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  1. #1
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    ORDER
    y Smt. C.S. Sulekha Beevi, President,

    Brief facts:-



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



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



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




    4. Points for consideration:-



      1. (i) Whether opposite party is deficient in service.
        (ii) If so, reliefs and costs.


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


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


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



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

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


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


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


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



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


    13. The consumption in domestic supply as shown in Ext.B5(a) is as follows:-

    1. Date Meter reading Consumption for one month

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


    14. Point (ii):-
    Complainant seeks cancellation of Ext.A2 and A3 bills. This is only to be allowed as already discussed in point (i). The consumer has to be compensated for the deficiency and harassment meted by him. In our view to deal with such a situation the decision rendered by Apex Commission in Lucknow Development Authority Vs. M.K. Gupta 1993 CTJ 929 SC (CP) is aptly applicable.




          1. “The jurisdiction and power of the courts to indemnify a citizen for injury suffered due to abuse of power by public authorities is founded as observed by Lord Hailsham in Cassell & Co. Ltd. V. Broome, 1972, AC 1027: (1972)1 ALL ER 801 on the principle that, 'an award of exemplary damages can serve a useful purpose in vindicating the strength of law'. An ordinary citizen or a common man is hardly equipped to match the might of the State or its instrumentalities, that is provided by the rule of law. It acts as a check on arbitrary and capricious exercise of power............................................. ...A public functionary if he acts maliciously or oppressively and the exercise of power results in harassment and agony then it is not an exercise of power but its abuse. No law provides protection against it. He who is responsible for it must suffer it. ...............................Harassment of a common man by public authorities is socially abhorring and legally impermissible. It may harm him personally but the injury to society is far more grievous.”




    The facts of the case reveals the victimization of a consumer at the hands of an officer who renders service in monopoly services of government owned agency. Such capricious acts should be put to a halt. Only because a consumer made a written complaint to restore connection he was served with shocking bills and had to approach this Forum to restore his connection. We consider that this is a fit case to impose punitive damages of Rs.25,000/- to the complainant which will serve to set right the quality and dignity of service rendered by opposite party. The amount so paid by the Board shall be recovered from the person who was holding office as Assistant Engineer, Kerala State Electricity Board, Changaramkulam during the period 05-8-2003 till 29-9-2003.


    15. In the result we allow this complaint and order the following:-



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






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


  2. #2
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    O R D E R

    By Smt.Preetha.G.Nair, Member




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


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


    The complainant filed proof affidavit along with documents. Exts.A1 to A7 was marked. Opposite parties filed proof affidavit with documents to support their contentions. Ext.B1 to B3 was marked. Complainant filed questionnaire and opposite parties filed answers to the questionnaire. Evidence was closed and the matter was heard.


    The issues for consideration are;

    1. whether there is any deficiency of service on the part of opposite parties? and
    2. If so what is the relief and costs?

    Issues 1 & 2: We have perused the proof affidavit as well as the relevant documents produced before the forum. The complainant states that Ext.A4 series shows that the letter dtd.18/9/06 was received by the complainant on 3/10/06. The date of hearing fixed as per the letter was 23/9/06. The opposite parties have not produced any documents for contesting the delay for issuance of letter marked as Ext.A4 series. There after the opposite parties sent another

    letter dt.27/9/06 to the complainant to present for hearing on 7/10/06. Copy of the letter is produced and marked as Ext.B3. But the opposite parties have not produced any acknowlegement card or postal receipt to show that the same has been received by the complainant. Thereafter the complainant sent two letters to the Deputy Chief Engineer, Anti Power Theft Squad requesting to hear the appeal in the Palakkad Camp sitting. The complainant states that the opposite parties have not considered these letters and passed an exparte order on 24/01/2007. The opposite parties state that the complainant was provided ample opportunities to present his case but he did not make use of any of these opportunities. Analysing the evidence on record we are of the view that the complainant has not been given a single opportunity to present his case. Mere tampering of seals does not prove that the complainant was making theft of the electricity. The meter was not tested in the M & T Lab and no notice of testing was given to the complainant. Hence the principles of the natural justice has not been followed by the officials.


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


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

    8. Pronounced in the open court on this 3rd day of March, 2009

  3. #3
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    ORDER
    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President

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

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

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

    4. The evidence consists of Exhibit P1 only.

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

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

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

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







    Dictated to the Confdl. Asst., transcribed by her, corrected by me and pronounced in the open Forum this the 16th day of March 2009.

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    ORDER
    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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



    Dictated to the Confdl. Asst., transcribed by her, corrected by me and pronounced in the open Forum this the 16th day of March 2009.

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    ORDER
    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    9. In the result complaint is dismissed.

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    ORDER
    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President

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

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

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

    4. Evidence consists of Exhibit P1

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

    6. In the result the complaint is dismissed and the complainant is directed to remit the amount stated in Exhibit P1 within 15 days from the date of acceptance of the copy of order.

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    ORDER

    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President:

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

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

    3. The points for consideration are:

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

    4. The evidence consists of Ext. P1 only.

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

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

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    ORDER

    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President:

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

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

    3. The points for consideration are:

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

    4. The evidence consists of Ext. P1 only.

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

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

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    ORDER

    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President:

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

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

    3. The points for consideration are:

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

    4. The evidence consists of Ext. P1 only.

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

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

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    ORDER
    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

    Dated this the 30th day of March, 2009.

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    PRESENT
    SRI. G. SIVAPRASAD : PRESIDENT
    SMT. BEENAKUMARI. A : MEMBER
    SMT. S.K.SREELA : MEMBER
    O.P. No. 160/2003
    Dated : 30.03.2009
    Complainants:



        1. Consumer Vigilance Centre, Sree Kovil, Kodunganoor P.O, Thiruvananthapuram.
        2. M. Vanajakumari, W/o R. Madhukumar, Meena Cottage, Karipu, Malayinkeezhu P.O, Thiruvananthapuram.





    Opposite parties:





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





    (By adv. G. Gopidas)


    This complaint is disposed of after the period so specified under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Though the case was taken up for orders by the predecessors of this Forum on 10.03.2005, the order was not prepared accordingly. This Forum assumed office on 08.02.2008 and re-heard the complaint. This O.P having been heard on 12.02.2009, the Forum on 30.03.2009 delivered the following:
    ORDER

    SRI. G. SIVAPRASAD: PRESIDENT
    The facts leading to the filing of the complaint are that 2nd complainant is a consumer of opposite parties vide Con. No. 8213 under LT commercial tariff, that opposite party replaced the ordinary meter with an electronic meter without the consent of the complainant in the year 2002, that thereafter there was no significant difference in the meter reading till the issuance of a bill dated 01.01.2003 and that the said bill dated 01.01.2003 for Rs. 5,175/- is illegal and void. Hence this complaint to cancel the said bill and to refund the excess amount collected from the complainant.


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


    3. The points that arise for consideration are:-



        1. Whether the complainant is entitled to get the bill dated 01.01.2003 cancelled?
        2. Whether the complainant is entitled for refund of remitted amount?
        3. Other reliefs and costs.



    4. In support of the complaint, 2nd complainant has filed affidavit in lieu of chief examination and Exts. P1 to P13 were marked. In rebuttal, 2nd opposite party has filed proof affidavit. Opposite parties did not file any documents.


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


    6. In the result, complaint is allowed. The bill dated 01.01.2003 for Rs. 5,175/- (Ext. P4) issued by the 1st opposite party to 2nd complainant is hereby quashed. Opposite party is directed to levy energy charge only for 152 units in connection with Ext. P4 bill dated 01.01.2003. Opposite party shall adjust the energy charge for 152 units as on 01.01.2003 from the remitted amount of Rs. 3685/- and refund the balance amount to the 2nd complainant along with compensation of Rs. 1,000/- and cost of Rs. 500/-. The said amounts shall carry interest at the rate of 12% if not paid, within two months from the date of receipt of this order.

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    O.P. No. 78/2002 Filed on 11.03.2002
    Dated : 30.03.2009
    Complainants:





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





    Opposite parties:





        1. Assistant Engineer, Electrical Section, Palachira, Varkala.
        2. Sudhakaran, Sub Engineer.
        3. Bhasi, Overseer
        4. Secretary, K.S.E.B, Vaidyuthi Bhavan, Pattom.



    (By adv. G. Gopidas)
    This complaint is disposed of after the period so specified under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Though the case was taken up for orders by the predecessors of this Forum on 08.11.2004, the order was not prepared accordingly. This Forum assumed office on 08.02.2008. This O.P having been taken as heard on 16.02.2009, the Forum on 30.03.2009 delivered the following:


    ORDER


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


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

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

    The points that arise for consideration are:-




        1. Whether the complainant is entitled to get the bill of Rs. 3006 dated 10.12.2001 cancelled?
        2. Whether there has been deficiency in service on the part of opposite parties?
        3. Reliefs and costs.



    In support of the complaint, 2nd complainant has filed affidavit and Exts. P1 to P10 were marked. In rebuttal, opposite party has filed affidavit and Ext. D1 series was marked.


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


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


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


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



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


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

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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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



    G. SIVAPRASAD,
    President.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,356

    Default K.s.e.b

    THUDISSERI YUSUF, S/O. KOMUKUTTY ...........Appellant(s)

    Vs.

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

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








    ORDER

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (iv) We make no order as to costs.

    (v) The time fixed for complying this order is two months from the date of receipt of copy of this order.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,356

    Default K s e b

    Seena Vilson
    ...........Appellant(s)

    Vs.

    Electrical Major Section Chavakkad

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





    ORDER




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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

    10. In the result, complaint stands dismissed.

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