Decided on April 30,2009

K.G.Jayachandran Respondents


S.CHANDRA MOHAN NAIR,MEMBER - (1.)THIS appeal prefers from the order passed by the CDRF, Kottayam in the file of OP. No.176/04 dated 23.12.2005. The opposite parties in the OP are the appellants who prefers this appeal from the finding of the forum below.
(2.)THE brief of the case is that the complainant is running a mat manufacturing unit at Athirampuzha. He has a consumer No. 4584 of Electrical Section Athirampuzha. At about 4 p.m. on 26.08.03 the opposite parties 2 to 4 conducted an inspection in his unit and found that one of the phases of CT meter was not working properly. CTs with energy meters are owned by KSEB and kept in a closed metal box, the key of which is in the custody of the opposite parties only and the petitioner was not aware of defect if any to the same. KSEB officials are regularly visiting the premises for recording meter reading. The petitioner requested for installation of a parallel meter. But without heeling to his request and without serving any notice to the petitioner, as per the direction of the 2nd opposite party, supply to the factory was disconnected immediately. On the next day a bill dated 27.08.03 for Rs. 46,265 was served on the petitioner with last date of payment as 27th itself. The petitioner paid the bill on the same day considering the orders to be fulfilled. But supply was reconnected only on 2nd September, even though the petitioner informed the opposite parties 2 to 4 personally and over telephone and recorded in the complaint register of the Athirampuzha electricity office. The supply was disconnected violating the rules and they failed to reconnect the supply even after payment of the bill. As a result of this, petitioner has sustained heavy loss. The finding of the opposite parties that one of the CTs was defective is not correct. The Anti Power Theft Squad of the first opposite party inspected the factory during March 2003 and found that one of the capacitors was not functioning properly. They did not find any other defect. Even though the capacitor was replaced during March itself, the opposite parties charged 20% extra for back the amount. The assessment made by the opposite parties is illegal and without any basis. The failure of the opposite parties to find out the accuracy of the meter before the assessment is also illegal. The act of the opposite parties in disconnecting the electric supply and issuing bill is deficiency in service as a result of which the petitioner has suffered irreparable injury and loss which the opposite parties are liable to compensate. The 2nd opposite party along with other opposite parties acted malafide only to harass the petitioner. Hence the petition is filed to set aside the bill dated 28.7.03, to direct the opposite parities to refund additional amount collected during the months of April, and May 2003 and also for compensation and costs.
(3.)2nd opposite party filed version for herself and on behalf of the other opposite parties with the following contentions. The petitioner is not a consumer of the consumer protection Act. A joint inspection of opposite parties 2 to 4 conducted at the premises of the petitioner at 4 p.m. on 26th August 2003 and a site mahazar was prepared by the 4th opposite party. It was found that CT connection in one of the phases was loosened and thereby only 2/3 of the actual consumption were being recorded in the meter, so for the use of 1/3 of energy, a bill for Rs. 46,265/ - was issued to the petitioner for the prior six months as per rules. The statement in the petition that only one of the CT meter was not working is not correct. In fact, one of the CT connection was seen loosened only. The claim of the petitioner that CTs were installed in a metal box and the key of the box with the opposite parties is not admitted. CTs leading to the CT meter were found kept in open space. So, there was chance for loosening the Ct wires from outside which has caused non recording of 1/3 actual energy consumed. For the purpose of installing meter box for housing the meter and CTs, the fuse of the transformer was to be removed for 2 or 3 days by mutual consent. No disconnections has been effected at the premises of the petitioner as claimed by him. If the opposite parties had intention to disconnect power supply, it will be done only after giving statutory notice. Opposite parties have only directed the petitioner to install a metallic box for providing CT meter, CTs and fuses and in order to facilitate the installation of the metal box, opposite parties have removed the fuses of the transformer at the request of the petitioner. Petitioner remitted the amount on 27th. There was no need for reconnection as the supply to the petitioner has not been disconnected by the opposite parties. No complaint has been registered in the complaint register of the Athirampuzha Sub Engineers office, by the petitioner or to the other opposite parties. As per clause 7(c) of the conditions of supply of electrical energy providing metal box for housing the CT, CT meter and fuses is a must. APTS inspected the premises of the petitioner during January 2003 and not during March 2003 as claimed by the petitioner. They directed the opposite parties for making arrangements for replacing the faulty capacitor. No complaint has been received from the petitioner at the office of the Executive Engineer, Vaikom. There has been no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties. They have only instructed the petitioner to provide metal box to house the CTs, CT meter and fuses. In such circumstances, they have prayed to dismiss the petition.
The forum below framed three issues:

1) Whether the petition is maintainable?

2) Whether there is deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties?

3) Reliefs and costs?

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