Decided on June 12,2014

Prithvi Raj Mehra S/O Late Hans Raj Mehra Appellant


- (1.) THIS appeal has been filed by the appellant/complainant against the order dated 14.10.2011 passed by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Amritsar (in short "District Forum"), vide which complaint filed by him against the respondents/opposite parties was dismissed. First Appeal No.1795 of 2011 2
(2.) THE facts, in brief, are that the an electricity connection, bearing account No.CR03/402 having sanctioned load of 10.93 KWs, was installed in the name of the complainant. His existing meter was changed in routine by the opposite parties and a new meter was installed. It was pleaded that before the replacement of meter, its status was 'O' and thereafter he had been making the payment of the bills regularly. However, he was surprised to receive a memo No.12 dated 20.4.2010 in which a demand of Rs.72,911/ - was raised on the allegation of theft. When he approached the opposite parties, they did not listen his genuine request and sent subsequent bill for Rs.86,337/ - on 29.5.2010. He again approached the opposite parties and requested that the alleged demand was illegal and the same be set aside because no notice was served upon him for the inspection of the meter in the ME Lab and nor any notice was served before imposing the penalty. Alleging deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties, he filed complaint before the District Forum seeking directions for setting aside the impugned demand of Rs.86,337/ -. Compensation and litigation expenses were also demanded.
(3.) UPON notice, the opposite parties filed written reply in which it was stated three phase mechanical meter of the complainant was replaced on 17.2.2010 with a new electronic meter vide MCO No.115/78092 dated 1.1.2009. The removed meter was packed in a cardboard box in the presence of the complainant, who appended his signatures on the packed meter. The said meter was taken to the ME Lab through AJE Amrik Singh vide challan No.226 dated 5.4.2010 First Appeal No.1795 of 2011 3 alongwith consent letter of Smt.Aruna, alleged to be the wife of the owner. When, the meter was checked in the ME Lab in the presence of Sr.XEN Enforcement II, Er.G.S.Ghuman and other officials of the opposite parties, its cover and the base of the meter from the left side near the clamps was found uneven. There were scratches on the name plate. When the seals were cut down and the meter was opened, it was found that the rubber fixed in the meter was cut down from its place from the side where meter cover and base were uneven. There were scratches on the backside of the number plate also. The scratches were also seen on the 100th and 1000th digits of the meter. It was a clear cut case of theft of electricity. On the basis of ME Lab report, memo No.12 dated 20.4.2010 raising the impugned demand of Rs.72,911/ -, was issued which was legal and valid. The President and one Member of the District Forum, after going through the evidence led by the parties, dismissed the complaint while one Member gave dissenting judgment.;

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