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Chief Engineer vs. Virender Kumar dated 2014-09-10

NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION

NEW DELHI

 

REVISION  PETITION NO.  1977  OF  2008  

(Against the order dated 5.3.2008  in Appeal No.  632 of 2007

of State Commission, UT Chandigarh)

 

 

1.   Chief Engineer,

Electricity Department

Sector-17,

UT Chandigarh.

 

2.   Executive Engineer, Electricity

Engineering Department

UT and Municipal Corporation Chandigarh

Chandigarh.

 

3.   S.D.O.,

Electricity Department

Operation Sub Division No. 6

Sector-20 C

Chandigarh.                                                       …  Petitioners

 

Versus

 

Virender Kumar

S/o Sh. Baljor Singh

R/o H.No. 3053 (F.F.)

Sector- 20 D

Chandigarh.                                                        … Respondent

 

 

BEFORE :

 

          HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE K.S. CHAUDHARI,

 PRESIDING MEMBER

 

 

For the Petitioner                            :         Ms. Vimla Sinha, Advocate

 

For the Respondent                        :         Exparte

 

                            

 

Pronounced on    10th September, 2014


 

ORDER

 

PER JUSTICE K.S. CHAUDHARI, PRESIDING MEMBER

          This Revision Petition has been filed by the Petitioner against order dated 5.3.2008 passed by Learned State Commission in Appeal No. 632 of 2007- Virender Kumar  VS. Chief Engineer, Electricity Department &Ors., by which while allowing appeal, order of the District Forum dismissing complaint was set aside and Opposite Party was directed to charge sundry charges only for six months.

          Brief facts of the case are that Complainant-Respondent is residing as tenant in house No. 3053 (FF), Sector- 20 D, Chandigarh and utilizing electricity connection No. 106/2014/305301A alongwithother two tenants- Kanwar Lal and Harjit Singh.  It was, further, submitted that Kanwar Lal and Harjit Singh received bill No. 14203 dated 4.1.2007 for Rs. 15,488/- including Rs. 14,245/- as sundry charges for the period 4.10.2006 to 4.12.2006.  Sundry charges were levied as average charges on account of meter dead stop, but there was no mention as to which period the charges pertained to and when meter remained dead and replaced.  Alleging deficiency on the part of Opposite Party-Complainant filed complaint before the District Forum. Opposite Party resisted complaint and submitted that sundry charges had been levied for the period of 11 ½ months from 4.2.2005 to 31.1.2006 @ 473 units per month because meter remained defective/burnt during this period.  It was, further, submitted that average has   been  calculated  as  per Sales Manual Instructions No. 115 and further submitted that defective meter was replaced vide order dated 19.1.2006 and prayed for dismissal of complaint.

          Learned District Forum, after hearing both the parties, dismissed the complaint.  Appeal filed by the Complainant was allowed by Learned State Commission vide impugned order against which this Revision Petition has been filed.

          None appeared for Respondent even after service and Respondent was proceeded ex-parte.

          Heard Learned Counsel for the Petitioner and perused record.

          Learned Counsel for the Petitioner submitted that Petitioner rightly levied sundry charges @ 473 units per month for 11 ½ months as meter remained defective and Learned District Forum rightly dismissed complaint but Learned State Commission committed error in allowing appeal, hence, Revision Petition be allowed and impugned order be set aside.

          Instruction No. 115 of the Sales Manual runs as under:

            “ (ii)     For Domestic and Non- residential consumers:

            On the receipt of report regarding a meter becoming defective, dead stop or burnt, it should be immediately replaced and necessary enquiries conducted.  The meter alongwith report should be forwarded to the AEE/M&P for further action. So far as the charging the consumer for the period, the meter remained in-operative is concerned, the average consumption of the last 4 or 6 months or the average of the same months of the previous year or the actual recorded consumption, if any, whichever is higher, shall be compared with the consumption as under and higher of the two figures shall be charged on provisional basis.”

Perusal of aforesaid instruction makes it crystal clear that  in case of   defective, dead  stop  or  burnt  meter, firstly, it should be replaced immediately and secondly, on the basis of average consumption of last 4 or 6 months or average of the same months of the previous year or the actual recorded consumption, whichever is higher, is to be charged.  Admittedly, according to the Petitioner, meter was defective from 4.2.2005 and meter reader has recorded consumption for differentmonths upto 4.2.2006 and meter has not been shown defective, dead stop or burnt.  If meter was defective, dead stop or burnt, it should have been replaced by the Petitioner immediately.  Not only this, Petitioner has charged @ 473 units per month on the basis of average consumption for the period 4.2.2006 to 4.8.06 which is, apparently, contrary to Sales Manual Instruction No. 115 as referred above. Consumption for previous months or previous year of the same months,was to be considered for charging on the basis of average consumption, but, Petitioner has charged on the basis of average consumption for subsequent months and Learned State Commission rightly quashed the demand raised by the Petitioner.

Learned Counsel for the Petitioner submitted that Learned State committed error in granting compensation of Rs. 5,000/- and Rs. 1,100/- as litigation cost.

Perusal of meter reading shows that meter was defective as there was nil reading from 4.4.2005 to 4.6.2005.  Only one unit was recorded from 4.8.2005 to 4.10.2005 and similarly, less units were recorded in comparison to previous and subsequent months reading and in such circumstances, grant of compensation of Rs. 5,000/- to Complainant was not justified and rest of the order is to be upheld.

Consequently, Revision Petition filed by the Petitioner is partly allowed and order dated 5.3.2008 passed by Learned State Commission in Appeal No. 632 of 2007- Virender Kumar  VS. Chief Engineer, Electricity Department & Ors, is partly modified and order granting compensation of Rs. 5,000/- for mental agony to the Respondent is set aside and rest of the order is affirmed with no order as to costs.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                           -sd-

.…………………………….

( K.S. CHAUDHARI, J. )

PRESIDING MEMBER

Mk/court4/

 


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