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HARYANA VIDHYUT NIGAM LTD. & ANR versus ARUN KUMAR S/O SH. RATTAN LAL

High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh

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Haryana Vidhyut Nigam Ltd. & Anr v. Arun Kumar s/o Sh. Rattan Lal - RSA-4082-1989 [2006] RD-P&H 7784 (25 September 2006)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH

R.S.A. No. 4084 of 2002 and

Civil Misc. No. 9050-C of 2002

DATE OF DECISION 5.9.2006

Haryana Vidhyut Nigam Ltd. and another ...Appellants versus

Arun Kumar s/o Sh. Rattan Lal ...Respondent Present: Mr. R.K.Singla, Advocate

for the appellants.

AJAY KUMAR MITTAL, J. (Oral)

Civil Misc. No. 9050-C of 2002

For the reasons stated in the application, delay of 287 days in refiling the appeal is condoned.

R.S.A. No. 4084 of 2002

The plaintiff filed a suit for permanent injunction restraining the defendants permanently from disconnecting the electricity supply to his meter bearing account no. F2-579 on account of non payment of Rs.

17,243.70 paise.

The plaintiff claimed that in the month of June, 1990, the meter reading was 5356 but the electricity bill for Rs. 17,243.70 paise with the bogus reading of 17826 units was received by him. He further claimed that in the electricity bill of October, 1990, the meter reading was shown by the defendant as 6112, which shows that the bill of June, 1990, was wrong. The defendants in their reply had submitted that the meter was installed on 1.8.1989 with reading as 1415 in a separate room of the plaintiff's house and the said room used to be found closed whenever the Meter Reader approached for recording the meter reading and it was only in the month of May, 1990, that the Meter Reader was able to record the meter reading and the same was found as 17826. From the pleadings of the parties, the following issues were framed:- "1. Whether the plaintiff is consumer of defendant having electricity connection in meter no. F2 579 as alleged.

2. Whether the plaintiff is entitled to get the decree of permanent injunction as prayed for? OPP

3. Whether the suit is not maintainable? OPD

4. Whether the plaintiff has no locus standi? OPD

5. Whether the plaintiff has no cause of action? OPD

6. Whether the plaintiff has not come with the clean hands?OPD

7.Whether the civil court has no jurisdiction to try the present suit?OPD

8.Relief."

Issue no. 1 has been decided in favour of the plaintiff. Issue no. 2 has also been answered in favour of plaintiff by trial Court, accepting the version of the plaintiff that the actual meter reading of the meter was 5356 and the electricity bill of June 1990 showing the meter reading of the meter was wrong and inflated. Accordingly, suit filed by the plaintiff was decreed. On appeal, filed by the defendant-Haryana Vidhyut Nigam Ltd., the judgment and decree passed by the trial Court was upheld. The first appellate Court, affirmed the findings on Issue No. 2 and held that: "Issue No. 2 is the pivotal issue as to whether the plaintiff is entitled to get the decree of permanent injunction. The learned counsel for the appellant Sh.

Dalbir Singh Adv. has argued that DW1 meter reader had recorded the reading in question and had found that the meter was got reversed by the

respondent/plaintiff and sufficient evidence has been placed on record by the appellant and it was stated by DW1 that the respondent-plaintiff had reversed the meter. Rebutting his arguments, the learned counsel for the respondent Arun Kumar has argued that the appellant did not order any enquiry to the effect that any seal of the meter was got broken and only in that eventuality the meter could be got reversed. In this case DW1 Pal Singh, Meter Reader had recorded the meter reading of the meter to be 17826 and no corroborating evidence has been adduced by the respondent to the effect that the plaintiff is guilty of breaking the seals of the meter and that he is guilty of reversing the meter on the basis of which report of JE has shown the meter reading to be 5356. Rather Sh.

V.K.Manuja Adv. has argued that the meter reader had given false report of consumed units. He without opening the gate of residential accommodation of Arun Kumar had given the reading at his own guess work to be 17826 units and it was not actual meter reading. On the complaint filed by Arun Kumar, the concerned competent authority had ordered to find out how false meter reading was given by the meter reader but no report of that inquiry has been placed on record by the appellant/respondent. The onus of proving that the plaintiff was guilty of reversing the above mentioned meter laid on the

defendants/appellant because when the

defendant/appellant received two different reports i.e.

report of one of the meter reader showed that the meter reading was 17826 and the other meter reading done by the concerned JE which showed the meter reading to be 5356 then the defendants/appellant should have conducted the proper inquiry for ascertaining the veracity of both the reports. In the absence of that report, safe reliance cannot be placed on the bare statement of meter reader DW1. No corroboration has been done to the effect that the earlier reading of meter reader DW1 was authentic. It was the responsibility of respondents to order for an inquiry to see how the meter reader had given the second reading of the consumed units to be 5356 and whereas according to the earlier report of meter reader the consumption was 17826 units. Since no inquiry report has been placed by the

appellant/defendant to clinch the controversy in hand pertaining to the reversal of meter reading by the plaintiff lends support to the version of the plaintiff that the actual meter reading of the above mentioned meter was 5356 and the electricity bill of June, 1990 showing the meter reading of the abovementioned meter is wrong and inflated. Hence, as a sequel to my aforesaid discussion, the finding of issue No. 2 are answered against the appellant and in favour of the respondent/plaintiff."

Learned counsel for the appellants could not pin point any misreading of evidence or any illegality or perversity in the findings recorded by Courts below. No question of law much less substantial question of law arises in this Regular Second Appeal. Consequently, the same is dismissed.

( Ajay Kumar Mittal )

Judge

September 5, 2006

pj


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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