Kirpal, J. -
(1.)With a view to provide for the constitution of an Electricity Regulatory Commission, restructuring of the electricity industry, rationalisation of the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity avenues for participation of private sector in the electricity industry and generally for taking measures conductive to the development and management of the electricity industry in an efficient, economic and competitive manner and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto, the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Reforms Act, 1998 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act"), was promulgated by the State. After it received the assent of the President, by Notification dated 27th January, 1999, it came into force with effect from 1st February, 1999.
(2.)The present dispute arises in connection with fixation of the tariff by the Regulatory Commission which has been constituted under the said Act. The tariff which was impugned by the appellants herein was in respect of the year 1st April, 2000 to 31st March, 2001. This tariff was fixed by a decision of the Regulatory Commission dated 27th May, 2000. In the said order determining the tariff, various contentions which had been raised by the licensees and the other interested parties, including the appellants, were considered.
(3.)The said order dated 27th May, 2000, was challenged by a number of writ petitions filed in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh at Hyderabad. By an elaborate judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court dated 16th October, 2000, the writ petitions were dismissed and the tariff which was fixed by the order dated 27th May, 2000 followed by a notification under Section 26 (6) of the Act was upheld.