CENTURY LAMINATING CO. PVT. LTD. Vs. M.C.D. (DESU)
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Century Laminating Co. Pvt. Ltd.
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S.MURALIDHAR, J. -
(1.) BACKGROUND facts
1. The Petitioner which is a company running a cold storage and an ice factory was granted a 352 Horse Power (HP) industrial power load connection by the erstwhile Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking('DESU'), under the Municipal Corporation of Delhi(MCD) in the year 1972. In the year 1984 the name and style of the Petitioner, which was H.N. Lohia Agencies (P) Ltd., was changed under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 to 'Century Laminating Co. (P) Ltd.', which is its present name. The change of name was communicated to the DESU. However, the DESU refused to recognize the changed name of the Petitioner, and began charging an enhanced rate of Rs. 1 per unit on the electricity supply on the basis that the Petitioner had sublet the premises. The Petitioner filed Suit No. 770/1986 in the Civil Court in Delhi seeking a permanent injunction against the DESU from levying the enhanced amount. The suit was contested by the DESU and by a judgment dated 8.5.1987, the suit was decreed in favor of the Petitioner by the learned Sub Judge I Class, Delhi after holding that ''there is no subletting/misuse and consequently higher tariff cannot be levied. ''
(2.) NOTWITHSTANDING the above judgment, the DESU levied a fresh demand on the basis of misuse charges which resulted in the Petitioner filing a second Suit No. 222/87 against the MCD. This suit was contested and decreed in favor of the Petitioner by a judgment dated 19.1.1988. It was held that ''the Co. which was consumer of the electricity has changed its name and there is no subletting or misuser. '' It was reiterated that since the earlier judgment had become final and binding on the parties ''there is no subletting as alleged by the defendant, the rate of Rs. 1 per unit is illegal and cannot be levied by the defendant DESU on the plaintiff. ''
(3.) ACCORDING to the Petitioner, both the aforementioned judgments of the Civil Court were not appealed against and became final.
It is stated that the Respondent DESU had been provided a separate room in the factory premises for installation of the Oil Circuit Breakers('OCB'), switching system and the meters for recording consumption. The power cables emerged directly from underground in the said room, which was in the ''absolute custody and occupation of the respondent and always remained under their lock and key. '' It is stated that the Petitioner had no access to the electrical appliances and meters installed in this room and the officials and engineers of DESU used to visit the said room for the purposes of checking and taking of readings recorded by the meters. The Petitioner was provided with meter reading card in which the corresponding entry about the reading taken was made. It is stated that the Petitioner was regular in paying all the bills from time to time. The Petitioner has enclosed detailed charts showing the payment made for the period July 1986 to June 1988, after deducting the misuse charges which were not payable in terms of the two judgments of the Civil Court.;
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