The Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Co Ltd (APEPDCL) has been asked by the apex consumer commission to pay Rs 1.53 lakh as compensation to one of its customers for disconnecting his power supply without prior notice.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the state-run discom while dismissing its plea challenging the orders of the state and district consumer fora which had directed APEPDCL to pay the damages to its customer, who used to run a photo studio and power supply to which had been disconnected by it.
The discom in its plea had contended that the studio owner was not the consumer and the power connection was registered in the name of his landlord.
The NCDRC bench, presided by Justice J M Malik, however, rejected the discom's contention saying, "complainant (Ganesh) was the potential user of the electricity in question. He should have been given a notice before taking action against him.
"If such cases are allowed, in that event every landlord while working in cahoots with the electricity board will get the electricity of tenant disconnected."
In his complaint to the district forum, photo studio owner Andhra Pradesh native P V S L Ganesh had said that he had paid the charges for power usage to his landlord in 2009 from whom he had taken the premises on rent to run his business.
He had alleged that the power supply to his shop was disconnected without informing him and was re-established after considerable delay.
The NCDRC bench also comprising its member Vinay Kumar further said thepower supply was restored after considerable time and "under these circumstances, the compensation granted by the district forum in the sum of Rs 1,50,000 besides costs
of Rs 3,000 and upheld by the state commission is sans flaw".
"Viewed from any angle it is found that revision petition is ill-conceived and as such the same is dismissed with costs of Rs 10,000, which will be deposited with the Consumer Legal Aid Account of this Commission within a period of four weeks,"
the bench added.