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BHARAT MARBLES v CHAIRMAN RSEB - CW Case No. 4551 of 1999  RD-RJ 926 (19 February 2007)
S.B. Civil Writ Petition No.4551/99
The Chairman, Rajasthan State Electricity,
Jyoti Nagar, Jaipur & Anr. 19.2.2007
Hon'ble Mr.Justice Mohammad Rafiq
Shri R.S. Mehta for petitioner.
Shri Virendra Lodha for respondent.
Heard learned counsel for the parties.
The petitioner has challenged the order dated 21.3.1997 issued by the respondent
Board and has further prayed that the respondent be directed to refund the excess amount of fuel surcharge realised from the petitioner from December, 1987 to February, 1996 amounting to Rs.2,53,333.85 along with interest at the rate of 18% per annum.
Shri R.S. Mehta, the learned counsel for the petitioner has argued that the fuel surcharge has been determined on the basis of formula under the tariff for supply of electricity, 1981 whereas provisions thereof speaks for the determination of annual rate of fuel surcharge per unit and the consumers are also entitled to make the payment of fuel surcharge on the basis of actual consumption, namely, the consumption of units per month. When the petitioner protest, the respondents have corrected themselves and started billing correctly from the month of April, 1996. He however submits that for the early period, they have illegally realised excess amount, which they have not refunded in spite of demand. When the petitioner represented, the respondents have by a perfunctory order dated 21.3.1997 rejected their representation. In this order no reasons have been assigned as to why a different method was applied by the respondents in charging the fuel surcharge than was applied for the period subsequent to April, 1996.
On the other hand, Shri Virendra Lodha, the learned counsel for the respondents submits that the matter requires determination of factual aspects such as the actual consumption and on that basis, realization of the fuel surcharge. He informs this court that the respondents have a scheme under which a consumer can approach the Settlement Committee set up specially for redressal of their grievances. If the matter is remanded to such committee, it would be a better forum where the factual disputes would also be crystallized.
In the facts of the case, without expressing any opinion on merits, I deem it appropriate that the petitioner is relegated to the remedy of settlement as per the scheme of the respondents. It is, therefore, directed that the petitioners shall submit his representation / application to the appropriate authority as per their procedure within one month, which shall be taken up and disposed of by such authority within three months thereafter.
However, the amount which has already been recovered shall abide by the final outcome of such application.
With the above observations, the writ petition is disposed of with no order as to costs.
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