Supreme Court: Additional Bill raised by Electricity Distribution Company not be hit by Limitation Period

Aishwarya Rathore-

Published On: October 06, 2021 at 13:15 IST

The Supreme Court ruled that an additional Bill raised by an Electricity Distribution Company as a Licensee under the Electricity Act, 2003, after detecting a mistake, will not be hit by the two-year limitation under Section 56(2) of the Act.

The Court determined that any claim made by the Licensee after discovering their mistake did not come within the mischief, namely, “no sum due from any consumer under this Section,” as stated in Subsection (2) of Section 56 of Electricity Act, 2003.

A Bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian observed, “The raising of an additional demand in the form of “short assessment notice”, on the ground that in the bills raised during a particular period, the multiplying factor was mentioned wrongly, cannot tantamount to deficiency in service.”

In the instant case, the Consumer had earlier approached the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) against the demand.

The NCDRC, on the other hand, dismissed the Complaint, ruling that there was no “deficiency of service” on the part of the Electricity Company and that the said bill was for the recovery of “escaped assessment.”

The Consumer challenged the NCDRC Order in the Supreme Court.

To this, the Supreme Court stated, “The National Commission, in the impugned order, correctly points out that it is a case of “escaped assessment” and not “deficiency in service.”

Accordingly, the Court dismissed an Appeal challenging the additional demand raised by the Licensee Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd.

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