If a power theft case is pending, a consumer’s electricity supply cannot be disconnected, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday.
A vacation bench headed by Justice AK Patnaik ordered BSES to restore power supply within 48 hours at premises in Vasant Kunj occupied by a lady doctor.
On a petition by Meena Chaudhary, the court held it was the duty of the power company to supply electricity to all owners in all premises.
Chaudhary is facing a power theft case since 2010. Electricity supply to the premises where she lives was disconnected a few days ago. Despite her request, the power company did not grant a meter connection in her name as she wasn’t the owner of the premises.
At this, the bench clarified that even if the original consumer did not want the connection, it would be restored in Chaudhary’s name subject to formalities and told the lady doctor to pay the electricity charges.
“If a landlord does not pay up, the tenant has to be given the power connection. We don’t want any dispute to come in the way of supply of electricity,” the court observed orally, adding Section 43 of the Electricity Act obliges a power company to supply electricity to a owner or an occupier on request.
Chaudhary had approached the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution seeking restoration of power supply to her residential premises. She claimed the power company had removed the electricity meter in 2007, while she was away in Patna for official work.
According to her, power supply continued at her place and she kept paying the provisional bill raised by BSES. Meanwhile, she even gave five representations to the company for installing a meter. However, in 2010 BSES registered a theft case against her and disconnected the supply few days ago.