Thursday, November 30, 2023

Calcutta HC gives woman right to power connection despite spat with siblings

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“Assuming without admitting that the petitioner does not have any right, title and interest in respect of the said premises, the petitioner’s status then is that of a trespasser. Even a trespasser, unless evicted by due process of law, is entitled to electricity. Electricity connection, if granted to the petitioner, will not also create any right in her favour.”

The Calcutta High Court on December 24, made this observation while considering a writ petition, filed by the petitioner after her application for a new service connection was rejected by the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC).

The petitioner had applied for a new service connection at premises No.P-45, Kanungo Park, Garia P.S. Patuli, Calcutta – 700 084 . The petitioner’s application was rejected by CESC Limited, the licensee, by a letter dated August 26, 2020.

Advocate Suman Ghosh for the CESC submitted that there is already an existing service main at the premises. No new service main can be provided at the premises. The petitioner can be provided a new meter and a new connection through the same from the existing main service.

She further added that CESC is ready and willing to install a new meter and give the new connection to the petitioner from the existing main, provided the petitioner makes a fresh application for a new meter and a new connection, since the petitioner’s previous application has already been rejected. The new connection is also subject to the petitioner bearing all costs and expenses for the new meter and the new connection.

Advocate Dipanker Bose appeared for the private respondents, argued that the petitioner has no right in respect of the premises in question. The petitioner has been permitted to stay there by her brothers and sisters, the private respondents. The petitioner has not paid the bills for the said meter and as such the same has been disconnected.

A single bench of Justice Arindam Mukherjee opined that the disputes over the premises, whether it be ownership, title or interest, cannot stand in the way of the petitioner getting a new electricity meter in her name, when the possession of the premises by her is admitted.

”I direct the petitioner to make a new application for a meter and a new connection at the said premises within seven days from date. Within 72 hours from the date of the application if made, the officials of CESC shall inspect the existing service main and the meter board position for installing a new meter in the name of the petitioner. Within 3 days from the date of inspection, CESC shall raise the quotation. On payment of the sum mentioned in the quotation and compliance of other statutory requirement, CESC shall within 3 days therefrom install a new meter and grant the petitioner a new connection,” ordered the Bench.

The Court also cleared that the installation of the new meter at the common meter board or a new connection to the petitioner at the said premises will not create any new right or abridge or extinguish any existing right of the petitioner in respect of the said premises.

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