Taking up a contempt of court petition filed by a Nayagaon resident that Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) was not issuing electricity connections to many nagar panchayat residents despite HC direction, the Punjab and Haryana high court has issued notice of motion to the corporation.
The petition filed by Suresh Kumar of Kamao Colony in Nayagaon came up for hearing before the court headed by justice Rajesh Bindal, which directed the PSPCL to file its reply by the first week of May.
The petitioner informed the court that he along with other petitioners had earlier approached the court on the issue, wherein the high court by its order dated January 30 directed PSPCL "to provide temporary electricity connections to them subject to their fulfilling procedural requirements."
But, the petitioner claimed, despite supply of a copy of the high court order, the corporation chose to willfully delay the matter which amounts to contempt of court.
The court was told that the petitioner had applied for the electricity connection in July 2012 but the officials were harassing him.
What HC order says?
Earlier, the high court order had said that after completion of paper formalities and deposit of the prescribed charges, the authority concerned shall sanction release of temporary electricity connection in favour of the petitioners within seven days. Within the next 15 days, electricity should be provided to the petitioners who shall have to pay charges for the power consumed as per the tariff prescribed by the competent authority.
The HC had made it clear that providing temporary electricity connections "shall not create any right for the petitioner(s)/applicant(s) either in the matter of regularisation of the construction raised by them or for grant of permanent electricity connection."
Why electricity not provided?
The PSPCL was not providing electricity connections to the applicants on the ground that the high court orders dated May 28, 2012, had put a stay on the construction activity in Nayagaon. Thus, it argued, all activities, including supply of electricity, had been banned. The court was told that due to illegal constructions in the area, the high court had imposed the ban.
But, the high court in its orders of January 30 made it clear that there was no stay by the HC on supply of electricity to the applicants.
Requirement of NOC
The petitioner told the court that PSPCL authorities were asking for a no-objection certificate (NOC) from Nayagaon nagar panchayat. The panchayat counsel earlier told the HC that even the local body had written to the PSPCL in July 2012 that NOC was not required for the grant of temporary electricity connections for those residing in its jurisdiction and the connection was required to be issued at the PSPCL level.