Ex.R-4, notice no. 305 Ex.R-5 and letter dated 24.6.2009 Ex.R-6 and closed the evidence.
The learned counsel for the parties have filed written arguments. We have gone through the written submissions and record of the file minutely.
Ex. R-3 is an attested copy of the checking report placed on record by the opposite parties qua which it has been recorded that the complainant had removed the grips and fixed the direct wires in the PVC line and had by-passed the meter. The complainant had also switched off the main switch but the power was going on, as such, the consumer was committing theft of energy.. The checking report was prepared at the spot , however, the consumer refused to sign the same .
The contents of the report – Ex. R-3 have been supported by the affidavit of Tarlochan Singh Sandhu, AEE, Ex. R-2 The said report has been prepared by the officials of the opposite parties in the discharge of their official duties, therefore, full reliance has been placed on this report, consequently, it is held that the complainant has failed to prove that there is any deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties, and on the contrary, the opposite parties have succeeded to prove that the premises of the complainant was checked and the complainant was found committing theft of electricity. Calculation sheet Ex. R-4 is on the record.
As a result of the above discussion, it is held that the complainant has failed to prove any deficiency on the part of the opposite parties, with the result, she cannot claim any sympathy from this Forum, thus, the complaint is dismissed. However, keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, no order as to costs. Copy of the order be sent to the parties free of cost. File be consigned to the record room.