At, Kerala State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Thiruvananthapuram
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. S. CHANDRAMOHAN NAIR MEMBER
For the Appellant : S. Reghukumar, Advocate. For the Respondents : S. Balachandran, Advocate.
SHRI. S. CHANDRAMOHAN NAIR : MEMBER
This appeal is preferred by the complainant in C.C. 133/05 before the C.D.R.F., Kollam who is not satisfied by the order dated 27.8.09 of the Forum below directing the opposite parties to resume electric connection on payment of 50% of the arrears amount of the energy charges and directing the complainant to pay the balance 50% with 9% interest.
It is the case of the complainant that he had taken an electric connection to his casting foundry, from the opposite party in 1993 and that by a notice dated 28.2.03, he was directed to remit an amount of Rs. 18,247/- It is also his case that as per notice dated 4.8.2004, he was directed to remit Rs. 64,767/- and that revenue recovery proceedings are initiated against him. Alleging deficiency in service the complaint was filed praying for directions to cancel the bill and to give electricity to his foundry along with prayers for compensation and costs.
Resisting the complaint, the opposite parties filed version wherein it was submitted that the 3 phase connection, due to non payment of charges, was dis connected on 28.7.2002. It was admitted that as per bill dated 28.2.2003 the complainant was directed to pay Rs. 18,247/- and subsequently the complainant was asked to be present in the Adalath conducted by the opposite parties and the complainant had violated the terms agreed in to in the Adalath and subsequently revenue recovery proceedings were initiated against him for an amount of Rs. 64,767/- It was further submitted that as the premises was locked up, only the roof portion could be dismantled and the meter was kept inside the premises. It is the case of the opposite parties that the complainant is liable to pay the amount shown in the bill.
The evidence consisted of the evidence of Pw1 and 2 and Exts. P1 to P9 on the side of the complainant. Opposite parties filed Affidavit and the Asst. Engineer was examined as Dw1. Ext. D1 was marked on the side of the opposite parties.
Heard both sides.
The learned counsel for the appellant/ complainant vehemently argued before us that the Forum has failed in appreciating the fact that Pw2 , the electrical Inspector who inspected the premises of the complainant on 19.7.2004. has unequivocally stated that on inspection it was found that the routing of the connection to the 3rd phase i.e. to the light meter was from the outgoing terminal of 3rd site which would result in doubling of energy reading. He has also submitted that the statements of Pw2 stand uncontroverted and Dw1 has also stated that there would be increase in reading ,if connection is given from 3 phase to single face and in the back drop of the above findings the Forum ought to have allowed the case of the complainant that he had suffered loss due to the said mistake in connection and ought to have awarded compensation and costs to the complainant along with his prayer for re connection of energy without any payment.
On the other hand, the findings and conclusions of the Forum below were supported by the learned counsel for the respondents/opposite parties. Though it is his case that the complainant is liable to pay the amount shown in notice dated 4.8.2004 with interest, he has admitted that as there is no appeal from the order, he supports the findings and conclusions of the Forum. However it is argued by the learned counsel that the connection was dismantled as on 1.7.2004 and as the premises was locked up, the opposite parties could not take away the meter and hence the value of the meter was also included in the notice dated 4.8.2004. Thus he canvassed for the position that the prayers by the complainant are without any basis.
On hearing both sides and on going through the materials on record, we find that it is the admitted case of both the parties that the complainant was given the connection in 1993, and that the supply was dis connected on 28.7.2002 due to non payment of current charges. It is also noted that the opposite parties had issued a bill for Rs. 18,247/- on 28.2.2003 and dismantling notice was also issued to the complainant. It is further found that in the proceedings of Adalath, (D1)the complainant has also participated. However in the agreement as alleged to have been arrived at, it is not seen that the complainant has signed the same. Mere participation in the adalath will not bind the participant to agree the terms and conditions dictated by the opposite parties. It is found that Dw2, the electrical inspector has stated;
'in this case power meter’s 3rd phase is given as input of the light meter. So there will be duel metering'. It is also seen that Pw2 is not cross examined in this aspect. Further it is found that Dw1 while giving evidence has stated;
Hence it is our considered view that there was some mistake in giving connection by the opposite parties to the complainant. It is clearly stated by Pw2 and Dw1 that the reading in light meter will be doubled if the connections were given as stated earlier. The Forum below has given a goby to the evidence of Pw2 and Dw1 in the matter of doubling of reading consequent to the faulty and defective connection given by the opposite parties. We find that the opposite parties are liable to re calculate the energy charges considering the fact that the complainant was charged double for the light meter consumption from the date of connection.
In the result, the appeal is allowed in part. The opposite parties are directed to recalculate and issue a fresh bill for the light consumption based on the above finding right from 1993 onwards till 28.7.2002, the date of disconnection. The opposite parties are also directed to pay the amount with interest at 9% per annum from the date of complaint till date of payment and the said amount can be adjusted towards the dues from the complainant. The complainant has also prayed for a direction to the opposite parties to resume the supply. Since it is found that the meter was not taken away the opposite parties are directed to give re connection to the complainant, if the complainant’s firm is still in force. Howeve
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r it is made clear that reconnection can be given only as per the directions of the Forum below and only if the complainant is willing to remit 50% of the charges noted by the Forum in the order dated 27.08.2009 ie Rs. 12,852/- with 9% interest from 28.07.2002 till the date of remittance. It is found that the Forum below has not awarded any compensation or cost. As interest is ordered, we are not inclined to allow any compensation. But the complainant is entitled to the cost of Rs. 2,000/- for the proceedings throughout before the Forum below and this Commission. The office is directed to send back the LCR along with a copy of this order to the Forum below urgently.