Decided on September 20,2006

Sai Industries Respondents


- (1.) VIDE impugned order dated 17th April, 2006 the appellant has been directed to withdraw the misuse penalty in respect of the electricity bill raised by it from January 1994 when it was first levied on the basis of the first inspection report conducted on 31.12.1993 after adjusting Rs. 65,009.60 which has already been given to the respondent and refund the balance and pay Rs. 20,000 as compensation for harassment and mental agony and Rs. 2,000 as cost of litigation. Feeling aggrieved the appellant has preferred this appeal.
(2.) ALLEGATIONS of the respondent in brief were that on 31.12.1993 the staff of appellant visited the premises of the respondent and made false inspection report without giving any copy to him. The connected load was calculated on the imaginary basis and bills were raised on the basis of this imaginary connected load and penalty was imposed without any notice. The respondent s firm deposited Rs. 100 for reinspection on 23.3.1995. The reinspection was carried out on 15.10.1996, after more than a year. On reinspection, everything was found in order and sanctioned load only was found being utilised. However, appellant started raising bills on the imaginary connected load with penalty. The respondent had to pay the bills under threat of disconnection. Appellant sent a letter on 22.11.1997 assuring the respondent of necessary corrective steps being taken for withdrawal of the penalty. However, no action was taken till May 1999. In the bill for the month of July 1999 a net credit of Rs. 65,009.50 was given after adjusting an amount of Rs. 2,19,104.79 against the bill out of the total refund of Rs. 2,84,114.39. The respondent, however, remained unsatisfied and vide this complaint prayed for refund of Rs. 3,72,000 with interest at 12% per annum from May, 1999 till payment, Rs. 25,000 as damages and cost of the complaint.
(3.) AS against this the version of the appellant was that during inspection connected load was found 103.7 HP+2.21/W against the sanctioned load of 71.50 HP. One shunt capacitor of inadequate capacity of 2x10 Kuar was found installed without valid MCD licence. Respondent was also directed to show MCD licence. The premises was again visited on representation of the respondent on 15.10.1996 in the presence of Sh. Pyare Mohan and other partners. During this visit the connected load was found 106.7 HP (79.62 KW) against sanctioned load of 71.50 HP. During this inspection one injection moulding machine was also found which was not entered in the MCD licence. Two shunt capacitors of 5 Kuar x 4+10 Kuar x 2 (total 40 Kuar) were also found installed. The report was prepared and signed by the partner Shri Pyare Mohan. As the connected load at the time of both the inspections was more than the sanctioned load bills were raised and penalty was imposed as per rules. However, on the representation of the respondent the case was thoroughly reviewed and a relief of Rs. 2,84,114.39 was allowed. Net credit of Rs. 65,000 after adjusting the bill of Rs. 2,19,104.79 was given. The respondent was informed by letter dated 3.4.2001. As is apparent from the aforesaid conspectus of rival claims of the parties the appellant vide its letter dated 3.4.2001 informed the respondent about the corrective action with regard to the withdrawal of the misuse and imposition of penalty stating that higher tariff was withdrawn from 1.4.1997 amounting to Rs. 2,84,114.39. Copy of the noting filed by the appellant before the District Forum with regard to the above withdrawal showed that a sum of Rs. 2,06,474.39 on account of LPF w.e.f. November 1996 to May 1999 and Rs. 77,640 on account of HP w.e.f. October 1996 to May 1999 was withdrawn. In spite of this only credit of Rs. 65,009.60 was given and no credit balance amount of higher tariff levied by it was given. It was stated by the Counsel for the appellant that the credit for higher tariff levied for the earlier period was not given because it was time -barred period.;

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