ONCE IT IS ASSESSED AND FOUND THAT A PERSON WHO HAD BEEN PROVIDED WITH SERVICE HAD COMMITTED AN ILLEGALITY THEN, HE IS LIABLE TO PAY THE CHARGES BASED ON THE ASSESSMENT UNDER THE ELECTRICITY ACT,2003: MADRAS HIGH COURT
The High Court of Madras passed a judgment on 27 April 2023 stating that Once it is assessed and found that a person who had been provided with service had committed an illegality then, he is liable to pay the charges based on the assessment under the Electricity Act,2003. It was stated in the case of S. MURALIDHARAN Vs. THE EXECUTIVE ENGINEER (WP(MD).6654/2010) which was passed by the single judge bench comprising of HONOURABLE JUSTICE K.KUMARESH BABU.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
The petitioner being the proprietor of M/s.Parks Chemicals was a consumer under the respondents having been provided with a High Tension service connection with permitted demand of 365 KVA. The first respondent alleged that there is a theft of energy which is punishable under the provisions of the Electricity Act, for which a Provisional Assessment Order estimating a loss for a sum of Rs.76,79,145/- was issued. Thereafter, a Final Assessment Order was also issued which is subject matter of W.P.No.6654 of 2010. Pending this writ petition, the due under the Final Assessment Order was directed to be included in the domestic service connection of the petitioner by order dated 23.09.2013, which had been challenged by the petitioner .
JUDGEMENT OF THE CASE
Taking an action against another service connection of the concerned person in respect of dues of another service connection of the same person. The contention of the learned Senior Counsel that the claim of the respondent are not the dues of earlier service connection but are the charges from the alleged unauthorized use/theft of energy. Therefore, he had contented that this is not a due as contemplated under Rule 17(8) of the Supply Code. I am afraid that such a contention if is allowed to be accepted then, it will give raise to the offenders to escape his liability from making good the loss in public exchequer had suffered. Once it is assessed and found that a person who had been provided with service had committed an illegality then, he is liable to pay the charges based on the assessment under the Electricity Act. The said charges are for the unauthorized use of electricity which could only be termed as dues relating to the service connection which can be fastened with other service connection. Therefore, the contention of the learned Senior Counsel is rejected.In fine, the court does not find any infirmity in the orders passed by the respondent and accordingly, the writ petitions are dismissed. However, there shall be no order as to costs. Consequently, the connected Miscellaneous Petitions are closed.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY ROSHNI SABU, KERALA LAW ACADEMY LAW COLLEGE.