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Sivakami Mills Limited vs The Superintendent Engineer on 15 March, 2006

Madras High Court
Sivakami Mills Limited vs The Superintendent Engineer on 15 March, 2006
       

  

  

 
 
 BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF THE MADRAS HIGH COURT


DATED: 15/03/2006


CORAM:
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE P.JYOTHIMANI


W.P.Nos.2653 of 2005
W.P.Nos.2700 and 4139 of 2005
and
W.P.M.P.Nos.2698,2747,4343 of 2005
and
W.V.M.P.Nos.551,554,552 of 2005


Sivakami Mills Limited
Merged with M/s.Sheela Rani Textiles Ltd.,
Rep.by its Managing Director,
R.John Sundarapandian,
Thenur, Samayanallur Post,
Madurai District.			...	Petitioner
						in W.P.No.2653 of 2005


Ms.Sheela Rani Textiles Ltd.,
Rep.by its Managing Director,
R.John Sundarapandian,
Thenur, Samayanallur Post.
			  		...	Petitioner
						in W.P.Nos.2700 and 4139 of 2005


Vs.


1.The Superintendent Engineer,
  Madurai Electricity Distribution Circle,
  Tamil Nadu Electricity Board Madurai Circle,
  K.Pudur, Madurai-7

2.The Deputy Financial Controller,
  Madurai Electricity Distribution Circle,
  Tamil Nadu Electricity Board Madurai Circle,
  K.Pudur, Madurai-7.

3.The Assistant Divisional Engineer,
  Madurai Electricity Distribution Circle,
  Samayanallur Post,
  Madurai District.			...	Respondents
						in all the W.Ps.



PRAYER


This Writ Petition is filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of
India, for the issuance of Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, to call for the
records relating to the proceedings made in
Lr.No.SE/MEDC/MDU/DFC/HT/AS/A1/F.EOT/H.T.No.54/05/Dt 18.03.2005 issued by the
first respondent and quash the same and direct the respondents to grant 10 equal
instalments to pay the current consumption charges for the month of February
2005, March 2005, April,2005 in bill No.54 dated 01.03.2005.


!For Petitioner   	...	Mr.G.Ethirajulu


^For Respondents	...	Mr.R.Muthukumarasamy,
                              	Additional Advocate General 				
		  		for Mr.A.Baskar,
                                Standing Counsel,
				for TNEB.
						
:ORDER

Heard the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner and the learned
Additional Advocate General appearing for the respondents. By consent of both
the counsel, the writ petition itself is taken up for final hearing.

2. In all these three cases relating to the payment of current consumption
charges for the power used by the petitioner, namely, W.P.No.2653 of 2005 for
the months of February 2005, W.P.No.2700 of 2005 for the month of March 2005,
and W.P.No.4139 of 2005, for the month of April 2005. It is admitted that the
following are the amounts standing due from the petitioner to the Electricity
Board:

February 2005 – Rs.34,28,554/-
March 2005 – Rs.28,04,340/-
April 2005 – Rs.29,35,410/-

In all, the total amount due is Rs.91,68,304/-. The learned counsel for
the petitioner would submit that as far as the said arrears for the months of
February 2005, March 2005 and April 2005 are concerned, the arrears may be paid
by the petitioner in instalments by deducting Rs.5,00,000/- paid as per the
directions of this Court.

4. The learned Additional Advocate General placed reliance on the judgment
of the Division Bench of this Court reported in 2005 (4) Law weekly 585, wherein
the Division Bench has come down heavily stating that Article 226 cannot be used
for the purpose of permitting any electricity consumer to pay the current
consumption charges on instalment basis.

5. A reference to the said judgment would show that reliance was placed
on Rule 22(8) of the Electricity Supply Board Rules read with Sections 50 and
181 of the Electricity Act, 2003 for the purpose of permitting the petitioner to
pay the arrears in instalment. This was considered by the Division Bench of this
Court and it has been held that those rules are applicable only in cases where
there is a disconnection and for the purpose of restoration may be those
provisions are applicable for the purpose of payment of arrears on instalment
basis. This Court has categorically held that Rule 22(8) has no application in
respect of the payment of the current consumption charges as also there is no
provision in the electricity laws for grant of time to pay the regular monthly
current consumption charges in instalments.

6. Law is well settled that in respect of current consumption charges,
there is no possibility for this Court to invoke Article 226 of Constitution of
India permitting the consumer to pay the amount in instalments.

7. Now that the arrears of amount are stated to have been for the months
of February 2005, March 2005, and April 2005. The learned Additional Advocate
General has fairly stated that taking into consideration the fact that the Board
must see that the amount is recovered or otherwise there is possibility of
closing down of the petitioner industry itself which may result in the
deprivement of the amounts due to the Electricity Board, he submitted that the
petitioner may be permitted to pay the arrears of Rs.91,68,304/- after deducting
Rs.5,00,000/- in 10 equal monthly instalments commencing from 1st of April 2006.

8. Making it very clear that in respect of the current consumption
charges, the instalment can never be permitted as per the law laid down by the
Division Bench of this Court, but taking into consideration the concession shown
by the learned Additional Advocate General, the petitioner is permitted to pay
the arrears of consumption charges to the extent of Rs.91,68,304/- out of which
admittedly the petitioner has paid an amount Rs.5,00,000/- as per earlier order
of this Court passed in W.P.M.P.No.4343 of 2005 in W.P.No.4139 of 2005 leaving a
balance amount of Rs. 86,68,304/-, the petitioner is permitted to pay the said
arrears of Rs.86,68,304/- for the months of February 2005, March 2005, and
April 2005 in 10 equal monthly instalments commencing from the month of April
2006 out of which the first instalment shall be paid on or before the 17th of
April 2006 and the subsequent amounts shall be paid every month commencing from
May 2006 on or before 5th of every month. It is made clear that in default of
any one of the instalments, the entire amount of arrears will become payable in
lumpsum and it will be open to the respondent-Board to take further action to
recover the same in accordance with law.

9. It is made clear that this direction for payment of instalment is in
addition to whatever amount the petitioner is liable to pay in respect of
current consumption charges which he is paying by instalment or otherwise as per
the Court order.

10. With the above observations, the writ petitions are disposed of. No
costs. Consequently, connected W.P.M.Ps. and W.V.M.Ps. are closed.

To

1.The Superintendent Engineer,
Madurai Electricity Distribution Circle,
Tamil Nadu Electricity Board Madurai Circle,
K.Pudur, Madurai-7

2.The Deputy Financial Controller,
Madurai Electricity Distribution Circle,
Tamil Nadu Electricity Board Madurai Circle,
K.Pudur, Madurai-7.

3.The Assistant Divisional Engineer,
Madurai Electricity Distribution Circle,
Samayanallur Post,
Madurai District.

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