The permanent lok adalat in SAS Nagar headed by Jagroop Singh Mahal on Saturday setting aside a bill of Rs 3.51 lakh issued by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), SAS Nagar, to one Manish Kumar directed the PSPCL to pay Rs 2 lakh compensation to Manish.
Manish Kumar, who is running a factory in Phase 9, Industrial Focal Point had asked the PSPCL to increase his load from 38.96 KW to 97.88KW on April 4, 2011. He had been sending reminders to the powercom but no action was taken thereon. During this period, the sanctioned load on the electricity bills issued to him was mentioned to be 38.96KW.
However, he received a bill dated September 29, 2014 asking him to pay sundry charges of Rs 3,51,440 against which he filed an application, alleging that the demand was illegal and void.
He prayed for Rs 16,50,000 as compensation for loss in business and Rs 2 lakh for mental torture and harassment with 18% interest per annum.
A notice in this regard was issued to the PSPCL, who contended that the load was extended on March 15, 2012, in presence of the applicant.
The extended load could not be entered in records, and when it came to their notice the entire consumption charges were recalculated and the applicant was liable to pay minimum monthly charges wef 15.03.2012.
The applicant had also asked for stay on recovery of the amount of Rs 3.51 lakh, which was allowed.
Lok adalat maintained that Powercom failed to explain as to why the extension of load was not intimated to the applicant and even after number of reminders to the respondents, why this fact was not intimated to him.
Even after recovery of monthly charges was stayed, PSPCL kept issuing bills showing the said amount and compelling him to pay the same. They also sent SMS threatening to disconnect the power supply if the amount was not paid.
The lok adalat, therefore, directed the PSPCL to pay Rs 50,000 for disobeying the order, causing mental torture and harassment to the applicant. The respondents would also pay Rs 20,000 as cost of litigation. The entire amount is to be paid within one month and if the same is not paid, the respondents would be liable to pay 9% interest wef from April 4 till the amount is actually paid.