Guidance for Smart Consumer
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Guidance for smart consumers
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The Energy policy of India is predominantly controlled by the Government of India, Ministry of Power & Energy. Central and State Electricity Regulatory Authorities have been established to formulate and Establish National Electricity Policy. Electricity is a primary input factor for maximum utilization of other inputs such as manpower and other capital-related resources. The old system of electricity distribution was changed in the year 2003 by enacting a new legislature, Indian Electricity act 2003 and electricity is privatized in the country since then. There are vast provisions for billings with regards to supply of electricity for various purposes such as domestic, commercial, agricultural and industrial. Penalty for non-payment of such bills are also different from one another. There are different slabs for billing depending upon the consumption of electricity units. Also there are very harsh provisions for theft and un-authorized abstraction of electricity through direct source.
In view of the above changed scenario, electricity department had set up their own grievance redressers system by establishing their special courts. It was argued time and again before the various courts that their new laws and provisions for billing are very technical in nature and hence department be left free for redressal of the grievances of consumers. It was urged before the apex court by the electricity department that consumer courts should not be vested with the power to deal with electricity matters. A long pending issue before the Hon’ble Supreme court is finally settled now with a landmark judgement in the matter of U.P. Power Corporation Ltd.& others V/s Anis Ahmad & others along with eight more cases of similar nature with the view that consumer forum can also hear electricity matters as an additional remedy available to consumers .However a complaint against the assessment made for unauthorized use of electricity under section 126 of electricity act or action taken by billing with penal rates under sec. 135 to 140 cannot be challenged before the consumer courts established under consumer protection act.
As on now consumer can go for redressal of following grievances before the consumer forum as well as special electricity courts;
• Non- supply of electricity meter when applied
• Wrong and disproportionate bills
• Very old bills without notice
• Bill for others’ connection
• Disconnection without notice and without reason.
• Bill without meter reading .
• Bill for defective /burnt meter.
• Bill without consumption.
However theft and un-authorized abstraction of electricity matters can be decided by the special courts established under the Indian electricity act only.
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