Regulation 153(15) of the Supply Code, 2014 declared invalid by the Supreme Court

Share on:

Hearing to the case of Kerala state of electricity board vs Thomas Joseph alias Thomas M.J, all the respondents were commercial/ industrial consumers having LT connections. After the inspection performed by the Appellant Board officials, it was determined that all the consumers were drawing electricity in excess of the contracted/ connected load. The issue which was addressed was whether the consumers can be assessed at rate equal to twice the tariff to which a writ petition was filed to seek an authoritative pronouncement on the quantification of penalty under section 126(6) of the Act 2003.  The High Court held that regulation 153(15) of the code 2014 is inconsistent with section 126 of Act 2003 and does not result in any loss of revenue. Not only this, overdrawal of electricity may throw out of gear the entire supply system, undermining its efficiency, efficacy and even- increasing voltage fluctuations. The High Court further stated that ‘the view that ‘unauthorized additional load’ in the same premises and under the same tariff shall not be reckoned as ‘unauthorized use of electricity’ except in cases of consumers billed on the basis of the connected load’.  To this, the Supreme Court further judged that once the assessing officer arrives at the conclusion that unauthorized use of electricity has taken place, he was obliged to make the assessment charge equal to twice the tariff applicable including dues payable towards the energy charges. Hence, declaring that Regulation 153(15) of the Supply Code, 2014, invalid.