After a delay of over six month since the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) finished hearing a compensatory tariff matter involving Adani Power and Tata Power, the tribunal has begun hearing the matter afresh on a daily basis since the beginning of this month in a bid to expedite the case.
The fresh hearing was mandated by the tribunal after one of its technical members hearing the case superannuated in May. Although the bench had finished hearing the matter, no order was passed. The tribunal then decided to deploy a full bench to hear the matter afresh on a daily basis, after a new technical member was appointed. The first day of hearing witnessed some drama which led to the tribunal expressing displeasure with the Haryana power distribution company, an appellant in the matter.
The Haryana discom informed the tribunal that it was replacing its counsel with a new petition against Adani Power and Tata Power. The new counsel sought adjournment of the matter and sought a week’s time to prepare for these matters.
The tribunal castigated this move, saying that it wouldn’t adjourn the matter as the tribunal had adjourned all the other matters to ensure a full bench was available for the compensatory tariff case.“We must express our unhappiness about this prayer for adjournment. If the appellants wanted to change their counsel, they should have done so well in advance,” The tribunal further said that it had fixed dates for hearing way back in October and any change in counsel should have been done well in advance.
There is no indication on when APTEL would finish hearing the matter but this month has seen daily hearing on all the petitions concerning the compensatory tariff matter. Last year in August, the Supreme Court had stayed an interim order by APTEL allowing Tata Power and Adani Power to charge higher prices from procurers than agreed upon in the power purchase agreements (PPAs) for electricity produced from their plants. The apex court directed the tribunal to dispose of the matter speedily.