Major Water, Power and Electricity decisions in Pakistan

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General Decisions

Imposition of penalty for slow-running of meter-Petitioners had not proved on record as to when meter was checked and at that time any notice was issued to consumer respondent under S. 20 of Electricity Act 1910-Petitioner’s plea that respondent had not approached Electric Inspector and without availing, of that alternate remedy, he could not have invoked jurisdiction of Civil Court, therefore, High Court lacked Jurisdiction, repelled-Such plea having not been raised before Courts below could not he raised for the first time before High Court in revision–Besides, petitioners themselves having not complied with provision of S. 24, Electricity Act, 1910 were not entitled to relief claimed. PLJ 2003 Lahore 1213

Issuance of electricity disputed bill-Before checking meter or issuance of disputed bill no notice was admittedly issued to respondent, which was a mandatory requirement of law-Meter was not sent to Electric Inspector to find out defect and defendant was penalize without getting meter as tampered-Petitioner could not ignore or violate law and become judge in its own cause to deprive consumer of his rights. PLJ 2003 Lahore 1213

Findings of Courts below on the question of fact based on evidence on record assailed–Court below had taken note of every bit of evidence placed before them and no portion of evidence had been over looked from judicious consideration–Concurrent findings of fact on question of fact and law based on proper appreciation of oral as well as documentary evidence led in suit were not susceptible to review to be upset or substituted in revisional jurisdiction. See PLJ 2003 Lahore 1213 SCMR 3099; 1989 SCMR 450; 1989 SCMR 149; 1994 PSC254; NLR 1982 Civil 663; 1983 CLC 2397; 2003 CLC 598 ref.

 

(a)        inspecting and testing the electric supply-lines, meters, fittings, works, and apparatus for the supply of energy belonging to the licensee; or

(b)        ascertaining the amount of energy supplied or the electrical quantity contained in the supply; or

(c)        removing, where a supply of energy is no longer required, or where the licensee is authorised to take away and cut off such supply, any electric supply-lines meters, fittings, works or apparatus belonging to the licensee.

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (V of 1908)–S. 115–Disconnection of petitioners’ electricity on account of tampering of Meter, removal of appliances and serving of detection bill–Validity–Trial Courts view that there was violation on the part of respondents of provision of S. 24 of Electricity Act, 1910, in that seven days notice was not given; that no compliance had been made to provisions of S. 26 of the Electricity Act and that petitioner was not heard before the impugned order was passed–District Judge. impressed by the allegation of theft modified order of Trial Court making restoration of electricity supply to premises of petitioner conditional to the deposit of disputed amount–Prima facie, detection bill and amount mentioned therein, would appear to be arbitrary formulation and would be taken with skepticism until methodology prescribed by S. 26-A for such purpose was established to have been followed–Purpose of giving notice as required under S. 24 of Electricity Act 1910, is meant to enable consumer to raise dispute with the Electric Inspector–Authority cannot take off or remove meters in terms of S. 4 of Electricity Act, 1910 of a dispute regarding correctness or otherwise of the meter had been determined as per terms of S. 26 of Electricity Act, 1910–Provisions of S. 54-C of Electricity Act 1910, would only become operative and jurisdiction of Civil Court could only be barred if licencee itself had followed law and not otherwise–No action appears to have been taken against concerned Meter Readers or Supervisors concerned who were supposed to take readings and detect illegal abstraction who might have neglected or otherwise joined hands for ulterior motives with consumers–Finding of Trial Court in the matter of jurisdiction were correct–Modification rendered by the order of Appellate Court requiring petitioner to deposit disputed amount as a pre-condition for restoration was against the spirit of S. 54-E of Electricity Act, 1910 and was not sustainable in law–Authority was directed to withdraw detection bill being illegal and serve fresh detection bill to petitioner after fulfilling requirements of law–Case was remanded to Trial Court for appropriate orders in presence of parties. PLJ 2000 Lahore 2438

 

Disconnection of petitioners’ electricity on account of tampering of Meter, removal of appliances and serving of detection bill–Validity–Trial Courts view that there was violation on the part of respondents of provision of S. 24 of Electricity Act, 1910, in that seven days notice was not given; that no compliance had been made to provisions of S. 26 of the Electricity Act and that petitioner was not heard before the impugned order was passed–District Judge. impressed by the allegation of theft modified order of Trial Court making restoration of electricity supply to premises of petitioner conditional to the deposit of disputed amount–Prima facie, detection bill and amount mentioned therein, would appear to be arbitrary formulation and would be taken with skepticism until methodology prescribed by S. 26-A for such purpose was established to have been followed–Purpose of giving notice as required under S. 24 of Electricity Act 1910, is meant to enable consumer to raise dispute with the Electric Inspector–Authority cannot take off or remove meters in terms of S. 4 of Electricity Act, 1910 of a dispute regarding correctness or otherwise of the meter had been determined as per terms of S. 26 of Electricity Act, 1910–Provisions of S. 54-C of Electricity Act 1910, would only become operative and jurisdiction of Civil Court could only be barred if licencee itself had followed law and not otherwise–No action appears to have been taken against concerned Meter Readers or Supervisors concerned who were supposed to take readings and detect illegal abstraction who might have neglected or otherwise joined hands for ulterior motives with consumers–Finding of Trial Court in the matter of jurisdiction were correct–Modification rendered by the order of Appellate Court requiring petitioner to deposit disputed amount as a pre-condition for restoration was against the spirit of S. 54-E of Electricity Act, 1910 and was not sustainable in law–Authority was directed to withdraw detection bill being illegal and serve fresh detection bill to petitioner after fulfilling requirements of law–Case was remanded to Trial Court for appropriate orders in presence of parties. PLJ 2000 Lahore 2438

 

Petitioner obtaining licence for generating and supplying electric power in terms of S. 28 of Electricity Act, 1910–Respondents Authority (WAPDA) subsequently asked petitioner to shut down its feeder in the interest of safety and took over business of petitioner–Petitioner meanwhile had applied to National Electricity Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) for permission of generating and supplying electricity–Such application has not been decided so far–Matter was referred to National Electricity Power Regulatory Authority (with agreement of parties) with direction to resolve dispute in accordance with law after giving petitioner hearing and within period of four weeks–Authority would also find out if alleged loss had been caused to petitioner by the action of WAPDA and if so, such loss has to be calculated–Petitioner would be entitled to recover its loss if findings was in its favour in accordance with law –Copy of order of Court was sent to Chairman Nepra for Compliance of Courts, order. PLJ 2001 Lahore 1018

Read with Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Ordinance, 1981, Section 7–Electricity consumption bill–Suit against–Stay order subject to condition of deposit of disputed amount–Challenge to–So far as provisions of Section 54(c) of Act are concerned, both courts below have rightly followed law which, in fact, was inserted into Electricity Act by way of an amendment through amending Ordinance LXII of 1979–Repealing Ordinance has done no harm to amending Ordinance, amendment having already gone into texture of Original Act of 1910–Held: Repeal by Ordinance XXVII of 1981 of Ordinance LXII of 1979, does not have any effect on continuance of Section 54(c) of Electricity Act and conditional order was rightly passed–Petition dismissed. PLJ 1994 Peshawar 91

Receipt of electricity bills–Suit for declaration and permanent injunction against–Dismissal of–Appeal against–S. 54-C of Act, 1910 a provides for issuance of notice u/S. 24 for dis-continuation of supply of energy–Such discontinuation cannot be interfered with by Court–Proper safe-guard has been provided to consumer that additional amount shall be refunded by licensee–High Court cannot obtain those benefits which have not been given by Legislature–S. 54-C provide accurate safe-guard to all concerned–There is extreme high handedness on part of appellant who made abortive attempt to get matter prolonged by mentioning fine technicalities of law–Law should lean in favour of adjudication of causes on merits–Neither a single penny has been deposited by appellant, nor dis-continuation of supply was allowed by him on basis of influence—S.E. WAPDA was directed to take dismissed. PLJ 1999 Quetta 115

Decisions under the ELECTRICITY ACT, 1910

Constitutional petition challenging show-cause notice issued by Authority to charge detection bill—Maintainability—-Committee of Engineers of Electric Supply Company had found a hole in top cover of empty theft box artificially closed by depoxy and a corresponding hole on top of K.WH meter body directly above 1000th figure on register of meter also bearing scratches—Questions arose that by whom figures had been reversed; who was beneficiary; what was relevant period during which loss occurred; how much was exact loss; why faulty equipments could not be substituted; mechanism evolved for recording of figures of own choice; liability to be billed in such eventuality under S.26-A of Electricity Act, 1910; installation of TOD meter, monitoring of consumption by means of TOD meter, subsequent objections in such methodology; initiation of action under Ss.26(5-A) & 39-A of the Act; out of Court settlement between parties and responsibility of illegal abstraction of electricity by reversing figures during disputed period—-Such question being controversial could not be resolved by High Court in exercise of Constitutional jurisdiction—Forums available under the Act could address such questions by following prescribed procedure after affording proper opportunity of hearing to petitioner—Supreme Court dismissed petition and refused leave to appeal. P L D 2004 Supreme Court

 

Matter is at investigation stage and case has not been sent up to Court—If case after investigation is sent up in Court and applicant is challaned he can avail of remedy before trial Court under Section 249-A Cr.P.C. for his acquittal after proving that charge is groundless or there is no probability of his conviction. PLJ 2003 Karachi 46 (DB)

Name in electoral roll–Entry of—Applications for—Whether powers under sections 11 and 18 can be exercised during time of annual revision of electoral rolls under Section 17–Question of–Section 11 does not make any mention of process of annual revision–Power under this section can be exercised at any time before or after publication of electoral rolls–Section18 vests  a right in a person otherwise entitled to be enrolled as a voter, to file an application to have his name included in electoral rolls–Reliance of respondents only on heading of Section 18 is misplaced–Held: It is well settled that heading of section cannot control meaning of statute nor curtail or restrict its scope and working–Held further: It is trite law that interpretation which furthers evident purpose of enactment and advances remedy, is to be preferred to an interpretation which stultifies its object. PLJ 1992 Lahore 2

 

Cases on (Amendment) ENHANCEMENT OF ELECTRICITY DUTY PUNJAB FINANCE ORDINANCE, 1978

5. Amendment of section 13 of the Punjab Finance Act 1964 (W.P. Act No XXXIV of 1964): In Punjab Finance Act, 1964, in section 13 for sub-section (1), the following shall be substituted namely-

‘(i) There shall be levied and paid to Government by a consumer of electricity a Duty (hereinafter referred to as Electricity Duty) at the rate of fifteen percent of the cost of the electricity chargeable by a licensee :

Provided that Electricity Duty shall not be leviable on the energy consumed by, or in respect of, the consumers enumerated in Sixth Schedule, except to the extent specified therein:
Provided further that, for reasons to be recorded, Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, exempt any other consumer or class of consumers from the operation of this section.

Explanation- In this section, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or the context’

(a) ‘consumer’ means any person, other than a distributing licensee, who is supplied with energy by a licensee;

 (b) ‘energy’ means electrical energy when generated, supplied or used for any purpose except the transmission of a message:

 (c) ‘licensee’ means any person licensed under Part II of the Electricity Act, 1910 (Act IX of 1910) to supply energy and includes any persons who has obtained the sanction of the Government under section 28 of that Act’.

Pakistan WAPDA Employees (Efficiency and Discipline)

 Rules, 1978

Compulsory retirement of petitioner without assigning any reason–Accusation qua corruption were not established against employee nor any enquiry was conducted against him—Service Tribunal had decided appeal of appellant in haphazard manner and all contention raised before it were not decided, therefore, judgment of Service Tribunal for leave to appeal was converted into appeal and judgment of Service Tribunal was set aside while employee was ordered to be re-instated in service with back benefits—Authority would have option to proceed against employee afresh in accordance with law. PLD 1987 SC 304; 1992 SCMR 774 and 1998 SCMR 137 ref. PLJ 2003 SC 757

Cases on WEST PAKISTAN WATER AND POWER DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY ACT, 1958

Employee of Authority compulsorily retired-Justification for-Employee of Authority under S. 17 (1-A) of Act of 1958, can although be compulsorily retired, yet such power is not unfettered nor can be used in arbitrary manner and petitioner should have been apprised of action intended to be taken against him. = PLJ 2003 SC 757

Compulsory retirement of petitioner without assigning any reason–Accusation qua corruption were not established against employee nor any enquiry was conducted against him—Service Tribunal had decided appeal of appellant in haphazard manner and all contention raised before it were not decided, therefore, judgment of Service Tribunal for leave to appeal was converted into appeal and judgment of Service Tribunal was set aside while employee was ordered to be re-instated in service with back benefits—Authority would have option to proceed against employee afresh in accordance with law. PLD 1987 SC 304; 1992 SCMR 774 and 1998 SCMR 137 ref. 2PLJ 2003 SC 757

Employee of Authority compulsorily retired-Justification for-Employee of Authority under S. 17 (1-A) of Act of 1958, can although be compulsorily retired, yet such power is not unfettered nor can be used in arbitrary manner and petitioner should have been apprised of action intended to be taken against him. 2003 PLJ 2003 SC 757

Employee of Authority compulsorily retired-Justification for-Employee of Authority under S. 17 (1-A) of Act of 1958, can although be compulsorily retired, yet such power is not unfettered nor can be used in arbitrary manner and petitioner should have been apprised of action intended to be taken against him. PLJ 2003 SC 757

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