SUBRAMANIAM Vs. KERALA STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
KERALA STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD
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(1.) Petitioners are existing cable TV operators, who have executed agreements with the Board for drawing cable through the poles of the KSEB vide Exts. P1 to P5 which bear different dates; but of them (sic) being on or after 3-1-2000. The agreements are for a period of five years. Now the grievance of the petitioners is that the 3rd respondent Executive Engineer has called upon the petitioners to pay revised pole rental at the rate of Rs. 108/- per pole for urban area and Rs. 54/- per pole for rural area through Exts. P8 series notices addressed to the petitioners.
(2.) During hearing the learned standing counsel submitted that even under Clause.14 of Exts. P1 to P5 agreements it is open to the Board to claim revised rates on the expiry of three years from the date of agreement. First of all even three years from the date of execution of Exts. P1 and P4 agreements have not expired so far. That apart, even though such a clause exists in the agreement, the Board has itself decided on 27-9-2002, based on which Ext. P7 order was issued for implementation by all of its officers including the present 2nd respondent, wherein it is categorically mentioned in clause (III) that the revised pole rental (Rs. 108/54) would be applicable only from the date of expiry of the existing agreement for the existing cable TV operators who hold valid agreement and for the Asianet from 19-11-2002 onwards. In view of this decision of the Board, the validity of which has already been upheld by this Court, it is not open to the 2nd respondent to insist that the petitioners do pay the revised pole charges with effect from 31-3-2003 as demanded in Exts. P8 series. Exts. P8 series are accordingly struck down. It is made clear that the petitioners shall be bound to pay the revised pole rental only on the expiry of the 5 years' period for which sanction is already given vide Exts. P1 ssto P5.
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