High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Haryana State Electricity Board (now UHB v. Ved Parkash - RSA-967-2004  RD-P&H 959 (20 February 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH.
R.S.A. No. 967 of 2004 (O&M)
Date of Decision: February 27, 2006
Haryana State Electricity Board (now UHBVNL) and another
CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE VINEY MITTAL.
Present:- Mr. Namit Kumar, Advocate
for the appellants.
VINEY MITTAL, J. (ORAL)
The defendant Haryana State Electricity Board and its officer have remained unsuccessful before the two Courts below.
A suit for declaration with consequential relief of permanent injunction was filed by the plaintiff. It was claimed that a penalty of Rs.3150/- @ Rs.50/- per B.H.P. for the last 6 months, had been imposed upon the plaintiff and the said order was liable to be set aside. The plaintiff also claimed that the defendants were trying to disconnect the electricity meter of the plaintiff which was without any authority and illegal.
The defendants maintained that on checking of the premises of the plaintiff on October 11, 1989, a team of defendant Board had noticed that the R.S.A. No. 967 of 2004 (O&M) 
plaintiff was using unauthorised load, and therefore, on account of the aforesaid fact, it was taken to be a case of theft of energy and the penalty in question was imposed. The defendants also defended action for disconnection of meter.
Both the Courts below have held that at no point of time, Ved Parkash- plaintiff had been afforded any opportunity of hearing. At the time of checking, Ved Parkash admittedly was not present at the spot and there was one Tilak Raj, who was an employee of Ved Parkash. It has also been noticed that Tilak Raj had maintained that at the time of the checking, there was no electricity and for some time, the official team of the defendant Board waited but left the premises after obtaining signatures on some papers. Another fact, which was noticed by the learned first Appellate Court was that Ved Parkash had applied for extension of load on October 17, 1988 and the checking had taken place on October 10,1989 and till then no action had been taken on the application for extension of the load filed by the plaintiff. In these circumstances, it was held by both the Courts below that the plaintiff had imposed the penalty without following the due procedure and without affording any opportunity of hearing.
Consequently, the action of the Board was held to be illegal and violative of the principles of natural justice. The suit filed by the plaintiff was decreed by the learned trial Court and the appeal filed by the defendant was dismissed before the learned first Appellate Court.
Mr. Namit Kumar, the learned counsel appearing for the defendant- appellants has placed reliance upon a judgment of the Supreme Court of India in the case of M.P. Electricity Board, Jabalpur Vs. Harsh Wood Products, 1996 (3) RCR (Civil) 453 to contend that in case of theft of energy, no such hearing was required to be given to the consumer prior to the taking of the necessary action.
R.S.A. No. 967 of 2004 (O&M) 
However, the Courts below have noticed that Tilak Raj, an employee of Ved Parkash, who was present at the time of visiting of the team of the defendant Board had specifically maintained that at the time of the aforesaid visit, there was no electricity, and therefore, it cannot be taken that there was infact any misusing/ theft of the energy, as maintained by the defendants. The authority relied upon by the learned counsel is thus not applicable to the facts and circumstances of the case.
No other point has been urged.
Nothing has been shown that the findings recorded by both the Courts below suffer from any infirmity or are contrary to record.
No question of law, much less any substantial question of law, arises in the present appeal.
February 27, 2006 (VINEY MITTAL)
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