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Thread: Bangalore Electricity Supply

  1. #1
    admin is offline Administrator
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    Default Bangalore Electricity Supply

    Dr.Chandrappa H.N.
    S/o Late H.B.Nagappa,
    Aged about 52 yrs,
    R/a No118/E, 16th Main,
    Vijayanagar,
    Bangalore – 560 040.
    …. Complainant.
    V/s

    01. The Managing Director,
    Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd.,
    C B A B Complex, K.G.Road,
    @@@@hinagar,
    Bangalore – 560 009.

    02. The Assistant Executive Engineer,
    Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd.,
    North Sub-Division, Bangalore – 79.


    …. Opposite Parties y

    -: ORDER:-
    The complainant has prayed for a direction to the Opposite Parties to pay the sum of Rs.35,182/- with interest thereon at 18% Per Annum from the date of payment and to pay Rs.3,00,000/- towards deficiency in service, mental agony and hardship caused to him on the following grounds:-
    The complainant is availing power supply to his building under RR No.EH-30786. There was defect in the meter and therefore the consumption of energy was not recorded. On his request, the Opposite Party changed the meter on 18/04/2001. About two years thereafter Opposite Party No.2 raised bill on average consumption basis for the period from 18/04/2001 to 18/04/2003 claiming that the complainant has consumed 10,306 units during the said period. It is stated in the bill that the same is on the basis of average consumption and Opposite Party No.2 claimed a sum of Rs.35,182/- and directed to pay the sum within 30 days. On receipt of the said bill, the complainant went to the office of Opposite Party No.2 and expressed his dissatisfaction with regard to the bill raised and contended that he is not liable to pay the said amount, the bill is arbitrary and not sustainable. He also wrote a letter dated:14/05/2003 requesting to rectify the bill. Without considering the said letter, Opposite Party No.2 threatened that the connection will be disconnected if the payment is not made. Under the threat of disconnection, Opposite Party No.2 collected Rs.5,000/- on 02/07/2003 and Rs.5,000/- on 22/08/2003 by cheque. Those payments were made under protest without prejudice to his rights. The complainant wrote the letters dated:22/05/2003 and 29/05/2003 stating that there is no basis to collect the amount on the average of 429 units per month and claiming that the previous reading clearly shows the average consumption between 300 to 320 units and requested to raise the bill accordingly. Without considering his request, Opposite Party No.2 issued one more communication on 05/06/2006. The complainant stated that the replaced meter was showing the consumption as 4000 units at the time of installation itself, whereas the reading in replaced meter should start from 0000 units. The complainant also claimed that his residence is provided with solar heating system and entitled for 0.35 paise per unit and the claim for average consumption at 429 units per month is not proper and correct. The records maintained by Opposite Party No.2 disclose that the average monthly consumption is between 300 to 320 units only. Therefore, Opposite Party No.2 has come to an erroneous conclusion that the consumption is 429 units per month and the same has no basis. In view of his complaint, Opposite Party No.2 came forward to look into the defective meter and to replace the same if necessary. Without looking into the matter, Opposite Party No.2 again demanded Rs.35,182/- without giving deductions to the payments made. In the meanwhile, Opposite Party No.2 raised another demand letter dated:05/06/2006. Thereupon he made a representation on 17/03/2004 requesting to treat the same as an appeal and to hold enquiry in accordance with law. But Opposite Party No.2 did not take any action to call for the records and verify the same. Opposite Party No.2 sent the letter dated:13/07/2007 stating that they have reviewed the relevant records pertaining to installation and the claim for average consumption at 429 units per months is in order. His representation dated:10/05/2007 was also not considered by Opposite Party No.2. Thereupon he filed writ petition No.8235/2007 challenging the claim of Opposite Party No.2. The writ petition was disposed of by the order dated:11/04/2008 with a direction to Opposite Party No.2 to treat the back billing notice dated:06/05/2003 as show-cause notice, permitting the complainant to file detailed statement of objections within two weeks from the date of the order and to pass an appropriate orders in accordance with the provisions of the Electricity Act 2003 r/w conditions of supply of Electricity Code in the State of Karnataka and to dispose off the matter as expeditiously as possible at any rate within a period of eight weeks from the date of receipt of objections of the complainant. Accordingly he filed objections contending that the matter in question requires detailed enquiry and he is ready and willing to take steps for the same. But Opposite Party No.2 failed to hold the enquiry and on its own came to the conclusion that the enquiry is unnecessary and proceeded to pass the orders on the basis of the available records. As per Rule 4.6 if the meter is not recording properly, the bill should be raised based on previous 06 months average consumption and if the arrears is not claimed when it becomes due the same shall not be claimed after the period of two years. The complainant has no objection to claim the bill on the basis of previous six months consumption. But the claim made by Opposite Party No.2 is contrary and is without any basis and is in contravention of the rules. In the order passed by Opposite Party No.2 it is stated that the Meter Testing Department has confirmed that the meter is in good working condition and recording properly and presumed that there is no possibility of abnormal consumption in the meter. The conclusion is totally contradictory to the contentions raised by the complainant. The order passed by the Opposite Party No.2 is nothing but reiterating the earlier letters. The conclusion arrived at by Opposite Party No.2 in passing the impugned order is not in accordance with the letters. The Opposite Party No.2 failed to discharge their duties in considering the case of the complainant and the same amounts to deficiency in service. He is not liable to pay the amount as claimed. The order passed by Opposite Party No.2 is in contravention of the provisions of law and principles of natural justice. The complainant succumbed to the pressure tactics of the Opposite Parties and paid the amount. Consequently he is put to lot of mental pain and inconvenience for no fault. Hence, the complaint.
    3. In the version, the contention of the Opposite Parties is as under:-
    The averments in para-5 of the complaint that the faulty meter was replaced on 18/04/2001 is correct. The sum of Rs.35,182/- claimed for the period from 18/04/2001 to 18/04/2003 is in accordance with law. Even in the letters dated:15/05/2003 and 22/05/2003, the complainant has admitted his liability to pay towards consumption charges according to his calculations which have no basis. The suggestion of the complainant in the letter dated:29/05/2003 to calculate the consumption charges at the average of 300 units per month is misconceived, arbitrary and whimsical. There is no basis for the complainant to allege that the initial reading was 4000 units at the time of installation. It is not known on what basis the complainant states that the records maintained by the Opposite Parties speak of consumption of 300 to 320 units. The representation dated:17/03/2004 makes it clear that the complainant was aware about the appeal provision in case of dispute, but he has not filed appeal before the Appellate Authority. The representation to the same authority and asking to treat the same as appeal before the Appellate Authority is something unknown to law. The complainant is availing power supply to his building under RR No.N2EH 30786 from 21/05/1998 for domestic use. The faulty meter was replaced on 18/01/2001. For the period from 18/04/2001 to 18/04/2003 for a period of 24 months only fixed charges were collected without collecting actual consumption charges. The meter installed on 18/04/2001 was recording the consumption details, but because of certain administrative problem in locating certain departmental documents, bills were not raised for actual consumption but were raised only for fixed charges. After collecting the relevant departmental documents, the bill was raised for Rs.35,182/- towards consumption of 10,309 units as per the tariff in force. The said demand was in conformity with regulation 29.09 of KERC Electricity Supply and Distribution Code 2000-01. Whenever the complainant approached the Opposite Parties, proper explanation was given. The complainant was insisting that instead of 429 units per month worked out for 24 months, it should be averaged for 300 to 320 units and amicable settlement be arrived at. But the Opposite Parties maintained that there was no defect in the meter installed on 18/01/2001, the recording at the time of installation was 00001 only and no 4000 as contended by the complainant in his complaint. At the request of the complainant, the meter was also got tested by the staff of the Meter Testing Department on the spot on 08/12/2005. The Competent Authority issued the certificate stating that the initial reading at the time of installation was 00001 and the meter is working alright. Whenever the meter is changed, the initial reading in the new meter will be always 0000 or 0001 or 0002 and it will not be 4000 as contended by the complainant. When there is no defect in the meter and the meter is recording consumption correctly, there is no question of averaging the consumption to 300 to 320 units per month as requested by the complainant. Proper explanations were furnished to all the letters given by the complainant. The complainant had also approached the Managing Director of BESCOM with his letter dated:10/11/2003. The issue was examined by the Zonal Chief Engineer and also the General Manager, Electrical, North Zone and endorsement was issued stating that the average consumption calculated and the bill issued by the local office is in order. The energy consumption pattern for the period from July-2003 to September 2008 shows variation from 198 units to 731 units per month. On many occasions, consumption has crossed 700 units per month. The amount claimed in this case is short claim for the period from April 2001 to April 2003 and not back billing charges. In the letter dated:14/05/2003 the complainant has admitted that the meter reading started from 4000 units in January– 2002. In subsequent correspondence also, he stated that the consumption was 4000 units in December-2001 and January-2002. Even if the said consumption is adopted from 18/04/2001 to January 2002 for nine months, it works out to 445 units. Therefore the calculation adopted by the Opposite Parties is perfectly in order. As per the instructions of the Hon’ble High Court in writ petition No.8235/2007, the complainant appeared before Opposite Party No.2 on 26/02/2008 and at his request, the matter was adjourned to several dates. After considering all the objections, decision was taken by Opposite Party No.2 as per the provisions of regulations of S&D Code and the directions issued by the Hon’ble High Court. Though alternative and efficacious remedy is available in the Electricity Act by way of an appeal, instead of seeking remedy before the Appropriate Authority, the complainant has filed this complaint and therefore this Forum has no jurisdiction. On these grounds, the Opposite Parties have prayed for dismissal of the complaint.
    4.In support of the respective contentions, both the parties have filed affidavits and have produced copies of documents. We have heard the arguments of the learned counsel on both side.
    5. The points for consideration are:-
    1.Whether the complainant has proved deficiency in service on the part of the Opposite Parties?
    2.Whether the complainant entitled to the relief prayed for in the complaint?
    6. Our findings to the above points is in the NEGATIVE for the following:-
    -:REASONS:-
    7. Before Considering the merits of the case, it is necessary to consider the contention of the Opposite Parties regarding the jurisdiction of this Forum to entertain the complaint. Admittedly after the Opposite Party raised the bill dated:06/05/2003 demanding Rs.35,182/- towards their claim in respect of the consumption charges for the period from 18/04/2001 to 18/04/2003, the complainant sent several representations to the Opposite Parties and since the same were not considered favorably, he filed writ petition No.8235/2007 challenging the correctness of the communication dated:25/04/2007. The Hon’ble High Court disposed of the said writ petition by the order dated:11/04/2008 directing to treat the back billing notice dated:06/05/2003 as show-cause notice, permitting the petitioner (complainant herein) to file detailed statement of objections to the show-cause notice within a period of two weeks from the date of the receipt of the order and directing the responding in the writ petition (Opposite Party No.2 herein) to receive the objections filed by the complainant and pass the appropriate orders strictly in accordance with relevant provisions of the Electricity Act 2003 r/w conditions of supply of Electricity Code under the State of Karnataka 2006 after affording reasonable opportunities to the complainant. As per the instructions of the Hon’ble High Court, Opposite Party No.2 held an enquiry and passed order dated:17/09/2008 holding that the electricity charges claimed for the period from April-2001 to April 2003 for a sum of Rs.35,182/- is in order. It is thereafter the complainant has filed the present complaint invoking the provisions of Section 11 & 12 of the Consumer Protection Act alleging deficiency in service on the part of the Opposite Parties. In this regard, the Opposite Parties have contended that alternative and efficacious remedy is available to the complainant under the Electricity Act and instead of seeking remedy before the appropriate Authority, the complainant has filed this complaint and as such this Forum has no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint. In other words, it is the contention of the Opposite Parties that when alternative and efficacious remedy is available to the complainant under the Electricity Act the complainant is not entitled to file the complaint before this Forum invoking the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. To negative this contention, the learned counsel for the complainant relied upon the decision of the Hon’ble National Commission reported in II(2008) CPJ 284 in the case of JHARKHADN STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD & ANR. V/S ANWAR ALI. In the above decision, after considering several decisions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the Hon’ble National Commission has held as under:-
    “(ii) Jurisdiction of Fora – Electricity dispute – Electricity Act and Consumer Protection Act runs parallel regarding limited purpose in respect of arbitrary, illegal, unjustified action against rules and regulations of electricity code – Jurisdiction of For a cannot be curtailed in absence of express provision prohibiting jurisdiction – Section 3, Consumer Protection Act and Section 175, Electricity Act, not in derogation of provisions of any other law – Consumer has option either to file complaint under Consumer Protection Act or under Electricity Act against order passed under Section 126 Electricity Act – No complaint can be entertained by For a against final order passed by Appellate Authority under Section 127, Electricity Act – jurisdiction of For a not barred even if provision of other statute provides alternate remedy to consumer – Jurisdiction of Fora expressly saved under Sections 174, 175 of Electricity Act – Complaint alleging deficiency in service on part of Electricity Board/its officers, maintainable.”

    In view of the decision of the Hon’ble National Commission in the above decision, it is clear that even though remedy by an appeal is available that by itself will not oust the jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum, it is the option of the complainant either to prefer an appeal or to file a complaint under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. In the case on hand, the complainant has chosen to file the complaint under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act instead of preferring an appeal under section 127 of the Electricity Act. That being so, we are unable to uphold the contention of the Opposite Parties that this Forum has no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint. Accordingly the said contention is REJECTED.
    8. The fact that the complainant is availing power supply from the Opposite Parties under RR No.N2EH30786 from 21/05/1998 and since there was some fault in the meter some time prior to 18/04/2001 on the complaint of the complainant, the meter was replaced on 18/04/2001 is not in dispute. The contention of the Opposite Parties that for the period from 18/04/2001 to 18/04/2003 for 24 months only fixed charges were collected from the complainant without collecting actual consumption charges is also not disputed by the complainant. The complainant has also not produced any material such as the bills raised during the above period to show that besides fixed charges, the Opposite Party had also collected consumption charges for consumption of electricity. Therefore, it goes without showing that during the above period the Opposite Party had collected only fixed charges without collecting the actual consumption charges. It is the contention of the Opposite Party that though the newly installed meter was recording consumption details, on account some administrative problems in locating certain departmental documents, the bills were not raised for actual consumption and were raised only for fixed charges and after locating the departmental documents, the bill for Rs.35,182/- was raised towards consumption of 10,309 units consumed during the period from 18/04/2001 to 18/04/2003. The fact that the meter reading was showing the consumption of electricity as 10310 units as on 18/04/2003 is evident from the copy of the chart regarding the consumption details produced by the Opposite Party for the period from April-2003 to September 2008. In the letter dated:06/05/2003 demanding Rs.35,182/- towards consumption charges for the period from 18/04/2001 to 18/04/2003 also the meter reading as on 18/04/2003 is shown as 10310 and deducting one unit which the meter was showing on 18/04/2001 the date of installation the charges have been calculated for 10309 units. From the documents placed on record it is also seen that considering the contention of the complainant that the meter is not recording the consumption properly, the meter was subjected to test by the Meter Testing Department on 08/12/2005 and the said Department certified that the meter is in good working condition. Though the complainant filed the writ petition in 2007, he did not challenge the finding of the meter testing department that the meter is in good working condition. In the complaint also the complainant has not alleged that subsequent to 18/04/2001 the meter was found faulty and not recording consumption properly. In view of the admission of the complainant in his letters dated:14/05/2003 and 25/09/2003 we are unable to uphold the contention of the complainant that as on the date of installation itself namely on 18/04/2001 the meter was showing the reading as 4000 units. Because in the letter dated:14/05/2003 the complainant has stated that in January -2002 the meter reading was 4000 units. In the letter dated:29/05/2003 the complainant has stated that the meter reading was showing 4000 units in December-2001. In view of this admission on the part of the complainant, he cannot now contend that on the date of installation itself the meter was showing the reading as 4000 units. It may be that for the period from 18/04/2001 to 18/04/2003, the Opposite Parties did not raise the bill as per the actual consumption for want of certain documents as contended and therefore the bills were raised only towards fixed charges. If that is so, as provided in caluse-29.09 of the Electricity Supply and Distribution Code 2000-01, the Opposite Parties are entitled to raise the bill towards short claim. Clause 29.09 of the Code provides as under:-
    (a) At any time during verification of the Consumer’s account if any erroneous claims are noticed, the Consumer is liable to pay the difference, in case the revised claims are more than the claims already made within 30 days form the presentation of a separate supplemental bill for the short claim. However, the Licensee shall not claim any payment towards short claim for back period beyond 3 years.
    In case the revised claims are less than the claims already made, the excess amount pointed out shall be credited to the Consumer’s account with in one month under intimation to him. If for any reason there is delay in crediting to the Consumer’s account, interest at 2% per month shall be paid to the Consumer for the period beyond one month from the date of pointing out of revised claims.
    Having regard to admitted facts, this appears to be a case of short claim for the period from 18/04/2001 to 18/04/2003 and not a case of back billing as rightly contended by the Opposite Parties. The claim for back billing charges arises only in case of faulty meter and in such circumstances the consumption will be decided on the basis of average consumption during the previous six months. In the case on hand as stated earlier it is not the case of the complainant that for the period subsequent to 18/04/2001 the meter itself was faulty and was not recording consumption properly. If that is so, the complainant is not entitled to contend that the Opposite Party is liable to raise the bill taking the average consumption as 300 to 320 per month. On the basis of the meter reading as on 18/04/2003 for the purpose of computing the average consumption per month during the period of 24 months, the Opposite Parties divided the consumption of 10,309 units by 24 and arrived at 429 units per month. Therefore, the average consumption arrived at by the Opposite Parties as 429 units per month cannot be said to be incorrect or excessive. The consumption charges for 24 months for the period from 18/04/2001 to 18/04/2003 was made in the demand notice dated:06/05/2003. In view of what is provided in Clause 29.09 of the Electricity Supply and Distribution Code 2000-01, the Opposite Parties are entitled to make claim for the back period of three years and it is not entitled to claim the amount for the back period beyond three years. In that view of the matter, the demand towards short claim made in the notice dated:06/05/2003 for the period from 18/04/2001 to 18/04/2003 is well within three years. We are unable to uphold the contention of the complainant that the Opposite Party is not entitled to demand the charges towards short claim for a period beyond two years because the period of two years for recovery of arrears is prescribed in condition No.29.08 of the conditions of Supply of Electricity of Distribution Licensee in the State of Karnataka which came into force w.e.f.17/06/2006. The complainant is not entitled to avail the benefit of the above provisions that came into force w.e.f. 17/06/2006 because the claim pertains to the period from 18/04/2001 to 18/04/2003 when the KERC Electricity Supply and Distribution Code 2000-2001 was applicable. Even assuming for the sake of argument that the Opposite Party is not entitle to make demand towards arrears for a period beyond two years, only the claim for the month April-2001 is beyond two years and the claim in respect of the rest of the period is within two years. Therefore, we are unable to agree with the contention that the entire claim made by the Opposite Party is beyond a period of two years and as such the Opposite Party is not entitled to claim the said amount. When the demand made by the Opposite Party towards consumption charges is based on the consumption record in the meter as on 18/04/2003, the complainant is not entitled to contend that the Opposite Party is liable to raise the bill restricting the consumption at 300 to 320 units per month. In view of the fact that the demand made in the letter dated:06/05/2003 is based on the consumption record in the meter as on 18/04/2003, we are unable to find any deficiency in service on the part of the Opposite Parties. In the order dated:17/09/2008 also Opposite Party No.2 has considered all the aspect of the case and has come to the conclusion that the claim for Rs.35,182/- is in order. On considering the material on record we also find that the claim made by the Opposite Parties is based on the consumption recorded as on 18/04/2003 and only for the purpose of computing the consumption charges per month, the consumption record on 18/04/2003 is divided into 24 parts and thereupon the consumption for every month is arrived at. Therefore, we hold that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the Opposite Parties and as such the complainant is not entitled to any relief. In the result, we pass the following:-
    -:ORDER:-
    1.The complaint is DISMISSED. No order as to costs.
    Regards,
    Admin,

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  2. #2
    adv.sumit is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
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    1,363

    Default Bescom

    Smt.Vanajakshamma w/o. T.S.Ranganath,

    Kalpataru Bricks & Tiles, Complainant

    Huliyar, C.N.Halli Taluk




    AND



    1. Executive Engineer,

    BESCOM Ltd, Divisional office,

    Tipatur

    2. Assistant Executive Engineer, Opposite Parties

    BESCOM Ltd, Sub division,

    C.N.Halli,

    3. Section Officer,

    KPTCL,

    Huliyar, C.N.Halli Taluk




    ORDER



    This is a complaint filed Under Section 12 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (hereinafter called the Act for short).



    2. Through this complaint, the complainant prays for an award and order against the Opposite Parties (hereinafter called as the OPs for short) to refund the amount of Rs.27,070/- with interest at the rate of 18% per annum from 30-12-2008 to the date of satisfaction and to pay adequate compensation.



    3. It is the claim of the complainant that she is running an industrial unit under the name and style “Kalpataru Bricks and Tiles works” at Huliyar and she is carrying on the said business for the last 19 years. She is a consumer under the OPs. Electrical service was given to her on 27-6-1990 under R.R. No.HP-93.



    4. It is further contended that, the said meter had stopped working on 5-3-2007. Immediately a letter was addressed to the 3rd OP on the same day. It was requested to get the meter repaired immediately. Owing to the defective machineries of the industry, the complainant had stopped work from 12-11-2007 for nearly 20 days. As a result, the reading of the meter was reduced considerably. The same was brought to the notice of the OPs by letter dated 12-11-2007.



    5. It is further contended that, on 23-11-2008, the officials of the OPs Company visited the complainant unit and inspected the meter. The meter was found defective. Based on this report, the OPs concluded that, the said meter being defective was running to the extent of 29% on the normal pace and made a demand for payment of Rs.28,424/- and the same was received on 26-11-2008.



    6. It if further contended that, the complainant is innocent of the above defect and she is an unblemished customer since 1990. As and when, the meter went defective, she promptly reported the same and requested for either complete repairs or replacement of the meter. The complainant was not made aware of the lifespan of the said meter. The OPs turned a deaf ear for all these days and suddenly have come up with a bill demanding the aforesaid amount. The complainant was shocked and to make aware of the details of the same made an application dated 1-12-2008 seeking for details. Instead of giving details, the OPs have abruptly disconnected the electrical supply. Having left with no other alternative, the complainant paid the bill amount of Rs.27,070/- with a protest letter dated 30-12-2008. After the payment, the OPs made the electrical power available to the complainant.



    7. It is further contended that, the complainant is a law abiding citizen. She has been subjected to untold misery, financial loss apart from the loss of reputation for no fault of her. The action of the OPs besides high handedness is also whimsical. The attitude of the OPs in serving this customer cannot be justified in the name of law. The arrogant and illegal action of the OPs deserves to be condemned at once.



    8. It is further contended that, having undertaken to serve the customer to their satisfaction, the OPs in this have proved themselves guilty of insufficient service. It is clearly an unfair trade practice for which law is required to view it seriously. Both for deficiency in service and unfair trade practice the OPs are required to be dealt with thoroughly. The complainant is entitled to be compensated adequately. Hence, this complaint.



    9. The OPs who have been notified of the complaint entered appearance through their counsel. The 3rd OP filed objection which came to be adopted by the other OPs.



    10. The sum and substance of the objections filed by the 3rd OP discloses that, immediately after the intimation from the complainant about the stoppage of machine due to defects, and request for verification of the meter and its replacement, on the next day i.e. on 6-3-2007, the section officer, unit No.1 Huliyar as replaced the meter. It was informed by the complainant that she had stopped her machinery works for 20 days as there were defects in the machine. It is contended that, they have calculated the consumption of the electricity on the basis of the consumption recorded the meter. On verification of the meter they found that, the meter was only recording the consumption to the extent of 71% eventhough the consumption of the electricity was 100%. Therefore, as provided under Electricity Supply Rule, they have taken average consumption for a period of 6 months and issued a back bill for Rs.28,424/-. It is contended that, on 26-11-08 the complainant who received the demand notice, paid the same on 31-12-2009. It is contended that, since the electricity consumption by the complainant was more than 40 HP, they had to replace the meter on 19-1-2009. The delay was due to unavailability of suitable meter. It is contended that, since they have acted as per the rules provided under Electricity supply Rules, there is no deficiency in service. Accordingly, they pray for dismissal of the complaint.



    11. In support of the case, the complainant and the OPs have filed affidavits. The complainant and the OPs have filed pressed into several documents. We have heard the learned counsels appearing for the parties. We have also examined the materials available on records.



    12. The questions that arise for our consideration are:

    1) Is there any deficiency of service on the part of the OPs?

    2) Is the complainant entitled to the relief as prayed for?



    REASONS



    13. It is necessary to note that, under the Karnataka Electricity Regulation Act, if the department finds any defects in the meter or a case where the meter is not a recording the actual consumption, the concerned authority has got right to take an average consumption preceding three months of billing and demand back billing charges. The statute also provides an appeal against that order before the competent authority. Therefore, when remedy of appeal is available, the complainant cannot question such order before the Civil Court or Forum. It is necessary to state that, Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka in “The Executive Engineer, KPTCL now GESCOM and Ors –vs- Ishwaramma and Another”, reported in ILR 2005 KAR 5206 as held thus:

    “ELECTRICITY ACT, 2003 – SECTION 145 – JURISDICTION WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 145 WOULD OUST THE JURISDICTION OF THE CIVIL COURT OR ANY OTHER FORUM – HELD – A reading of Section 145 of the Act would clearly indicate that no Civil Court shall have the Jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceedings in respect of any other matter which the assessing officer referred to in Section 127 or an appellate authority referred to in Section 127 is empowered to determine or Act, only on such conditions being satisfied the jurisdiction of the Civil Court as well as any other forum is ousted. Section 145 of the Act by implication would exclude jurisdiction of Civil Court or any other forum on adjudicating the claim or action of the petitioners”.





    14. Therefore, when equal efficacious remedy of appeal is available, it cannot to be said that, the complaint is maintainable before this forum. Further, when the OPs have acted in conformity with the statute, it can not be said that, there is a deficiency in service or unfair trade practice. Therefore, we hold that this complaint lacks of merits and it is liable to be rejected. Therefore, we proceed to pass the following:

    ORDER



    The complaint is dismissed but without costs.

  3. #3
    adv.sumit is offline Senior Member
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    1,363

    Default Bescom

    K.Dorai Raj S/o Kadaraiah,

    Aged about 63 years,

    Retired Joint Director, Complainant

    Behind Shantala Marbles,

    KEB Road, Kothi Thopu, Tumkur




    AND



    1. The Executive Engineer, ,

    BESCOM, Tumkur Division,

    Kothi Thopu Road, Tumkur Opposite parties

    2. Managing Director,

    BESCOM, Bangalore Division,

    Cauvery Bhavan, Opp: Mysore Bank,

    K.G. Road, Bangalore




    ORDER







    2. Through this complaint, the complainant prays for an award against the Opposite Parties (hereinafter called as the OPs for short) to pay compensation of Rs.50,000/- towards damages, mental agony and for other expenses.



    3. The facts given rise to institute the complaint may be summarized as thus:

    It is his grievance that, he is a retired joint director of Pre-University education department and got electricity connection to his house situated behind Shantala Marbles, KEB Road, Kothi thopu, Tumkur, vide RR No.162010141983 long back. Since then, the he has sincerely and honestly paying the electricity bills to the OP from time to time.



    4. It is further contended that, on 22-12-2008 at about 4 PM due to high voltage electricity supply by the OP, the complainant’s domestical items in the house were damaged (i.e. Mixer grinder valued Rs.1500/- ; Television and stabilizer of Sansui valued Rs.11,900/- ). It is alleged that it was on account of deficiency and negligent service of OP. Further alleged that, he lost his domestic electrical items worth of Rs.14,900/-.



    5. It is further contended that, after that, the complainant has given a written complaint before the OP on 26-12-2008, for that, the OP has given an endorsement and inspected the house of the complainant. Then the OP has not taken any initiative to make payment of compensation. It is further contended that, on 12-3-2009 the complainant has issued a legal notice to the OP, which was served on the OP on 16-3-2003. But the OP did not reply the said notice nor has any action been taken.



    6. It is further contended that, the complainant had sent his domestic electrical items for repair to the Tekcare India private limited on 12-1-2009. The expert has assigned the reason for the damage of complainant’s electrical domestic items was due to high voltage. The complainant has suffered a loss of his domestic electrical items due to only reason that high voltage, negligent and deficiency of service by the OP. The cause of action arose on 12-12-2008 subsequently on 12-3-2009. Hence this complaint.



    7. The OPs who have been notified of the complaint entered appearance through their counsel and resisted the same by filing their objections.



    8. The gist of the written statement is as follows:

    In the objections filed by the 1st OP, this OP while admitting the fact that, the complainant is a retired joint director of Pre-University education department and taken electricity supply to his house vide RR No.162010141983 and paid electric bills upto date, interalia pleaded that, they are not liable to pay the compensation. It is pleaded that, the complainant had entered into an agreement before installation of electric supply. In that agreement there are certain terms and conditions which compelled the complainant to install meter circuit breaker (MCB) and capacitors. But the complainant has not installed the above said equipments in his house. Both those equipments are required to be installed to avoid high voltage of electric supply. As per the agreement, he has not installed the said equipments. Therefore, he has no right to claim any damages against this OP. Hence, the complainant is not entitled any relief as claimed in his complaint. Therefore the question of deficiency and negligent service of the OP does not arise at all. Accordingly, he prays for dismissal of the complaint with costs.



    9. In support of the case, the complainant and the OPs have filed their affidavits. They have also pressed in to service of relevant documents and also produced the several citations. The documents produced by the complainant and the OPs came to be marked as Ex.C-1 to Ex.C-8 and Ex.R-1 respectively. We have heard the learned counsels appearing for the parties. We have also examined the materials available on record.



    10. The questions that arise for our considerations are:

    1. Is there any deficiency of service committed by the OPs?

    2. Is the complainant entitled for the relief as prayed for?



    11. Our findings on the above questions are here under:

    Point No.1: Yes

    Point No.2: As per order



    REASONS



    12. The learned counsel appearing for the OPs while drawing our attention to Ex-R-1 has strenuously argued that, by virtue of clause 10 of the agreement the complainant is not entitled to claim any damages. It reads as thus:

    “10. Damage to person and Property: The supplier shall not be liable to pay damage compensation in connection with loss of life or property arising, occurring or resulting from the use of power”.



    13. This clause in our view is not an omnipotent clause to protect the department from all causality and calamities which is not specifically safeguarded under the statute. It is necessary to note that, the primary obligation of the department is to supply electricity in such a fashion that should not cause any damage to the property of the consumer. It is bounden duty of the department to see that high voltage of electricity supply is avoided to safe guard the interest of the consumers. It is relevant to note that, in various decisions, it is held that supply of electricity at excessive voltage is a deficiency in service. In decision reported in 1993 CCJ 414. It is held thus:

    “Consumer Protection Act, 1986, section 2 (1) (g) and 14 (1) (d) – Deficiency in service – Compensation- Electricity-Damages caused to tubes, chokes, bulbs, stabilizer and TV due to excessive voltage-complaint filed and the District Forum awarded Rs.663/- as per claim-Appeal filed by the Electricity Board-Whether supply of electricity at excessive voltage us a deficiency in service and the Electricity Board is liable for damages-Held: yes; but the State Commission did not award any amount for inconvenience, pain and suffering in the absence of a cross appeal”.





    14. At para-4 of the judgment, it is further observed as here under:

    “The Stabilizer might be connected with the TV or any other instrument but so far the light installation is concerned it is not the case of the appellant-opponent that the main lighting connection was also joined with the stabilizer. In the instance case the stabilizer has also been burnt which generally protects some fluctuation. But the voltage was too high to be adjusted by the stabilizer. The main electricity light installation has been burnt simultaneously is not disputed and the most probable reason is the excess voltage given to this installation. We do not find any error committed by the learned District forum. On the contrary, we are also of the same opinion that the complainant has suffered these damages on account of excess voltage. The district forum has not awarded any amount for inconvenience, pain and suffering. He has passed the decree for a very small amount. However, there being no cross appeal we do not think it proper to award any amount for inconvenience, pain and suffering”.



    15. In a decision reported in III (2002) CPJ 312 (NC) has observed thus:

    “Consumer Protection Act, 1986 – Section 2 (1) (g) – Electricity – Deficiency in Service – Wires hanging loose, touched together – sparking fire on sugarcane crops – Trees damaged – Deficiency in service in not providing safe electric current, proved – O.P. liable to pay compensation with interest @ 18%”.



    16. Likewise 1993 CCJ 429 - Our Hon’ble State Commission has observed thus:

    “Consumer Protection Act, 1986, Section 2 (1) (g) and 14 (1) (d) – Deficiency in service – compensation – Electricity – Maintenance of overhead wires – complainants complained that his V.C.R. and sound system were damaged when a neutral power line snapped in front of his house-Electricity Board contended that the wire snapped when a branch of coconut tree grown in the compound of the complainant’s house fell on the wire-Whether the Electricity board was deficient in its service and liable for damages – Held: Yes; as it is the duty of the officials of the Board to make periodical inspection and get removed the protruding branches even if they are of trees in the neighbouring compounds; award Rs.860/- being the amount spent on repairs”.



    17. It is established through cogent evidence that, the loss of to his properties was due to high voltage of electricity. This is evident from Ex-C-1. When it was brought to the notice of the OPs, they should have taken prompt action in settling the legitimate demand of the complainant. But, they kept quiet, evenafter receipt of the legal notice. Therefore, we hold that, the OPs have caused mental agony and humiliation to the complainant which needs to be compensated. From Ex-C-1 and the cash bill at Ex-C-2, it is established that, the complainant had suffered damages of Rs.11,900/-. Since, the loss had been caused due to deficiency in service of the OPs, they are liable to make good of it, in addition to the compensation for causing mental agony to the complainant. The compensation is quantified at Rs.5,000/- Thus, we hold that, the OPs are liable to pay a sum of Rs.16,900/- to the complainant.



    18. Being that opinion, we proceed to pass the following:



    ORDER



    The complaint is allowed in part with costs directing the opponents No.1 and 2 to pay a sum of Rs.16,900/- jointly and severally, within 8 weeks from this date of this order. The costs of the proceedings is fixed at Rs.500/-. In the event of default, the OPs are liable to pay interest at 10% per annum from the date of this complaint till the date of payment.

  4. #4
    adv.sumit is offline Senior Member
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    Bharath G.Mehta,

    S/o Goutham Mehta,

    Aged about 40 yrs,

    No.74, Rajarajeshwari Paradise,

    Ideal homes Township,

    Rajarajeswari Nagar,

    Bangalore.



    Also at: R/at No.71, Ajay Arcade,

    Vanivilas North Road,

    Bangalore.

    …. Complainant.

    V/s



    The Assistant Executive Engineer (Elect.,)

    W-7, Subdivision, BESCOM, Kengeri,

    Bangalore – 560 060.

    …. Opposite Party

    -: ORDER:-





    This complaint is filed for a direction to the Opposite Party to refund Rs.37,491/- together with interest and to pay compensation of Rs.25,000/- towards mental agony, on the following grounds:-

    2. The complainant is a Consumer within the purview of the Consumer Protection Act having number of Apartments at the address given in the cause title and took permission and installation of electric meter meant for Lift, Water Pump, General lighting on 19/02/2008. The electric meter was fixed after due tests on 12/12/2008 with regard to the master meter and all other meters installed at the premises. The permission to operate the Lift was granted on 17/05/2008. The work of the Apartments was not finished and because of recession, the Apartments have not been sold and therefore there was no consumption of electricity and as such the question of meter running was not in existence.


    Since permission to operate the Lift was granted in the month of May-2008 though the meter was installed on 19/02/2008 there was no consumption of electricity with regard to the operation of the Lift till 17/05/2008. On 22/01/2009, the Officials of the Opposite Party inspected the schedule premises and alleged that the meter was not working due to wrong connection and there was report to this effect on 22/01/2009. The bill dated:22/01/2009 was raised for Rs.45,905/- and the same was followed by bill No.230878. Even to meet the ends of natural justice, there should have been a notice to explain the situation of the complainant and the defense of the Opposite Party. On this account there is deficiency of service.


    The complainant wrote a letter dated:29/01/2009 to revise the bill as per the BESCOM rules and conditions. Giving little weight to the said letter, the Opposite Party sent revised bill for Rs.37,491/- taking 775 units Per Month and calculating the rates for 11 months totaling the units to 8525 which is against the provisions of the conditions to supply of Electricity of Distributors License Act. According to Section 27.04 in the case of non-working of the electric meter at the time of inspection, 06 months billing of the preceding date of inspection is to be taken on an average. But in this case only fixed charges are charged right from the date of installation though there was no consumption of electricity. Therefore, the question of taking 775 Units Per Month is unwarranted.


    The complainant has not been informed with regard to non-working of the meter and from which day. As such taking 775 units Per Monthfor a period 11 months is unwarranted. As per the test report of the BESCOM, the meter was working on the day of service and the complainant never tampered the meter, the seal was intact which is not disputed by the Opposite Party. Because of non-operation of the lift and no sale of Apartments, there was no consumption of electricity and thus leading for only fixed charges of the zero reading. The complainant had also approached the Grievance Community, which has navigated the issue. He paid Rs.37,491/- under protest. Hence, the complaint.



    3. In the version, the contention of Opposite Party is as under:-

    The present complaint is not maintainable in view of the fact that the complaint lodged by the complainant before the Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum as provided under the Statutory Regulations has been rejected on merits and the present complaint is barred by principles of constructive res-judicata. Against the order passed by the Consumer Grievances Redressal Forum, the complainant was entitled to make a representation to the Ombudsman within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of the order. But the complainant has not approached the Ombudsman and as such the complaint is not maintainable. The installation bearing RR No.12776 was serviced on 19/02/2008 with a sanctioned load of 7.5 KW. Though the installation was serviced on 13/02/2008, the first bill was generated on 19/02/2008, but the meter has not recorded any consumption and the initial reading of 0005 was continuously shown. Therefore, on 22/01/2009 the Executive Engineer of the M.T. Division rated the installation and found that the existing meter was not recording.


    He reported that the existing meter is found MNR due to wrong connection, the same has been rectified and the meter found OK and to take action as per BESCOM Rules and Regulations. On the basis of the above report, a bill was calculated by taking average of 120 units/KW and back bill was issued for Rs.45,905/-. But the said bill was objected to by the Consumer. The load of this installation is used for maintenance and general lighting of the building namely for the Lifts, Staircase lighting, Water Pump and other general essential utilities of the Apartment complex and it will naturally result in high consumption.


    The installation in question was being used regularly from the date of service and the consumption has been on the higher side. The contention of the complainant that installation was not being used at all is an incorrect statement. After the wrong connection to the meter had been rectified and the installation was rated by the MT Staff, it was found that for the month February-2009 there had been consumption of 499 Units. The back bill raised by the Opposite Party is proper and in accordance with the regulations. Regulation 27.04 of the KERC Regulations reads as follows:-

    “In the event of meter going out of order on any day before the first meter reading date after the installation is serviced, the revenue demand shall be computed as per the Table [(i) Non-commercial Combined Lighting and hearing:100 units per KW or part thereof of sanctioned load above I KW] subject to the condition that, the consumption for that period being subsequently regulated taking into account the average of 12 months consumption after a working meter is installed.



    In accordance with the above regulations, a revised bill for Rs.37,491/- was issued. The earlier demand had stated that the complaint was liable to be charged at 120 Units/KW whereas the above regulation stated that the back billing had to be calculated at the rate of 100 units Per KW. Therefore, the demand raised by the Opposite Party is in conformity with the regulations and the same will have to be complied by the Consumer.


    The regulations governing the supply of electricity are statutory in nature and the present demand now raised is perfectly in order. As such Opposite Party cannot be alleged to have committed deficiency in service for following the statutory regulations. The complainant cannot take advantage of the fact that the meter was not recording due to wrong connection. The installation has been used regularly from the date of service and the fact that the installation was for the general maintenance of the Apartment complex would by itself lead to high consumption as is being evident from the reading for the month of February-2009 which was to the tune of 499 Units. On these grounds, the Opposite Party has prayed for dismissal of the complaint.



    4. In support of the respective contentions both parties have filed affidavits and copies of documents. We have heard the arguments on both side.



    5. The points for consideration are:-



    1. Whether the complainant has proved deficiency in service on the part of Opposite Party?

    2. Whether the complainant entitled to the relief prayed for in the complaint?



    6. Our findings to the above points, is in the NEGATIVE for the following:-

    -:REASONS:-

    7. The fact that the installation was serviced on 19/02/2009 and from the very date of servicing, the meter was not recording the consumption of electricity is not disputed. Admittedly the installation has been taken to a Apartment/Complex for maintenance and general lighting of the building including the operation of the Lifts, Water Pump and other essential utilities. In the absence of material, in these proceedings, it is not possible to make out that there was no consumption of electricity at all right from 19/02/2008 till 29/01/2009. The Opposite Party noticed that the meter was not recording the consumption due to wrong connection and the said mistake was rectified and the meter was found OK. The fact that the meter recorded consumption of 499 Units for the month of February-2009 as contended by the Opposite Party is not disputed. In the first instance, the Opposite Party raised bill for Rs.45,905/- taking the average consumption as 120 Units Per KW.


    After the complainant filed the representation dated 29/01/2009 a revised bill was raised for Rs.37,491/- calculating the average consumption as 100 Units Per KW. Admittedly the load sanctioned to the installation of the complainant is 7.5 KW. No doubt Regulation No.27.04 (i) to which the complainant has referred provides that during the inspection if the meter is found to be not recording, the Consumer shall be billed for a period of not more than six billing months preceding the date of inspection and up to date of replacement or rectification of the meter on the basis of average consumption of the immediately preceding three billing months when the meter was recording properly, in addition to demand fixed charges.


    This provision is applicable if the meter had recorded the consumption at-least for a period of three months correctly before the defect in the meter was noticed. But in the present case undisputedly the meter did not record any consumption right from the date of service due to wrong connection. Therefore, prior to 29/01/2009 on which date the defect was noticed, no consumption was recorded in the meter. In such circumstances, it is Clause(v) of Regulations 27.04 which is applicable. Clause(v) of Regulation 27.04 of the Regulation reads as under:-

    “In the event of meter going out of order on any day before the first meter reading date after the installation is serviced, the revenue demand shall be computed as per the Tale communicated below subject to the condition that the consumption for that period being subsequently regulated taking into account the average of 12 months consumption after a working meter is installed”.



    As per the above provision if it is noticed that the meter has gone out of order before the first meter reading date after the installation is serviced, the consumption has to be computed as per the table given in the regulations and the demand so computed has to be regulated after taking into account the average of 12 months consumption after a working meter is installed. As per the table given in the regulations, the demand in such circumstances is 100 Units Per KW or a part thereof sanctioned load above 01 KW. In the case on hand, the sanction load of the installation of the complainant is 7.5 KW. Therefore, as per the table given in the regulations, the Opposite Party calculated the demand taking the average consumption as 775 Units Per Month and raised bill for Rs.37,491/- for a period of 11 months. This demand made by the Opposite Party needs to be regulated after taking into consideration the consumption of 12 months from the date a working meter is installed.


    When the Opposite Party has worked out the back billing charges as provided in Regulation 27.04(v) of the Regulations, the same cannot be said to be amounting to deficiency in service. Though the complainant wants to rely-upon the Clause-(i) of Regulation 27.04, he seems to have not read Clause-(v) of the said Regulation. In view of the fact that Clause-(v) of Regulation 27.04 of the Regulation is applicable to the facts of the case and since the Opposite Party has calculated the amount towards back billing charges as per the above regulation, we are unable to find any deficiency in service on the part of Opposite Party. As such we hold that the complainant is not entitled to the relief prayed for in the complaint. In the result, we pass the following:-



    -:ORDER:-



    1. The complaint is DISMISSED. No Order as to costs.

    2. Send a copy of this order to both parties free of costs, immediately.

    3. Pronounced in the Open Forum on this the 11th Day of SEPTEMBER 2009.

  5. #5
    adv.sumit is offline Senior Member
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    K.Dorai Raj S/o Kadaraiah,

    Aged about 63 years,

    Retired Joint Director, Complainant

    Behind Shantala Marbles,

    KEB Road, Kothi Thopu, Tumkur





    AND



    1. The Executive Engineer, ,

    BESCOM, Tumkur Division,

    Kothi Thopu Road, Tumkur Opposite parties

    2. Managing Director,

    BESCOM, Bangalore Division,

    Cauvery Bhavan, Opp: Mysore Bank,

    K.G. Road, Bangalore




    ORDER






    2. Through this complaint, the complainant prays for an award against the Opposite Parties (hereinafter called as the OPs for short) to pay compensation of Rs.50,000/- towards damages, mental agony and for other expenses.



    3. The facts given rise to institute the complaint may be summarized as thus:

    It is his grievance that, he is a retired joint director of Pre-University education department and got electricity connection to his house situated behind Shantala Marbles, KEB Road, Kothi thopu, Tumkur, vide RR No.162010141983 long back. Since then, the he has sincerely and honestly paying the electricity bills to the OP from time to time.



    4. It is further contended that, on 22-12-2008 at about 4 PM due to high voltage electricity supply by the OP, the complainant’s domestical items in the house were damaged (i.e. Mixer grinder valued Rs.1500/- ; Television and stabilizer of Sansui valued Rs.11,900/- ). It is alleged that it was on account of deficiency and negligent service of OP. Further alleged that, he lost his domestic electrical items worth of Rs.14,900/-.



    5. It is further contended that, after that, the complainant has given a written complaint before the OP on 26-12-2008, for that, the OP has given an endorsement and inspected the house of the complainant. Then the OP has not taken any initiative to make payment of compensation. It is further contended that, on 12-3-2009 the complainant has issued a legal notice to the OP, which was served on the OP on 16-3-2003. But the OP did not reply the said notice nor has any action been taken.



    6. It is further contended that, the complainant had sent his domestic electrical items for repair to the Tekcare India private limited on 12-1-2009. The expert has assigned the reason for the damage of complainant’s electrical domestic items was due to high voltage. The complainant has suffered a loss of his domestic electrical items due to only reason that high voltage, negligent and deficiency of service by the OP. The cause of action arose on 12-12-2008 subsequently on 12-3-2009. Hence this complaint.



    7. The OPs who have been notified of the complaint entered appearance through their counsel and resisted the same by filing their objections.



    8. The gist of the written statement is as follows:

    In the objections filed by the 1st OP, this OP while admitting the fact that, the complainant is a retired joint director of Pre-University education department and taken electricity supply to his house vide RR No.162010141983 and paid electric bills upto date, interalia pleaded that, they are not liable to pay the compensation. It is pleaded that, the complainant had entered into an agreement before installation of electric supply. In that agreement there are certain terms and conditions which compelled the complainant to install meter circuit breaker (MCB) and capacitors.


    But the complainant has not installed the above said equipments in his house. Both those equipments are required to be installed to avoid high voltage of electric supply. As per the agreement, he has not installed the said equipments. Therefore, he has no right to claim any damages against this OP. Hence, the complainant is not entitled any relief as claimed in his complaint. Therefore the question of deficiency and negligent service of the OP does not arise at all. Accordingly, he prays for dismissal of the complaint with costs.



    9. In support of the case, the complainant and the OPs have filed their affidavits. They have also pressed in to service of relevant documents and also produced the several citations. The documents produced by the complainant and the OPs came to be marked as Ex.C-1 to Ex.C-8 and Ex.R-1 respectively. We have heard the learned counsels appearing for the parties. We have also examined the materials available on record.



    10. The questions that arise for our considerations are:

    1. Is there any deficiency of service committed by the OPs?

    2. Is the complainant entitled for the relief as prayed for?



    11. Our findings on the above questions are here under:

    Point No.1: Yes

    Point No.2: As per order



    REASONS



    12. The learned counsel appearing for the OPs while drawing our attention to Ex-R-1 has strenuously argued that, by virtue of clause 10 of the agreement the complainant is not entitled to claim any damages. It reads as thus:

    “10. Damage to person and Property: The supplier shall not be liable to pay damage compensation in connection with loss of life or property arising, occurring or resulting from the use of power”.



    13. This clause in our view is not an omnipotent clause to protect the department from all causality and calamities which is not specifically safeguarded under the statute. It is necessary to note that, the primary obligation of the department is to supply electricity in such a fashion that should not cause any damage to the property of the consumer. It is bounden duty of the department to see that high voltage of electricity supply is avoided to safe guard the interest of the consumers. It is relevant to note that, in various decisions, it is held that supply of electricity at excessive voltage is a deficiency in service. In decision reported in 1993 CCJ 414. It is held thus:

    “Consumer Protection Act, 1986, section 2 (1) (g) and 14 (1) (d) – Deficiency in service – Compensation- Electricity-Damages caused to tubes, chokes, bulbs, stabilizer and TV due to excessive voltage-complaint filed and the District Forum awarded Rs.663/- as per claim-Appeal filed by the Electricity Board-Whether supply of electricity at excessive voltage us a deficiency in service and the Electricity Board is liable for damages-Held: yes; but the State Commission did not award any amount for inconvenience, pain and suffering in the absence of a cross appeal”.





    14. At para-4 of the judgment, it is further observed as here under:

    “The Stabilizer might be connected with the TV or any other instrument but so far the light installation is concerned it is not the case of the appellant-opponent that the main lighting connection was also joined with the stabilizer. In the instance case the stabilizer has also been burnt which generally protects some fluctuation. But the voltage was too high to be adjusted by the stabilizer. The main electricity light installation has been burnt simultaneously is not disputed and the most probable reason is the excess voltage given to this installation. We do not find any error committed by the learned District forum.


    On the contrary, we are also of the same opinion that the complainant has suffered these damages on account of excess voltage. The district forum has not awarded any amount for inconvenience, pain and suffering. He has passed the decree for a very small amount. However, there being no cross appeal we do not think it proper to award any amount for inconvenience, pain and suffering”.



    15. In a decision reported in III (2002) CPJ 312 (NC) has observed thus:

    “Consumer Protection Act, 1986 – Section 2 (1) (g) – Electricity – Deficiency in Service – Wires hanging loose, touched together – sparking fire on sugarcane crops – Trees damaged – Deficiency in service in not providing safe electric current, proved – O.P. liable to pay compensation with interest @ 18%”.



    16. Likewise 1993 CCJ 429 - Our Hon’ble State Commission has observed thus:

    “Consumer Protection Act, 1986, Section 2 (1) (g) and 14 (1) (d) – Deficiency in service – compensation – Electricity – Maintenance of overhead wires – complainants complained that his V.C.R. and sound system were damaged when a neutral power line snapped in front of his house-Electricity Board contended that the wire snapped when a branch of coconut tree grown in the compound of the complainant’s house fell on the wire-Whether the Electricity board was deficient in its service and liable for damages – Held: Yes; as it is the duty of the officials of the Board to make periodical inspection and get removed the protruding branches even if they are of trees in the neighbouring compounds; award Rs.860/- being the amount spent on repairs”.



    17. It is established through cogent evidence that, the loss of to his properties was due to high voltage of electricity. This is evident from Ex-C-1. When it was brought to the notice of the OPs, they should have taken prompt action in settling the legitimate demand of the complainant. But, they kept quiet, evenafter receipt of the legal notice. Therefore, we hold that, the OPs have caused mental agony and humiliation to the complainant which needs to be compensated. From Ex-C-1 and the cash bill at Ex-C-2, it is established that, the complainant had suffered damages of Rs.11,900/-. Since, the loss had been caused due to deficiency in service of the OPs, they are liable to make good of it, in addition to the compensation for causing mental agony to the complainant. The compensation is quantified at Rs.5,000/- Thus, we hold that, the OPs are liable to pay a sum of Rs.16,900/- to the complainant.



    18. Being that opinion, we proceed to pass the following:



    ORDER



    The complaint is allowed in part with costs directing the opponents No.1 and 2 to pay a sum of Rs.16,900/- jointly and severally, within 8 weeks from this date of this order. The costs of the proceedings is fixed at Rs.500/-. In the event of default, the OPs are liable to pay interest at 10% per annum from the date of this complaint till the date of payment.

  6. #6
    adv.sumit is offline Senior Member
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    K.Dorai Raj S/o Kadaraiah,

    Aged about 63 years,

    Retired Joint Director, Complainant

    Behind Shantala Marbles,

    KEB Road, Kothi Thopu, Tumkur






    AND



    1. The Executive Engineer, ,

    BESCOM, Tumkur Division,

    Kothi Thopu Road, Tumkur Opposite parties

    2. Managing Director,

    BESCOM, Bangalore Division,

    Cauvery Bhavan, Opp: Mysore Bank,

    K.G. Road, Bangalore






    ORDER






    2. Through this complaint, the complainant prays for an award against the Opposite Parties (hereinafter called as the OPs for short) to pay compensation of Rs.50,000/- towards damages, mental agony and for other expenses.



    3. The facts given rise to institute the complaint may be summarized as thus:

    It is his grievance that, he is a retired joint director of Pre-University education department and got electricity connection to his house situated behind Shantala Marbles, KEB Road, Kothi thopu, Tumkur, vide RR No.162010141983 long back. Since then, the he has sincerely and honestly paying the electricity bills to the OP from time to time.



    4. It is further contended that, on 22-12-2008 at about 4 PM due to high voltage electricity supply by the OP, the complainant’s domestical items in the house were damaged (i.e. Mixer grinder valued Rs.1500/- ; Television and stabilizer of Sansui valued Rs.11,900/- ). It is alleged that it was on account of deficiency and negligent service of OP. Further alleged that, he lost his domestic electrical items worth of Rs.14,900/-.



    5. It is further contended that, after that, the complainant has given a written complaint before the OP on 26-12-2008, for that, the OP has given an endorsement and inspected the house of the complainant. Then the OP has not taken any initiative to make payment of compensation. It is further contended that, on 12-3-2009 the complainant has issued a legal notice to the OP, which was served on the OP on 16-3-2003. But the OP did not reply the said notice nor has any action been taken.



    6. It is further contended that, the complainant had sent his domestic electrical items for repair to the Tekcare India private limited on 12-1-2009. The expert has assigned the reason for the damage of complainant’s electrical domestic items was due to high voltage. The complainant has suffered a loss of his domestic electrical items due to only reason that high voltage, negligent and deficiency of service by the OP. The cause of action arose on 12-12-2008 subsequently on 12-3-2009. Hence this complaint.



    7. The OPs who have been notified of the complaint entered appearance through their counsel and resisted the same by filing their objections.



    8. The gist of the written statement is as follows:

    In the objections filed by the 1st OP, this OP while admitting the fact that, the complainant is a retired joint director of Pre-University education department and taken electricity supply to his house vide RR No.162010141983 and paid electric bills upto date, interalia pleaded that, they are not liable to pay the compensation. It is pleaded that, the complainant had entered into an agreement before installation of electric supply. In that agreement there are certain terms and conditions which compelled the complainant to install meter circuit breaker (MCB) and capacitors.


    But the complainant has not installed the above said equipments in his house. Both those equipments are required to be installed to avoid high voltage of electric supply. As per the agreement, he has not installed the said equipments. Therefore, he has no right to claim any damages against this OP. Hence, the complainant is not entitled any relief as claimed in his complaint. Therefore the question of deficiency and negligent service of the OP does not arise at all. Accordingly, he prays for dismissal of the complaint with costs.



    9. In support of the case, the complainant and the OPs have filed their affidavits. They have also pressed in to service of relevant documents and also produced the several citations. The documents produced by the complainant and the OPs came to be marked as Ex.C-1 to Ex.C-8 and Ex.R-1 respectively. We have heard the learned counsels appearing for the parties. We have also examined the materials available on record.



    10. The questions that arise for our considerations are:

    1. Is there any deficiency of service committed by the OPs?

    2. Is the complainant entitled for the relief as prayed for?



    11. Our findings on the above questions are here under:

    Point No.1: Yes

    Point No.2: As per order



    REASONS



    12. The learned counsel appearing for the OPs while drawing our attention to Ex-R-1 has strenuously argued that, by virtue of clause 10 of the agreement the complainant is not entitled to claim any damages. It reads as thus:

    “10. Damage to person and Property: The supplier shall not be liable to pay damage compensation in connection with loss of life or property arising, occurring or resulting from the use of power”.



    13. This clause in our view is not an omnipotent clause to protect the department from all causality and calamities which is not specifically safeguarded under the statute. It is necessary to note that, the primary obligation of the department is to supply electricity in such a fashion that should not cause any damage to the property of the consumer. It is bounden duty of the department to see that high voltage of electricity supply is avoided to safe guard the interest of the consumers. It is relevant to note that, in various decisions, it is held that supply of electricity at excessive voltage is a deficiency in service. In decision reported in 1993 CCJ 414. It is held thus:

    “Consumer Protection Act, 1986, section 2 (1) (g) and 14 (1) (d) – Deficiency in service – Compensation- Electricity-Damages caused to tubes, chokes, bulbs, stabilizer and TV due to excessive voltage-complaint filed and the District Forum awarded Rs.663/- as per claim-Appeal filed by the Electricity Board-Whether supply of electricity at excessive voltage us a deficiency in service and the Electricity Board is liable for damages-Held: yes; but the State Commission did not award any amount for inconvenience, pain and suffering in the absence of a cross appeal”.





    14. At para-4 of the judgment, it is further observed as here under:

    “The Stabilizer might be connected with the TV or any other instrument but so far the light installation is concerned it is not the case of the appellant-opponent that the main lighting connection was also joined with the stabilizer. In the instance case the stabilizer has also been burnt which generally protects some fluctuation. But the voltage was too high to be adjusted by the stabilizer. The main electricity light installation has been burnt simultaneously is not disputed and the most probable reason is the excess voltage given to this installation.


    We do not find any error committed by the learned District forum. On the contrary, we are also of the same opinion that the complainant has suffered these damages on account of excess voltage. The district forum has not awarded any amount for inconvenience, pain and suffering. He has passed the decree for a very small amount. However, there being no cross appeal we do not think it proper to award any amount for inconvenience, pain and suffering”.



    15. In a decision reported in III (2002) CPJ 312 (NC) has observed thus:

    “Consumer Protection Act, 1986 – Section 2 (1) (g) – Electricity – Deficiency in Service – Wires hanging loose, touched together – sparking fire on sugarcane crops – Trees damaged – Deficiency in service in not providing safe electric current, proved – O.P. liable to pay compensation with interest @ 18%”.



    16. Likewise 1993 CCJ 429 - Our Hon’ble State Commission has observed thus:

    “Consumer Protection Act, 1986, Section 2 (1) (g) and 14 (1) (d) – Deficiency in service – compensation – Electricity – Maintenance of overhead wires – complainants complained that his V.C.R. and sound system were damaged when a neutral power line snapped in front of his house-Electricity Board contended that the wire snapped when a branch of coconut tree grown in the compound of the complainant’s house fell on the wire-Whether the Electricity board was deficient in its service and liable for damages – Held: Yes; as it is the duty of the officials of the Board to make periodical inspection and get removed the protruding branches even if they are of trees in the neighbouring compounds; award Rs.860/- being the amount spent on repairs”.



    17. It is established through cogent evidence that, the loss of to his properties was due to high voltage of electricity. This is evident from Ex-C-1. When it was brought to the notice of the OPs, they should have taken prompt action in settling the legitimate demand of the complainant. But, they kept quiet, evenafter receipt of the legal notice.


    Therefore, we hold that, the OPs have caused mental agony and humiliation to the complainant which needs to be compensated. From Ex-C-1 and the cash bill at Ex-C-2, it is established that, the complainant had suffered damages of Rs.11,900/-. Since, the loss had been caused due to deficiency in service of the OPs, they are liable to make good of it, in addition to the compensation for causing mental agony to the complainant. The compensation is quantified at Rs.5,000/- Thus, we hold that, the OPs are liable to pay a sum of Rs.16,900/- to the complainant.

  7. #7
    adv.sumit is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Bescom

    K.Dorai Raj S/o Kadaraiah,

    Aged about 63 years,

    Retired Joint Director, Complainant

    Behind Shantala Marbles,

    KEB Road, Kothi Thopu, Tumkur



    AND



    1. The Executive Engineer, ,

    BESCOM, Tumkur Division,

    Kothi Thopu Road, Tumkur Opposite parties

    2. Managing Director,

    BESCOM, Bangalore Division,

    Cauvery Bhavan, Opp: Mysore Bank,

    K.G. Road, Bangalore





    ORDER





    This is a complaint filed Under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (hereinafter called as Act for short)



    2. Through this complaint, the complainant prays for an award against the Opposite Parties (hereinafter called as the OPs for short) to pay compensation of Rs.50,000/- towards damages, mental agony and for other expenses.



    3. The facts given rise to institute the complaint may be summarized as thus:

    It is his grievance that, he is a retired joint director of Pre-University education department and got electricity connection to his house situated behind Shantala Marbles, KEB Road, Kothi thopu, Tumkur, vide RR No.162010141983 long back. Since then, the he has sincerely and honestly paying the electricity bills to the OP from time to time.



    4. It is further contended that, on 22-12-2008 at about 4 PM due to high voltage electricity supply by the OP, the complainant’s domestical items in the house were damaged (i.e. Mixer grinder valued Rs.1500/- ; Television and stabilizer of Sansui valued Rs.11,900/- ). It is alleged that it was on account of deficiency and negligent service of OP. Further alleged that, he lost his domestic electrical items worth of Rs.14,900/-.



    5. It is further contended that, after that, the complainant has given a written complaint before the OP on 26-12-2008, for that, the OP has given an endorsement and inspected the house of the complainant. Then the OP has not taken any initiative to make payment of compensation. It is further contended that, on 12-3-2009 the complainant has issued a legal notice to the OP, which was served on the OP on 16-3-2003. But the OP did not reply the said notice nor has any action been taken.



    6. It is further contended that, the complainant had sent his domestic electrical items for repair to the Tekcare India private limited on 12-1-2009. The expert has assigned the reason for the damage of complainant’s electrical domestic items was due to high voltage. The complainant has suffered a loss of his domestic electrical items due to only reason that high voltage, negligent and deficiency of service by the OP. The cause of action arose on 12-12-2008 subsequently on 12-3-2009. Hence this complaint.



    7. The OPs who have been notified of the complaint entered appearance through their counsel and resisted the same by filing their objections.



    8. The gist of the written statement is as follows:

    In the objections filed by the 1st OP, this OP while admitting the fact that, the complainant is a retired joint director of Pre-University education department and taken electricity supply to his house vide RR No.162010141983 and paid electric bills upto date, interalia pleaded that, they are not liable to pay the compensation. It is pleaded that, the complainant had entered into an agreement before installation of electric supply.


    In that agreement there are certain terms and conditions which compelled the complainant to install meter circuit breaker (MCB) and capacitors. But the complainant has not installed the above said equipments in his house. Both those equipments are required to be installed to avoid high voltage of electric supply. As per the agreement, he has not installed the said equipments. Therefore, he has no right to claim any damages against this OP. Hence, the complainant is not entitled any relief as claimed in his complaint. Therefore the question of deficiency and negligent service of the OP does not arise at all. Accordingly, he prays for dismissal of the complaint with costs.



    9. In support of the case, the complainant and the OPs have filed their affidavits. They have also pressed in to service of relevant documents and also produced the several citations. The documents produced by the complainant and the OPs came to be marked as Ex.C-1 to Ex.C-8 and Ex.R-1 respectively. We have heard the learned counsels appearing for the parties. We have also examined the materials available on record.



    10. The questions that arise for our considerations are:

    1. Is there any deficiency of service committed by the OPs?

    2. Is the complainant entitled for the relief as prayed for?



    11. Our findings on the above questions are here under:

    Point No.1: Yes

    Point No.2: As per order



    REASONS



    12. The learned counsel appearing for the OPs while drawing our attention to Ex-R-1 has strenuously argued that, by virtue of clause 10 of the agreement the complainant is not entitled to claim any damages. It reads as thus:

    “10. Damage to person and Property: The supplier shall not be liable to pay damage compensation in connection with loss of life or property arising, occurring or resulting from the use of power”.



    13. This clause in our view is not an omnipotent clause to protect the department from all causality and calamities which is not specifically safeguarded under the statute. It is necessary to note that, the primary obligation of the department is to supply electricity in such a fashion that should not cause any damage to the property of the consumer. It is bounden duty of the department to see that high voltage of electricity supply is avoided to safe guard the interest of the consumers. It is relevant to note that, in various decisions, it is held that supply of electricity at excessive voltage is a deficiency in service. In decision reported in 1993 CCJ 414. It is held thus:

    “Consumer Protection Act, 1986, section 2 (1) (g) and 14 (1) (d) – Deficiency in service – Compensation- Electricity-Damages caused to tubes, chokes, bulbs, stabilizer and TV due to excessive voltage-complaint filed and the District Forum awarded Rs.663/- as per claim-Appeal filed by the Electricity Board-Whether supply of electricity at excessive voltage us a deficiency in service and the Electricity Board is liable for damages-Held: yes; but the State Commission did not award any amount for inconvenience, pain and suffering in the absence of a cross appeal”.





    14. At para-4 of the judgment, it is further observed as here under:

    “The Stabilizer might be connected with the TV or any other instrument but so far the light installation is concerned it is not the case of the appellant-opponent that the main lighting connection was also joined with the stabilizer. In the instance case the stabilizer has also been burnt which generally protects some fluctuation. But the voltage was too high to be adjusted by the stabilizer. The main electricity light installation has been burnt simultaneously is not disputed and the most probable reason is the excess voltage given to this installation. We do not find any error committed by the learned District forum.


    On the contrary, we are also of the same opinion that the complainant has suffered these damages on account of excess voltage. The district forum has not awarded any amount for inconvenience, pain and suffering. He has passed the decree for a very small amount. However, there being no cross appeal we do not think it proper to award any amount for inconvenience, pain and suffering”.



    15. In a decision reported in III (2002) CPJ 312 (NC) has observed thus:

    “Consumer Protection Act, 1986 – Section 2 (1) (g) – Electricity – Deficiency in Service – Wires hanging loose, touched together – sparking fire on sugarcane crops – Trees damaged – Deficiency in service in not providing safe electric current, proved – O.P. liable to pay compensation with interest @ 18%”.



    16. Likewise 1993 CCJ 429 - Our Hon’ble State Commission has observed thus:

    “Consumer Protection Act, 1986, Section 2 (1) (g) and 14 (1) (d) – Deficiency in service – compensation – Electricity – Maintenance of overhead wires – complainants complained that his V.C.R. and sound system were damaged when a neutral power line snapped in front of his house-Electricity Board contended that the wire snapped when a branch of coconut tree grown in the compound of the complainant’s house fell on the wire-Whether the Electricity board was deficient in its service and liable for damages – Held: Yes; as it is the duty of the officials of the Board to make periodical inspection and get removed the protruding branches even if they are of trees in the neighbouring compounds; award Rs.860/- being the amount spent on repairs”.



    17. It is established through cogent evidence that, the loss of to his properties was due to high voltage of electricity. This is evident from Ex-C-1. When it was brought to the notice of the OPs, they should have taken prompt action in settling the legitimate demand of the complainant. But, they kept quiet, evenafter receipt of the legal notice. Therefore, we hold that, the OPs have caused mental agony and humiliation to the complainant which needs to be compensated. From Ex-C-1 and the cash bill at Ex-C-2, it is established that, the complainant had suffered damages of Rs.11,900/-.


    Since, the loss had been caused due to deficiency in service of the OPs, they are liable to make good of it, in addition to the compensation for causing mental agony to the complainant. The compensation is quantified at Rs.5,000/- Thus, we hold that, the OPs are liable to pay a sum of Rs.16,900/- to the complainant.

  8. #8
    Unregistered Guest

    Default House owner not opening Bank Account to refund BESCOM refund cheque

    Hi,
    I am Suresh, resided as a tenant at 'Munithayamma' house in Bangalore (Tin Factory). On July month, I have got EB bill amount for 181. But mistakenly I paid Rs.21,385. Then I applied for refund in E7 sub division. Now after 7 months, BESCOM issued a A/C payee Cheque on 05th Feb 13, for the sum of Rs.20,895 on my house owner name 'Munithayamma'. (Since BESCOM will issue a cheque on the consumer name, they issued on my house owner name).

    My house owner does not have any Saving Account in any of the Banks. I requested them to open a Bank Account in any bank (told them that will pay the initial deposit amount of Rs.500 and ready to bear all the expenses to open an account on her name). But my owner family, not willing to open an Account. My Owner saying that "I already have 3-4 accounts in different banks. If she opens an account, income tax problem will come. It is mistake done by you. It is your problem. You resolve it by your own. She can not open an account."

    Now what can I do? How I can resolve this problem. Please help me on this.

    Regards,
    Suresh
    (+91) - 8792691360

+ Submit Your Complaint

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