Two institutes founded by late Indian mystic, Acharya Osho Rajneesh have approached the Bombay high court challenging a decision by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) to categorise them in a commercial group and apply electricity charges accordingly.
Acting on the petitions filed by Osho International Foundation and Neo Sanyas Foundation, the division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Anoop Mohta on Wednesday issued notices to Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) and the MSEDCL.
Both the institutes, which are part of the Osho Movement started by Acharya Rajneeesh, have challenged the electricity bills issued to them by MSEDCL at commercial rates even after the MERC issued directive to place them in HT-IX category meant for public service organisations.
Petitions filed by the public charitable trusts state that in May 2008, MERC had wrongly ordered public service organisations to be placed in commercial category, which resulted in whopping 106 % increase in electricity bills of educational institutions, hospitals, dispensaries etc.
The petitions challenge the levying of electricity charges at commercial rates contending the trusts could not be clubbed with commercial entities like malls and multiplexes which cater to elite class of the society, and has sought directions to the MSEDCL to withdraw the electricity bills issued to them at commercial rate and charge them at the tariff applicable for public service organisation category.