Thursday, February 22, 2024

Allahabad High Court summons top officials of Power and Energy dept, UP government for harassing consumer for the past 4 years

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The Allahabad High Court has come down heavily on the officials of Power and Energy department in Uttar Pradesh and the Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited for harassing a consumer and summoned them to appear before the Court on February 15.

The Division Bench of Justice Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Justice Jayant Banerji passed this order, while hearing a petition filed by Puttan.

The Court summoned Principal Secretary, Power and Energy, Government of UP, Lucknow as well as the Managing Director of Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited to appear before the Court on February 15, along with all the records relating to electricity connection/dues and asked that under what circumstances the petitioner was being harassed and high pitched baseless demands have been created against the petitioner during the past four years.

The Counsel for the respondents has produced before the court a paper containing details of permanent disconnection on dues on November 30, 2021 photostat copy of Meter Ceiling Certificate, photostat copy of final bill of permanent disconnection and duplicate photo stat copy of bill of Rs 18,000 and one page photo stat copy containing consumer history. All these papers are attested by the respondents.

The Court noted that neither the respondents have appeared before the Court pursuant to the order dated February 8, 2022, nor any exemption application has been filed nor the records as directed has been produced before us.

The Counsel for the respondents stated that the demand of Rs 31,47,731 being pressed against the petitioner and which was supported by the respondents by means of counter affidavit dated December 4, 2021, has been modified by the respondents to Rs 2,45,952 as per instructions/copy of papers produced.

The Court observed that the respondents were not only acting illegally and arbitrarily, but mala fidely and also deliberately disobeying the orders of the Court.

The authorities shall also showcause as to why the Court may not consider to direct for audit of the Electricity Distribution Division, Milak Rampur, mainly relating to consumer’s electricity bills, the Bench directed.

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