ADITYA MILLS Vs. RAJASTHAN STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD JAIPUR
HIGH COURT OF RAJASTHAN
ADITYA MILLS LTD
RAJASTHAN STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD, JAIPUR
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(1.)THE above four writ applications under Article 226 of the Constitution raise identical questions and therefore can be disposed of conveniently by a common judgment and we accordingly do so.
(2.)THE petitioner in Civil Writ Petition No. 1 of 1968: M/s. Aditya Mills Ltd. , madanganj-Kishengarh, District Ajmer is a public limited company and carries on business of manufacturing yarn etc. In exercise of its powers under Section 5 of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 (which will hereinafter be called "the Supply act") the Government of Rajasthan constituted a State Electricity Board under the name, the Rajasthan State Electricity Board (which will hereinafter be called "the board" ). An agreement was entered into between the petitioner and the Board on 29-10-1963, for supply of high tension electricity to the petitioner by the Board, a copy of which has been placed on the record and has been marked as Ex. A. Clause 16 of the agreement consisting of three Sub-clauses (a), (b) and (c) which would be relevant for our purposes may be reproduced below:--
"16 (a) The consumer shall pay to the Board every month charges for electrical energy supplied to the consumer during the preceding month under this agreement at rate of 13. 5 np. per KWh per month till the period upto 31st March, 1963. Whereafter the provisions and scale of rates set forth in Board's notified charabal Hydel Tariff Schedule instead of 12. 5 NP. as aforesaid shall be applicable from 1st April 1963. The Board's aforesaid Chambal Hydel tariff Schedule is being appended to this agreement and shall be deemed to be part of this agreement. (b) The consumer is permitted to use the electrical energy supplied upto 10 per cent of the monthly Industrial Consumption for purposes of providing lighting ventilation etc. in the office situated in the main factory building, stores,' Time Keeper's Office Canteen, Library, dispensary Staff Welfare Canteen, compound lighting etc. within the factory premises. The power consumed for lights, fans ventilation etc. in excess of this limit shall be charged at the rate of 37 NP per unit for lighting and fan consumption and at 19 NP per unit for small heat and power consumption per month. Provided that the consumption of lighting and power including lighting used in the factory colony for the residential use of the Factory's employees shall be metered separately and charged for at the rate of 37 np per unit for lighting and 19 NP per unit for power. The units so metered shall be deducted from the total number of units registered in the main meter on the H. T. side of the main supply for billing purposes. Provided further that the provisions and scale of rates for lighting and power as provided in the Chambal Tariff Schedule would be applied instead of the aforesaid rates of 37 NP, and 19 NP per unit when the said schedule is enforced for this supply as aforesaid. (c) If the Board by notification makes any alteration in the aforesaid scale of charges, such altered rates shall be treated as if the same were part of this agreement in supersession of the charges set out in the schedule attached hereto with effect from the date fixed in the notification and if no date is fixed in the notification then from the date of publication of such notification. Provided that this provision shall be applicable only from the date when the provisional Chambal Tariff Schedule is made applicable as aforesaid. "
It was agreed between the Board and the petitioner that the petitioner would pay as charges for electrical energy supplied to the petitioner at the rate of 12. 5 paisa per KWh per month till the period upto 31-3-1963. It was further agreed that after this date the provisions and scales set forth in Board's notified Chambal Hydel tariff Schedule shall be applicable. It may be stated that the two part tariff was introduced in the Chambal Hydel Tariff Schedule which was made applicable to the petitioners from 1-4-1983. The Board replaced the Chambal Hydel Tariff Schedule by the "tariffs for supply of Electricity" by its notification dated 18-3-64 which was published in the Rajasthan Rajpatra, Extraordinary Part II-A, dated 20-3-1964. Since it would be necessary to make reference to the "tariffs for Supply of electricity' at more than one place in this judgment, we shall refer to it as "tariffs" hereinafter, It is the admitted case of the parties that the petitioner is governed by the provisions of the Tariffs. The allegation in the petition is that the petitioner is regularly paying the charges for electrical energy consumed by it at the rates mentioned in the Tariffs.
(3.)THE Board by its notification dated 26-7-66 published in the Rajasthan Gazette, extra ordinary dated 3-8-1966 decided to levy a surcharge on the supply of electricity to its consumers of the various categories mentioned in the notification. It was further mentioned in the notification that the surcharge would be applicable to the consumption charges of electricity commencing from August 1966, Among the categories of consumers the petitioner comes under the category of 'large industrial Loads' and the surcharge levied on the supply of electricity to industrial power consumers was fixed at the rate of 15 per cent.
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