Decided on April 01,2008



K.SAMPATH, J. - (1.) The complainant in O.P.No.56/2003 on the file of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Chennai (South) is the appellant herein. The case of the complainant was as follows:- (a) For one of his electricity connections at his request a separate meter was installed when the accommodation was leased out for a short period for commercial purpose. The licensee vacated the accommodation on 31/03/2000. The complainant sent a letter on 05/04/2000 to opposite party No.3 requesting him to change the tariff from commercial to domestic use. Accordingly, it was changed to domestic tariff since June 2000. However, in the month of February 2001, he was charged under commercial rate with arrears since April 2000 amounting to Rs.2,707/-. This amount he paid under protest. He sent a letter on 14/03/2001 along with receipt for Rs.20/- dt.16/03/2001 requesting opposite party No.3 to charge electricity consumption for the said connection since April 2000 at domestic rate and refund the excess amount paid and in case, it was not possible to repay the excess amount, the amount could be adjusted against other service connections standing in his name. The opposite party had been charging at domestic rates since 20/02/2001. At the request of the complainant, the Consumer Association of India sent a notice dt.31/07/2002 to the opposite party for which opposite party No.3 sent a reply refusing relief to the complainant. In these circumstances, the complaint came to be filed.
(2.) The opposite party filed a version stating inter-alia as follows:- The complainant had not given any application on 05/04/2000 to opposite party No.3 for change of tariff in a service connection from commercial to domestic. If he had given any such application, it would have got registered in the register concerned and he would have been advised to pay Rs.20/- mandatory charges towards tariff changing fee from commercial to domestic. No such entry was made in the petty cash book. The complainant got the tariff changed from commercial to domestic by unauthorised means and not as per rules. This was detected by the Department in February 2001 and consequently commercial tariff rate was restored since April 2000 and Rs.2,707/- towards shortfall was collected from the complainant. The complainant gave an application for change of tariff on 14/03/2001 to opposite party No.3 and paid the necessary fee of Rs.20/- on 16/03/2001. The complainant was not entitled to refund of the current consumption charges paid by him at the commercial rate. The complaint was liable to be dismissed.
(3.) Before the District Forum, on the side of the complainant Exs.A1 to A8 were marked while on the side of the opposite parties Exs.B1 to B10 were marked.;

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