Calcutta High Court: Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya, J. allowed a petition directing the CESC Ltd. to restore the electricity supply of the petitioner unconditionally.
Counsel for the petitioner submitted that initially the petitioner’s electricity supply was disconnected by the CESC Ltd. but subsequently, pursuant to an order of this Court and upon deposit of an amount of money, the same was restored.
Division Bench of this Court, in MAT 225 of 2018, had directed the petitioner to deposit the balance sum of Rs.2,42,985/- within a limited period, on which the CESC Ltd. was to restore the supply of electricity within 48 hours of the deposit. He further submitted that despite such specific order and on deposit of the directed sum by the petitioner within the period as stipulated by the Division Bench, the CESC Ltd., during pendency of the appeal, which had been taken on board duly in the meantime, sent further communications to the petitioner, insisting upon payment of the entire amount of the disputed bill.
Counsel appearing for the CESC Ltd. harps on the conduct of the petitioner which, according to him, inordinately delayed the appeal. It was also pointed out that petitioner deliberately did not take any steps for early disposal of the appeal. It was further communicated that in the light of the above situation, it was presumed that the petitioner was no longer interested to pursue the appeal and, as such, fifteen days’ time was given to the petitioner to settle and pay the balance amount of dues, failing which the CESC Limited warned that they shall reluctantly be compelled to apply for dismissal of the appeal without any further reference.
Counsel for the petitioner submitted, further, that the CESC Limited had disconnected the electricity supply of the petitioner in the meantime due to non-payment of such balance amount.
The Court reiterated that the Division Bench had clearly specified that that the right to enjoy the electricity shall be subject to the decision of the appellate authority. In the event the deposit was not made, the appeal presently filed before the appellate authority was to stand dismissed.
The Court therefore held that since the amount of RS.2,42,985/- was duly deposited by the petitioner within the time as stipulated by the Division Bench, there cannot arise any question of the appeal having been dismissed. It was further held that it was beyond the authority of the CESC Ltd. to presume on its own that the appellant was no longer interested to pursue the appeal and consequentially disconnect the electricity supply for non-payment of the balance dues on the disputed bill, even during pendency of the appeal.
The Court while allowing the appeal deprecated the act on the part of the CESC Ltd., directing the CESC Ltd. to restore the electricity supply of the petitioner unconditionally, without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the parties in the pending appeal, within 24 hours.
[Aktar Hossain v. CESC Ltd., WPA No. 8959 of 2022, order dated: 06-06-2022]
For the Petitioner: Mr Bidyut Kumar Halder, Mr Indranil Halder
For CESC Ltd.: Dr Madhusudan Saha Roy