Supreme Court dismisses Adani Power’s plea seeking over Rs. 1,300 crore as LPS from Jaipur Vidyut Nigam Limited

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While hearing the Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited & ors. vs. Adani Power Rajasthan Ltd. & Anr. on March 18, 2024, the Supreme Court (SC) of India dismissed a miscellaneous application filed by Adani Power seeking over Rs. 1,300 crore as LPS (Late Payment Surcharge) from the Rajasthan government-owned power distribution firm, Jaipur Vidyut Nigam Limited. The bench imposed a cost of Rs. 50,000 on Adani stating that filing a miscellaneous application was not an appropriate legal course to demand LPS by the Adani firm. The judgment reads “A miscellaneous application is not the proper legal course to make a demand on that count. A relief of this nature cannot be asked for in a miscellaneous application which was described in the course of hearing as an application for clarification.” 

The SC bench comprising Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Sanjay Kumar said, “The maintainability of the present application cannot be explained by invoking the inherent power of this Court either. The applicant has not applied for review of the main judgment. In the contempt action, it failed to establish any willful disobedience of the main judgment and order on account of non-payment of LPS.” In this case, the SC clarified its December 12, 2022 order stating that “The order of this court doesn’t reflect the issue of maintainability of the present application. It doesn’t appear to us that the maintainability issue was raised at that stage.” During the proceedings, Senior Advocate Dr. AM Singhvi appeared on behalf of Adani Power, and SA Dushyant Dave assisted by Advocate Kartk Seth represented the Jaipur Vidyut Nigam Limited. 

The SC said “So far as the observations made in the order passed in the present proceedings on 14.12.2022 are concerned, they were made only at a prima facie stage and do not have binding effect at the hearing stage. Moreover, the question whether such a prayer could be made in an application labeled as a “Miscellaneous Application” taken out in connection with a set of appeals which have been finally decided, does not appear to have been considered by this Court at the time of making of the order dated 14.12.2022.” It further said that the order of the top court did not reflect any discussion on the issue of maintainability of the present application. The SC added, “It also does not appear to us that the maintainability issue was raised at that stage. Thus, the mere making of such observations cannot be construed to mean that this Court found such application to be maintainable.” The present application was, therefore, dismissed by the Supreme Court. The bench further said that the current application was listed before the Court on several occasions and for that reason, a cost of Rs. 50,000 was imposed on Adani and the amount should be remitted to the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee.