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WILFRED SATHYARAJ, S/O.SATHYARAJ v. THE KERALA STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD - WP(C) No. 22327 of 2005(G)  RD-KL 11515 (28 June 2007)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAMWP(C) No. 22327 of 2005(G)
1. WILFRED SATHYARAJ, S/O.SATHYARAJ,
1. THE KERALA STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD,
2. THE ASSISTANT ENGINEER, KERALA STATE
3. THE EXECUTIVE ENGINEER,
For Petitioner :SRI.ABRAHAM MATHEW (VETTOOR)
For Respondent :SRI.JOSE J.MATHEIKEL, SC, KSEB
The Hon'ble MR. Justice C.N.RAMACHANDRAN NAIR
O R D E R
C.N.RAMACHANDRAN NAIR, J.WP(C) No. 22327 of 2005
Dated, this the 28th day of June, 2007
J U D G M E N T
Petitioner is challenging Ext.P2 electricity bill, confirmed in appeal vide Ext.R2(b) order, issued by the 2nd respondent. I heard learned counsel appearing for the petitioner and the learned Standing Counsel appearing for the KSEB. It is seen that petitioner had three electricity connections one for domestic use and other for industrial purpose for running a workshop and the third for commercial purposes i.e. for running a service station. Until the service station tariff was changed to commercial in May 1995, petitioner was remitting bills. However, when the tariff changed for service station, petitioner discontinued the payment in 1995 and for three years petitioner continued the service station without payment of any electricity bills. Therefore, in 1998 supply to the service station was disconnected. However, when inspection was carried out, it was noticed that petitioner was tapping power from the industrial connection and was running the service station. Even though petitioner denied the allegation, it was found against by the WP(C) No. 22327/2005 appellate authority. I do not find any ground to interfere with the order of the appellate authority because the meter recording at the time of inspection itself shows that petitioner was tapping power for the service station even after disconnection, which obviously means that the power was taken from the industrial connection that was available nearby. It is also noticed during inspection that petitioner was taking power for the house use also from the industrial connection. When arrear bill was raised, petitioner dodged payment by filing suit before the Munsiff Court, which was later dismissed. The bills raised, that are under dispute, are essentially for actual consumption. However, it is seen that entire bills are raised at commercial tariff which is not justified because petitioner was admittedly running workshop, which was his first business started by him, the tariff applicable to which was only LT IV.
2. I feel the order calls for modification because 1/3rd of the demand is attributable to penal interest. Moreover, it is reported that petitioner has closed business and the Board itself allowed petitioner to continue service station for three years without raising any bills or recovering any amount. In the circumstance, and since entire consumption was not under commercial tariff, I reduce the WP(C) No. 22327/2005 amount payable under disputed bill to Rs. 30,000/-, which has already been paid by the petitioner. If petitioner is liable to pay any other amount under conditional orders, respondents are free to recover such amounts. With the above observation, this WP(C) is closed.
(C.N.RAMACHANDRAN NAIR, JUDGE)jg
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