Decided on November 23,2007

B.S.N.L. Respondents


- (1.) HEARD Mr. R.K. Gupta, learned Counsel for the appellant/complainant, Mr. Isar Hussain, learned Counsel for the U.P.P.C.L. and Mr. Deepak Shukla holding brief for Ms. Anita Agarwal, learned Counsel for the telephone department and perused the record.
(2.) THE challenge is made to the dismissal order dated 27.10.2005 of the District Forum, Kanpur Dehat whereby the complaint of the appellant claiming special damages for the loss he had allegedly suffered was dismissed. In short, it may be stated that the appellant filed his complaint with the allegations that the electric power line going across the telephone wires underneath the telephone department's line had caused severe damage to his C.P.D. machine as the telephone wire having fallen on the electrical line electrocuted the entire wiring and the C.P.D. machine. A total of Rs. 32,457 was claimed as damages, besides recovery of Rs. 14,500 the estimated price of the machine. Whereas the B.S.N.L. pleaded that it was a vis major and the telephone department could not be held responsible for such unprecedented accident, the UPPCL denied the very factum of the alleged accident. On having scanned the pros and cons of the complainant's case, the District Consumer Forum, Kanpur Dehat arrived at a conclusion that the complainant was not a consumer and, therefore, his complaint was liable to be dismissed. The complaint was accordingly dismissed with costs. It is this order of the District Consumer Forum which has been challenged before us.
(3.) WE have carefully scrutinized the records and heard the learned Counsel for the parties as mentioned above. There is no positive piece of evidence before us so as to prove the complainant's version that the telephone line was lying above the high -tension power line. Otherwise, also laying of a telecommunication line over and above the electric line is not permissible under the rules. In this context, a reference can be made to Rule 87 of the Indian Electricity Rules, 1956. Clause 2 of the said rule provides that when it is intended to erect a telecommunication line or an overhead line which will cross or be in proximity to an overhead line or a telecommunication line, as the case may be, the person proposing to erect such line shall give one month's notice of his intention so to do along with relevant details or protection and drawings to the owner of the existing line. That apart, provisions of safety measures by providing guarding arrangements are also enshrined in Sub -rule 4 of Rule 87. We have not been acquainted with any permission of the telephone department whereby the UPPCL might have granted licence to the telecommunication department to lay its telephone line over and above the electrical high -tension wires. In the absence of any such permission or licence we are not inclined to accept the complainant's version that the telephone line was going over and above the power line. In the absence of any specific evidence to corroborate the complainant's version a situation of telephone wire having fallen on the high -tension wire cannot be conceived and contemplated. The electricity department has also submitted that the inquiry reveals that no such accident had taken place. Therefore, we are inclined to hold that the complainant's version does not find any valuable support from any documentary or positive proof.;

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