ELECTRICITY ACT, 1910

(ACT No. IX of 1910)

 

An Act to amend the law relating to the supply and use of electrical energy.

WHEREAS it is expedient to amend the law relating to the supply and use of electrical energy; It is hereby enacted as follows: –

COMMENTARY

            Notice for detection bill was served. Challenge to Bar of jurisdiction. If a notice is served on the consumer u/s 24(1) or if the supply of energy to the premises of the consumer is discontinued under the provisions of Electricity Act, no Court shall restore supply of energy without the deposit of the assessed amount. Section 54-C, is trigged not only by notice u/s 24(1) but also for any other reason under the Act, the supply of energy to the premises of the consumer are discontinued. Petition was dismissed. (PLJ 2010 Lah. 172).

            Detection bill. Computation of. Application of relevant provisions of Electricity Act, 1910. Scope. Section 26-A of the Electricity Act, 1910 deals with the computation of the detection bill and is not per se a recovery provision and provides parameters to work out charge of energy / detection bill in case the measuring apparatus in the opinion of the licensee remained disconnected. Once the charge of energy is calculated, Section 24(1) of Electricity Act, 1910 comes into play and so does Section 54-A. (2010 CLC 436).

            Bar of jurisdiction. Principle and applicability. Scope. Section 54-C of the Electricity Act, 1910 barred jurisdiction of the Court in matters relating to disconnection and restoration of energy supply to the licensee but did not preclude an aggrieved person from filing suit against any act of the licensee. (2011 YLR 215).

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1.         Short title, extent and commencement. – (1)  This Act maybe called the Electricity Act, 1910.

(2)        It extends to the whole of Pakistan

(3)        It shall come into force on such date as the Federal Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, direct in this behalf.

COMMENTARY

Statement of Objects and Reasons . – See Gazette of India, 1909, Pt. V. p. 87 For Report of Select Committee, see ibid1910, Pt. V. p. 39; and for Proceedings in Council, see ibid1909, Pt. VI. P. 152 and ibid 1910, Pt. VI. Pp. 12, 157 and 275, dated the 5th February, 1910, the 19th March, 1910, and the 19th April, 1910, respectively.

Demand of amount from consumer on basis of audit report / objection without issuing show-cause notice to him or joining him with proceedings to justify audit report. Validity. Audit report would neither be binding on consumer nor could he be held responsible for fault of department. (2008 YLR 308),

Civil revision. Discontinuance of supply to consumer neglecting to pay charge. Electricity connection of the petitioner was disconnected. Notice for a disconnection bill was served. Challenge to. Determination. Whether Section 24(1) of Electricity Act, is applicable to the case of the petitioner. Question of. Where any consumer neglects to pay any charge for energy or any sum assessed against him by licensee in respect of supply of energy to his premises, the licensee can disconnect the supply of energy to the consumer. In the instant case the detection bill falls within the category of charge for energy assessed by licensee. Held: Licensee  has a right to disconnect electricity if the consumer neglects to pay any charge for energy. Detection bill had been served on the petitioner which was charge of energy assessed by licensee. Impugned action / disconnection was fully covered u/ss 24(1), 26-A & 54-C of Electricity Act. Courts below had rightly applied the provisions of Electricity Act, and disallowed the interim relief to the petitioner. Petition was dismissed. (PLJ 2010 Lah. 172).

Inconsistency between Federal and Provincial Laws. Provisions of S. 24(2) as amended by Provincial Statute and as amended by Federal Statute in respect of the same matter. Mode to resolve inconsistency between Provincial Statute and Federal Statute under Art. 143, Constitution of Pakistan. Where any provision of Provincial Statute was in conflict with any provision of Federal Statute, then Federal Law would prevail and Provincial Law, would, to the extent of repugnancy or conflict, be void. Both the provisions of S. 24(2), one amended by Provincial Statute and the other by Federal Statute cannot stand together as the one conferred right of appeal while the other took away said right. Both provisions (as per respective amendments) being in respect of the same matter, the provision of Federal Law have to prevail by virtue of Art. 143 of the Constitution. (PLD 1995 Lah. 56).

Constitutional petition. Disconnection of electric supply of tubewell. Petitioner felt aggrieved of a bill sent to him by the WAPDA, challenged same by filing a suit which having concurrently been dismissed by the Trial Court and Appellate Court. Petitioner had filed Constitutional petition with the grievance that on dismissal of the suit, WAPDA disconnected the supply without serving notice in violation of S. 24 of Electricity Act, 1910. Validity. Transformer was fixed when the connection was provided and it was still working. WAPDA had no justification to demand further charges, when all the dues had been paid by the petitioner. Allowing Constitutional petition, WAPDA was directed to re-connect the Tube-well of the petitioner with the source already available. (2008 MLD 99).

This Act has been applied to Phulera in the Excluded Area of Upper Tanawal to the extent the Act is applicable in the N.W.F.P. and has also been extended to the Excluded Area of Upper Tanawal other than Phulera by the N.W.F.P. (Upper Tanawal) (Excluded Area) Laws Regulations, 1950, and declared to be in force in that area with effect from the 1st June, 1951, see N.W.F.P. Gazette, Extraordinary, dated the 1st June, 1951.

This Act has been extended to the Balochistan States Union, see the Balochistan States Union (Federal Laws) (Extension) Order, 1953 (G.G.O.4 of 1953) as amended by the Balochistan States Union Federal Laws (Extension) (Second Amdt.) Order, 1953 (G.G.O. 19 of 1953).

It has been extended to the Khairpur State, see G.G.O. 5 of 1953.

It has also been extended to the Leased Area of Balochistan, see G.G.O. 3 of 1950 and applied in the Federal Areas of Balochistan, see Gaz. Of 1937, Pt. I, p. 1499.

This Act was amended in its application to the Province of East Pakistan by East Pakistan Ordinance No. XVIII of 1959.

This Act was further amended in its application to the Province of East Pakistan by Eat Pakistan Act No.XVI of 1964, S. 2 (w.e.f. 8th September, 1964.

This Act has been and shall be deemed to have been brought into force in Gwadur with effect from the 8th September, 1958, by the Gwadur (Application of Central Laws) Ordinance, 1960 (37 of 1960), S. 2.

Electricity Act, 1910, read with S. 5. Absence of provision in the Electricity Act, 1910, expressly authorizing the Government to hand over electrical undertaking to a statutory body cannot be called in aid for contending that there is a bar to do so. [PLD 1968 Dacca 773 (DB)].

2.         Definitions.  In this Act, expressions defined in the Telegraph Act, 1885, have the meanings assigned to them in that Act, and, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context, –

(a)             “aerial line” means any electric supply-line which is placed above ground and in the open air;

(b)             “area of supply” means the area within which alone a licensee is for the time being authorized by his license to supply energy;

(c)             “consumer” means any person who is supplied with energy by a licensee, [(Subs. by Electricity (Amendment) Ordinance LXII of 1979( (who is the owner or occupier of the premises which)] are for the time being connected for the purposes of a supply of energy with the works of a licensee;

(d)             “daily  fine”  means a fine for each day on which and offence is continued after conviction therefore;

(e)             “distribution main” means the portion of any main with which a service line is, or is intended to be, immediately connected;

(f)              ”electric supply line” means a wire, conductor or other means used for conveying,  transmitting or distributing energy together with any casing, coating, covering, pipe  or insulator enclosing, surrounding or supporting the same or any part thereof, or any apparatus connected therewith for the purpose of so conveying, transmitting or distributing such energy;

(g)              “energy” means electrical energy when generated, transmitted, supplied or used for  any purpose except the transmission of a message;

(h)              “licensee” means any person licensed under Part II to supply energy:

(i)              “main” means any electric supply-line through which energy is, or is intended to be,  supplied by a licensee to the public;

(j)              “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(k)             “public lamp” means an electric-lamp used for the lighting of any street;

(l)              “service line” means any electric supply-line through which energy is, or is intended  to be, supplied by a licensee:- [Subs. by the Electricity (Amdt.) Act, 1922 (I of 1922), S. 2. for the original clause (1)]

(i)         to a single consumer either from a  distributing main or immediately from the  licensee’s premises, or

(ii)         from a distributing main to a group of consumers on the  same  premises  or  an  adjoining premises supplied from the same point or the distributing main.

(m)           “street” includes any way, road, lane, square, court, alley, passage or open space,  whether a thoroughfare or not, over which the public have a right of way, and also  the road way and footway over any public bridge or cause-way: and

(n)             “works” includes electric supply-lines and any buildings, machinery, or apparatus  required to supply energy and to carry into effect the objects or a license granted  under Part ll.

 

COMMENTARY

            Suit for declaration. Maintainability. Scope. Trial Court dismissed the suit. Appellate Court dismissed appeal against. Plaintiff contended that he was not obliged to pay the electricity bills issued in the names of his previous tenants. Plaintiff also filed application for injunction to restrain the defendant / WAPDA from demanding payment of disputed dues till the correction of the bill and sought restoration of electricity connection. Defendant / WAPDA contended that the landlord, and not the tenant, was responsible for payment of electricity bills. Validity. Section 54-C of the Electricity Act, 1910 barred jurisdiction of the Court only in matters relating to disconnection and restoration of energy supply by the licensee but did not preclude an aggrieved person from filing suit against any act of the licensee / WAPDA; relief, however, was conditional on payment of dues / outstanding. Courts below failed to appreciate that the plaintiff had also sought several reliefs which were not related to payment of dues, therefore, both the Courts wrongly found that the suit was not maintainable. Trial Court could have been declined the relief of restoration of connection but other reliefs sought by the plaintiff should have been considered and awarded. Electricity connections were installed at the premises owned by plaintiff and were disconnected seventeen years ago but he remained silent all these years. Though the said premises was in occupation of tenants yet plaintiff, being owner / landlord, was a ‘consumer’ as defined by S. 2(c) of the Electricity Act, 1910. Plaintiff, therefore, was liable to pay the outstanding charges of electricity supply. Plaintiff had violated the Condition No. 16 of the Abridged Conditions of Supply annexed to Electricity Rules, 1937 by extending electricity supply to the disconnected portions of his property which amounted to dishonest abstraction or consumption of energy under S. 26-A of the Electricity Act, 1910. Relief of restoration of electricity could not be granted to the plaintiff until he had paid the outstanding dues. Plaintiff could not establish that charges were wrongly calculated by defendant. Suit was dismissed accordingly. (2011 YLR 215).

 

PART II

Supply of Energy

Licenses

 

3.         Grant of Licences. – (1)  The Provincial Government may, on application made in the prescribed form and on payment of the prescribed fee (if any), grant to any person a license to supply energy  in any specified area, and also  to  lay  down or place electric supply-lines for the  conveyance and transmission of energy, –

(a)        where the energy to be supplied is to be generated outside such area from a  generating station situated outside such area to the boundary of such area.

(b)        where energy to be conveyed or transmitted from any place in such area to  any other place therein,  across  an  intervening area not included therein,  across such area

(2)        In respect of every such license and the grant thereof the following provisions shall have effect, namely: –

(a)        any person applying for a license under this Part shall publish a notice of his  application in the prescribed manner and with the prescribed particulars, and  the license shall not be granted until: –

(i)         until all  objections  received  by the Provincial Government with  reference thereto have been considered by it.

Provided that no objection shall be so considered unless it is received before the expiration of three months form the date of the  first publication of such notice as aforesaid; and

(ii)         until, in the case of an application for a license for an area including the whole or any part of any cantonment, fortress, arsenal, dockyard or camp or of any building or place in the occupation of the Government for naval or military purposes, the Provincial Government has ascertained that there is no objection to the grant of the license on the art of the Engineer in Chief, General Head Quarters, Pakistan;

(b)        where an objection is  received  from any local authority concerned, the Provincial Government shall, if in its opinion the objection is insufficient, record  n writing, and communicate to such local authority its reason for such opinion;

(c)        no application for a license under this Part shall be made by any local  authority except in pursuance of a resolution passed at a meeting of such authority held after one month’s previous  notice of the same and of the purpose thereof has been given in the manner in which notices of meetings of such local authority are usually given;

(d)        a license under this Part-

(i)         may  prescribe  such  terms as to the limits within which, and the conditions under which, the supply or energy is to be compulsory or permissive, and as to the limits of price to be charged in respect of the supply of  energy,  and generally as to such matters as the Provincial Government may think fit; and

(ii)         save in cases in which under section 10, clause (b), the provisions or sections 5 and 7, or either of them, have been declared not to apply, every such license shall declare whether any generating station to be used in connection with  the  undertaking  shall  or shall not form part of the undertaking for the purpose of purchase under section 5 or section 7;

(e)        the grant of a license under this Part for any purpose shall not in any way  hinder or restrict the grant of a license to another person within the same area of supply for a like purpose;

(f)         the provisions contained in the Schedule shall be deemed to be incorporated with, and to form part of, every license granted under this Part, save in so far as they are expressly added to, varied or excepted by the license, and shall, subject to any such additions, variations or exceptions which the Provincial Government is hereby empowered to make, apply to the undertaking authorized by the license:

Provided that, where a license is granted in accordance with the provisions of clause IX of the Schedule for the supply of energy to other licensees for distribution by them, then, in so far as such license relates to such supply, the provisions of clauses IV, V, VI, VII, VIII and XII of the Schedule shall not be deemed to be incorporated with the license.

COMMENTARY

            “Anything required of him by or under this Act”. Condition VI of Schedule. Performance of condition VI of the schedule incorporated in the licence by S. 3(2)(I) is required “by or under the Act”. Performance of the Scheduled conditions may not on a strict reading be required “under” the Act. (AIR PC 136, IA 57, II.R 1949 Bom 274, 4 DLR 172).

            Electricity licence, grant of. Provincial Government, held, a contempt authority to grant licence to a person for supply of electric energy in specified area.

4.         Revocation or amendment of licences.   (1) The Provincial Government may, if  in its opinion the public interest so requires,  revoke a license in any of the following cases, namely: –

(a)        where the licensee, in the opinion of the Provincial Government, makes willful  and unreasonably prolonged default in doing anything required of him by or  under this Act;

(b)        where the licensee breaks  any  of  the terms or conditions of his license the  breach  of which is expressly declared by such license to render it liable to revocation;

(c)        where the licensee fails, within the period fixed in this behalf by his license or  any longer period with the Provincial Government} may substitute therefore by  order under sub-section (3), clause (b), and before exercising any  of  the powers conferred on him thereby in relation to the execution of works, –

(i)         to show, to the satisfaction of the Provincial Government, that he is in a  position fully and efficiently to  discharge the duties and obligations  imposed on him by his license, or

(ii)         to make the deposit or furnish the security required by his license; Environmental Law in Pakistan I Federal 3 04 I Processes and Institutions

(d)        where the licensee is, is in the opinion of the Provincial Government, unable,  by reason of his insolvency, fully and efficiently to discharge the duties and obligations imposed on him by his license.

(2)        Where the Provincial Government might, under sub-section (1) revoke a license, it  may, instead of revoking the license, impose on the licensee a penalty, not  exceeding ten thousand rupees, and permit the license to remain in force subject to  such further terms and conditions as he sees fit to impose, and any further terms and conditions so imposed shall be binding upon, and be observed by the licensee, and shall be of like force and effect as if they were contained in the license.

(3)        Where in its opinion the public interest so permits, the Provincial Government may on the application or with the consent of the licensee, and, if the licensee is not a local authority, after consulting the local authority (if any) concerned –

(a)        revoke a license as to the whole or any part of the area of supply upon such terms and conditions as it thinks fit, or

(b)        make such alterations or amendments in the terms and conditions of a  license, including the provisions specified in section 3, sub-section (2), clause  (f), as it thinks fit.

COMMENTARY

            Opinion of Provincial Government is absolute and unqualified. The property construction of S. 4(1)(a) is that the opinion of the Provincial Government both in sub-section (1) and (a) is absolute and unqualified and a Court of law cannot inquire into the grounds or reasons which promoted the said authority to arrive at that opinion. The act of the Government is an executive act and not a judicial act, and the Government has been made under this section the sole Judge, in the absence of a pleading to the effect that there was either malice or collateral purpose; the words “opinion of the Provincial Government” qualify not only the words “public interest” but also the words “willful and unreasonably prolonged default in doing anything”; the words qualify and control the whole sub-section. Under section 4 (1) (a), the only condition precedent is that the Provincial Government should come to a certain opinion with regard to the matters enumerated in the sub-section. If the Government from the opinion honestly, and for purpose specified in the Act, then the law precludes Court from substituting its  own opinion for that of the Government or from inquiring into the validity of the grounds on which opinion was formed. [AIR 1947 Bom. 276, 49 Bom. LR 92, ILR 1947 Bom. 446 (FB) upheld by Privy Council in AIR 1942 PC 136].

            Provincial Government must act in a judicial and fair manner. In the Full Bench case of Hubli Electricity Co., Stone CJ. Made the following observation:

            The Provincial Government must act in a judicial and fair manner. Section 4 (1) (a) of Act postulates a condition precedent, viz. the existence of an obligation on the licensee to do something “by or under the Act”, to the formation of an opinion by the licensing authority that the licensee has made a willful and unreasonably prolonged default of the obligation in question. In arriving at factual decision not only must the Provincial Government Act in a judicial manner, but the manner if its acting is open to investigation by the Court. The prolonged default mentioned in section 4 (1) (a) must be continuing default and not one which has ceased.

            Government’s opinions in what matters are conclusive and when not conclusive. Privy Council’s view. There is nothing in the language of S. 4(1) (a) of the Electricity Act or in the subject matter to which it relates upon which to found the suggestion that the opinion of the Government is to be subject to objective tests. In terms, the relevant matter is the opinion of the Government and not the grounds on which the opinion is based. The language leaves no room the relevance of judicial examination as to the efficiency of the grounds on which the Government acted in forming an opinion.

            Further the question on which the opinion of the Government is relevant is not whether a default has been willful and unreasonably prolonged but whether three has been a willful and unreasonably prolonged default. Upon that point the opinion is the determining matter and if it is not for good cause displaced as a relevant opinion it is conclusive. But there the area of opinion ends.

            The question what obligations are imposed on licensees by or under the Act is a question of law. The view of the Government law is not decisive. (AIR 1949 PC 136, 176 IA 57, ILR Bom. 274, 4 DLR 172).

5.         Provisions where licence of lincsee, not being a local authority, is revoked.  Where the Provincial Government revokes under section 4, sub-section (1), the license of a licensee, not being a local authority, the following provisions shall have effect, namely:-

(a)        the Provincial Government shall serve a notice of the revocation upon the licensee, and, where the whole of the area of supply is included in the area for which a authority is constituted, upon that local authority also, and shall in the notice fix a date on which the revocation shall take effect; and on and with effect from that date, all the powers and liabilities of the licensee under this Act shall absolutely cease and determine;

(b)        where a notice has been served on a local authority under clause (a), the local  authority may, within three months after the service of the notice, and with the  written consent of the Provincial Government, by notice in writing, require the  licensee to sell, and thereupon the licensee shall sell, the undertaking to the local authority on payment of the value of all lands, buildings, works, materials and plant of the licensee suitable to, and used by him for, the purposes of  the undertaking, other than a generating station declared by the license not to form part of the undertaking for the purpose of purchase, such value to be, in case of difference or dispute, determined by arbitration;

Provided that the value of such lands, buildings, works, materials and plant shall be deemed to be their fair market-value at the time of purchase, due regard being had to the nature and condition for the time being of such lands, buildings, works, materials and plant, and to the state of repair thereof, and the circumstance that they are in such a position as to be ready for immediate working, and to the suitability of the same for the purposes of the undertaking, but without any addition in respect of compulsory purchase or of goodwill or of any profits which may be or might have been made from the undertaking, or of any similar considerations;

(c)        where no purchase has been effected by the local authority under clause (b), and any other person is willing to  purchase the undertaking, the Provincial Government may, if it thinks fit, with the consent of the licensee, or without the consent of the licensee in case the price is not less than that for which the 4  Environmental Law in Pakistan I Federal  04 I Processes and Institutions local  authority might have purchased the same, require the licensee to sell and thereupon the licensee shall sell, the undertaking to such other person;

(d)        where  no  purchase  has  been effected under clause (b) or clause (c) within  such time as the Provincial Government may consider reasonable, or where the whole of the area of supply is not included in the area for which a single local authority is constituted, the Provincial Government shall have the option of purchasing the undertaking and if the  Provincial Government elects to purchase, the licensee shall sell the undertaking to the Provincial Government upon terms and conditions similar to those set forth in clause (b);

(e)        where a purchase has been effected under any of the preceding clauses, –

(i)         the undertaking shall vest in the purchasers free from any debts,  mortgages or similar obligations of the licensee or attaching to the undertaking;

Provided that any such debts, mortgages or similar obligations shall attach to the purchase money in substitution for the undertaking; and

(ii)         the revocation of the license shall extend only to the revocation of the  rights, powers, authorities, duties and obligations of the licensee from whom the undertaking is purchased, and, save as aforesaid, the license shall remain in full force, and the purchaser shall be deemed to be the licensee;

Provided that where the Provincial Government elects to purchase under clause (d), the license shall after purchase, in so far as the Provincial Government is concerned, cease to have any further operation;

(f)         where no purchase has been effected under any of the foregoing clauses, the licensee shall have the option of disposing of all lands, buildings,  works, materials and plant belonging to the undertaking in such manner as he may think fit;

Provided that, if the licensee does not exercise such option within a period of six months from the date on which the same became exercisable, the Provincial Government may forthwith cause the works of the licensee in, under, over, along or across any street to be removed and every such street to be reinstated, and recover the cost of such removal and reinstatement from the licensee;

(g)        if the licensee has been required to sell the undertaking, and if the sale has not been completed by the date fixed in the notice issued under clause (a), the purchaser may, with the previous sanction of the Provincial Government, work the undertaking pending the completion of the sale.

COMMENTARY

            Electricity Act, 1910, S. 28 read with S. 5. Absence of provision in the Electricity Act, 1910, expressly authorizing the Government to hand over electrical undertaking to a statutory body, cannot be called in aid for contending there is a bar to do so. [PLD 1968 Dacca 773 (DB)].

            Establishment of Electricity Supply Company purchased by Sindh Government under Notification. All liabilities of company were to be paid by Government from purchase money. As result of notification, obligations between parties having been changed, charge, held, was created on purchase money. Vendor was to follow purchase money on which a lien was created for claim of such vendor. Suit for recovery for such lien, would be governed by Art. 120 of Limitation Act and could be filed within six years. (1986 CLC 2593).

6.         Provision where licence of local authority is revoked. (1)  Where the Provincial Government revokes the license of a local authority under section 4 sub-section (1), and any person is willing to purchase the undertaking, the Provincial Government may, if  it  thinks  fit, require the local authority to sell, and thereupon the local authority shall sell, the undertaking to such person on such terms as the Provincial Government thinks just.

(2)        Where  no purchase has been effected under sub-section (1), the licensee shall have the option of disposing  of  all  lands, buildings, works, materials and plant belonging to the undertaking in such manner as he may think fit;

Provided that, if the licensee does not exercise such option within a period of six months from the date on which the same became exercisable, the Provincial Government may forthwith cause the works of the licensee, in, under, over, along, or across any street to be removed and every such street to be reinstated, and recover the cost of such removal and reinstatement from the licensee.

7.         Purchase of undertaking.         (1)  Where the license has been granted to any person not being a local authority, and the  whole of the area of supply is included in the area for which a single local authority is constituted, the local authority shall, on the expiration of such period, not exceeding fifty years, and of every subsequent period, not exceeding twenty years, as shall be specified in this behalf in the license, have the option of purchasing the undertaking,  and, if the local authority with  the previous sanction of the Provincial Government, elects to purchase, the licensee shall sell the undertaking to the local authority on payment of the value of all lands, buildings, works, materials and plant of the licensee suitable to, and used by him for, the purposes of the undertaking, other  than  a generating station declared by the license not to form part of the undertaking for the purpose of purchase, such value to be, in case of difference or dispute, determined by arbitration;

Provided that the value of such lands, buildings, works, materials and plant shall be deemed to be their fair market-value at the time of purchase, due regard being had to  the  nature  and  condition  for the time being of such lands, buildings, works, materials and plant, and to the state of repair thereof and to the circumstance that they  are in such a position as to be  ready for immediate working, and to the suitability of the same for the purposes of the undertaking:

Provided also that there shall be added to such value  as  aforesaid  such percentage, if any, not exceeding twenty  per centum on that value as may be specified in the license, on account of compulsory purchase.

(2)        Where-

(a)        the local authority does not elect to purchase under sub-section (1), or

(b)        the whole of the area of supply is not included in the area of which a single local authority is constituted, and

(c)        a licensee supplies energy from the same generating station to two or more areas of supply, each controlled by its own local authority, and has been granted a license in respect of each area of supply.

The Provincial Government shall have the like option upon the like terms and conditions.

(3)        Where a purchase has been effected under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2):-

(a)        the undertaking shall vest in the purchaser’s fee from any debts, mortgages or similar obligations of the licensee or attaching the undertaking.

Provided that any such debts, mortgages or similar obligations shall attach to the purchase money in substitution for the undertaking; and

(b)        save as aforesaid, the license shall  remain  in full force, and the purchaser shall be deemed to be the licensee:

Provided that where the Provincial Government elects to purchase under subsection (2), the license shall, after purchase, in so far as the Provincial Government is concerned, cease to have any further operation.

[(4)       Not less than two years’ notice in writing of any election to purchase under this section shall be served upon the licensee by the local authority of the Provincial Government as the case may be.] (This sub-section has been amended in the Punjab by the Punjab Electricity Act, 1939 (Punjab Act 6 of 1939).

(5)        Notwithstanding anything hereinbefore contained, a local authority may, with the previous sanction of the Provincial Government, waive its option to purchase and enter into an agreement with the licensee for the working by him of the undertaking until the expiration of the next subsequent period referred to in sub-section (1), upon such terms and conditions as may be stated in such agreement.

8.         Provisions where no purchase and licence revoked with consent of licensee.  Where on the expiration of any of the periods referred to in section 7, sub-section (1), neither a local authority nor the Provincial Government purchases the undertaking, and the license is, on the application or with the consent of the licensee, revoked, the licensee shall have the option of disposing of all lands, buildings, works, materials and plant belonging to the undertaking in such manner as he may think fit:

Provided that, if the licensee does not exercise such option within a period of six months, the Provincial Government may proceed to take action as provided in section 5, clause (f), proviso.

9.         Licence not to purchase, or associate himself with other licensed undertaking or transfer his undertakings.   (1)  The licensee shall not, at any time without the previous consent in writing of the Provincial Government, acquire, by purchase or otherwise, the license or the undertaking of,  or  associate  himself so far as the business of supplying energy is concerned  with, any person supplying, or intending to supply, energy under any other license, and, before applying for such consent, the licensee shall not less than one month’s notice of the application to every local authority, both in the licensees area of supply, and also in the area or district in which such other person supplies, or intends to supply, energy:

Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall be construed to require the consent of the Provincial Government for the supply of energy by one license to another in accordance with the provisions of clause IX of the Schedule.

(2)        The licensee shall not at any time assign his license or transfer his undertaking, or any part thereof, by sale, mortgage, lease exchange or otherwise without the previous consent in writing of the Provincial Government

(3)        Any agreement relating to any transaction of the nature described in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), unless made with, or subject to such consent as aforesaid shall be void.

COMMENTARY

            Meaning of word ‘charge’. A ‘charge’ is transfer within the meaning of section 9(2) of Electricity Act. [AIR 1941 All 345, 196, IC 425 (DB)].

            Privy Council’s view about applicability and scope of sections 9(2) and (3). Certain mortgage debentures issued by an electricity distributing company were secured by a debenture trust deed by which the company mortgaged to the trustees its specific assets including its licence for distribution and supply of electricity and created a floating charge on all its assets. No consent was taken of the Provincial Government before the issue of the debentures as is require by S. 9, Electricity Act. It was contended that although the specific mortgage of the licence created by the trust deed was void under S. 9, the floating charge did not come within the prohibition of the section and was, therefore, valid. The Privy Council held that the charge was a transfer within S. 9(2) of the Act and was, therefore, void. (AIR 1950 PC 85, 77 IA 137, ILR 1950 All 670).

 

10.        General power for Government to vary terms or purchase.  Notwithstanding anything in sections 5, 7 and 8, the Provincial Government may, in any

license to be granted under this Act, –

(a)        vary the terms and conditions upon which, and the periods of expiration or which the licensee, shall be bound to sell his undertaking, or

(b)        direct that, subject to such conditions and restrictions (if any) as it may think fit to impose, the provisions of the said sections or any of them shall not apply.

11.        Annual accounts of licensee.  (1)  Every licensee shall, unless expressly exempted from the liability by his license, or by order in writing of the Provincial Government prepare and render to the Provincial Government or to such authority as the Provincial Government may appoint in this behalf, on or before the prescribed date in each year, an annual statement of accounts or his undertaking made up to such date, in such form and containing such particulars, as may be prescribed in this behalf.

(2)        The licensee shall keep copies of such annual statement at his office, and sell the same to any applicant at a price not exceeding five rupees per copy.

Works

12.        Provisions as to the opening and breaking up of streets, railways and tramways.  (1)  Any licensee may, from time to time but subject always to the terms and conditions of his license, within the area of supply, or when permitted by the terms of his license to lay down or place electric supply-lines without the area of supply, without that  area:—

(a)             open and break up the soil and payment of any street, railway or tramway;

(b)             open and break up any sewer, drain or tunnel in or under any street, railway or tramway;

(c)             lay down and place electric supply – lines and other works;

(d)             repair, alter or remove the same; and

(e)             do all other acts necessary for the due supply of energy,

(2)        Nothing contained in sub-section (1) shall be deemed to authorize or empower a licensee, without the consent of the local authority or of the owner and occupier concerned, as the case may be, to lay down or place any electric supply–line or other work in through or against any building, or on, over or under any land not dedicated to public use whereon, wherever or whereunder any electric supply-line or work has not already been lawfully laid down or placed by such licensee:

Provided that any support or an aerial line or any stay or strut required for the sole purpose of securing in position any support of an aerial line may be fixed on any building or land, or having been so fixed  may be altered, notwithstanding the objection of the owner or occupier of such building or land, if the District Magistrate by order in writing so directs:

Provided also, that, if at any time the owner or occupier of any building or land on which any such support, stay or  strut  has been fixed shows sufficient cause the District Magistrate  may by order in writing direct any such support, stay or strut to be removed or altered.

(3)        When making an order under sub-section (2), the  District Magistrate shall fix the amount of compensation or of annual rent, or of both, which should in his opinion be paid by the licensee to the owner or occupier.

(4)        Every order made by a District Magistrate under sub-section (2) shall be subject to revision by the Provincial Government.

(5)        Nothing contained in sub-section (1) shall be deemed to authorize or empower any licensee to open or break up any street not repairable by the Federal Government or the Provincial Government or a local authority, or any railway or tramway, except such streets, railways or tramways (if any), or such parts thereof, as he is specially authorized to break up by this license, without the written consent of the person by whom the street is repairable or of the person for the time being entitled to work the railway or tramway unless with the written consent of the Provincial Government.

Provided that the Provincial Government shall not give any such consent as aforesaid, until the licensee has given notice by advertisement or otherwise as the Provincial Government may direct, and within such period as the Provincial Government may fix in this behalf, to the person above referred to, and until all representations or objections received in accordance with the notice having been considered by the Provincial Government.

COMMENTARY

            Government of Pakistan Notification No. S.O. II (E)2/5-60, dated 6.2.1961. Suit for permanent injunction to restrain WAPDA from installing poles on plaintiff’s land and 500 K.W. tower line therefrom without paying him compensation. Not barred. Held: Mere fact that WAPDA could install poles or could pass 500 K.W. tower lines from land of plaintiff without paying him compensation would not sufficient to oust jurisdiction of Civil Court and to hold that suit was barred. (NLR 1983 Civil Multan 265).

            WAPDA is deemed to be a licensee by fiction of law, but factually it is not required to obtain licence under the Act. By virtue of proviso to S. 12, the obligation to charge upto maximum price for supply of energy, which may be fixed by Provincial Government, stands excluded qua WAPDA by virtue of exclusion of application of Ss. 3 to 11, sub-sections (2), (3) of S. 21, Ss. 22, 23, 27 and Clauses (I) to (XII) of Schedule to Act.

            WAPDA installing electricity poles in and passed electric wires over the land of plaintiff. Plaintiff’s civil suit for mandatory injunction against WAPDA and its functions was decreed. WAPDA’s appeal and revision were dismissed against judgment and decree of Trial Court on the ground that under S. 12. Electricity Act, 1910, if owner or occupier of any building or land raised objection to the fixing of any aerial line over that building or land, WAPDA could proceed further only after obtaining order in writing from District Magistrate. Validity. Plea raised by WAPDA was that in terms of S. 51, Electricity Act and S. 12, West Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority Act, 1958, Governor (on behalf of Provincial Government) had conferred on Authority (WAPDA) all the powers which Telegraph Authority possessed under Part III, Telegraph Act, 1885, with respect to placing of telegraph lines and posts. WAPDA on account of conferment of such powers could lawfully erect poles and lay the wires without consent of plaintiff and without obtaining prior permission of District Magistrate. Leave to appeal was granted to consider the points raised by WAPDA.

13.        Notice of new works.  (1)  Where the exercise of any of the powers of a licensee in relation to the execution of any works involves the placing of any  works in, under, over along or across any street, railway, tramway, canal or waterway, the following provisions shall have effect, namely: –

(a)        not less than one month before commencing the execution of the works (not being  a  service  line immediately attached, or intended to be attached to a distributing main, or the repair, renewal or amendment of existing works or which the character or position is not to be altered), the licensee shall serve upon the person responsible  for  the  repair  of the street or part of a street (hereinafter in this section referred to as “the repairing authority”) or upon the person for the time being entitled to   work  the  railway,  tramway  canal  or waterway (hereinafter in this section referred to as “ the owner”), as the case may be, a notice in writing  describing the proposed works, together with a section and plan thereof on a scale sufficiently large to show clearly the details of the  proposed works, and not in any case smaller than one inch to eight feet vertically and sixteen inches to the mile horizontally and intimating the manner in which, and the time at which, it is proposed to interfere with or alter any existing works, and shall, upon being  required to do so by the repairing authority  or  owner  as the case may be, form time to time give such further information in relation thereto as may be desired.

(b)        if the repairing authority intimates to the licensee that it disapproves or such works, section or plan,  or  approves thereof subject to amendment, the licensee  may,  within  one  week of receiving such intimation, appeal to the Provincial Government, whose decision after considering the reasons given by the repairing authority for its action, shall be final;

(c)        if the repairing authority fails to give notice in writing of its approval or disapproval to the license within  one month, it shall be deemed to  have approved of the works, section and plan, and the licensee, after giving not less than forty-eight hours notice in writing to the repairing authority, may proceed to carry out the works in accordance with the notice and the section and plan served under clause (a);

(d)        if the owner disapproves or such works, section or plan, or approves thereof, subject  to  amendment,  he may, within three weeks after the service or the notice under clause (a), serve a requisition upon the licensee demanding that any question in relation to  the works or to compensation, or to the obligations of the owner to others in respect thereof, shall be determined by arbitration, an Environmental Law in Pakistan I Federal 9 04 I Processes and Institutions thereupon  the matter shall, unless settled by agreement, be determined by arbitration, and thereupon the matter shall, unless settled by agreement, be determined by arbitration;

(e)        where no requisition has been served by the owner upon the licensee under clause (d), within the time named, the owner  shall  be  deemed  to  have approved of the works, section and plan, and in that case, or where after a requisition for arbitration the matter has been determined by arbitration, the works may, upon payment or securing of compensation, be  executed according to the notice and the section and plan, subject to such modifications as may have been determined by arbitration or agreed upon between the parties.

(f)         where the works to be executed consist of the laying of  any  underground service line, immediately attached, or intended to be immediately attached, to a distributing main, the licensee shall give to the repairing authority or the owner, as the case may be,  not less than forty eight hours’ notice in writing of his intention to execute such works;

(g)        where the works to be executed consist of the repair, renewal or amendment of existing works of which the character or position is not to be altered, the licensee shall, except in cases of emergency, give to the repairing authority or owner as the case may be, not less than forty eight hours’ notice in writing of his intention to execute such works, and on the expiry of such notice, such works shall  be commenced forthwith and, shall be carried on with all reasonable despatch, and if possible, both  by  day and by night until completed.

(2)        Where the licensee makes default in complying with any of these provisions, he shall make full compensation for any loss or damage incurred by reason thereof, and, where any difference or dispute arises as to the amount of such compensation, the matter shall be determined by arbitration.

(3)        Notwithstanding any thing in this section, the licensee may, in case of emergency due to the breakdown of an underground electric supply-line after giving notice in writing to the repairing authority or owner, as the case may be, of his intention to do so, place an aerial line without complying with the provisions of sub-section (1):

Provided that such aerial line shall be used only until the defect in the underground electric supply-line can be made good, and in no case (unless with the written consent of the Provincial Government for a period exceeding six weeks, and shall be removed as soon as may be after such defect is removed.

14.        Alteration of pipes or wires.  (1)  Any  licensee may alter the position of  any pipe (not forming in a case where the licensee is not a local authority, part of a local authority’s, main sewer), or of wire under or over any place which he is authorized to open or break up, if such pipe or wire is likely to interfere with  the  exercise of his powers under this Act; and any person may alter the position of any electric supply-lines or works  of  a  licensee under or over any such place as aforesaid, if such electric supply-lines or works are likely to interfere with the lawful exercise or any powers vested in him.

(2)        In any such case as aforesaid the following provisions shall in the absence or an   agreement to the contrary between the parties concerned, apply, namely: –

(a)        not less than one month before commencing  any  alteration, the licensee or other  person  desiring  to  make the same (hereinafter referred to as “the operator”) shall serve upon the person for the time being entitled to the pipe, wire, electric supply-lines or works as the case may be (hereinafter  in  this section referred to as “the owner”), a notice in writing, describing the proposed alteration, together with a section a plan thereof on a scale sufficiently large to show clearly the details of the proposed works, and not in any case smaller than one inch to eight feet vertically and sixteen inches to the mile horizontally, and intimating the time when it is to be commenced, and shall subsequently give such further information  in  relation  thereto as the owner may desire.

(b)        Within fourteen days after the service of the notice, section and plan upon the owner, the owner may serve upon the operator a requisition to the effect that any question arising upon the notice, section or plan shall be determined by arbitration,  and thereupon the matter shall unless settled by agreement, be determined by arbitration;

(c)        Every arbitrator to whom a reference  is made under clause (b) shall have regard to any duties or obligations which the owner is under, and may require the  operator to execute any temporary or other works so as to avoid, as far as possible, interference therewith;

(d)        Where no requisition is served upon the operator under clause (b) within the time named, or where such a requisition has been served and the matter has been settled by agreement or determined  by  arbitration, the alteration may, upon  payment or securing or any compensation accepted or determined by arbitration be executed in accordance with the notice, section and plan and subject to such modifications as may have been determined by arbitration or agreed upon between the parties;

(e)        The owner may at any time before the operator is entitled to commence the alteration serve upon the operator a statement in writing to the effect that he desires to execute the alteration himself and requires the operator to give such security for the repayment of any expenses as may be agreed upon or, in default of agreement, determined by arbitration;

(f)         Where a statement is served upon the operator under clause (e) he shall not less than forty-eight hours before the execution of the alteration is required to be commenced, furnish such security and serve upon the owner a notice in writing intimating the time when the alteration is required to be commenced, and the manner in which it is required to be made; and thereupon the owner may proceed to execute the alteration as required by the operator.

(g)        Where the owner declines to comply, or does not, within the time and in the manner prescribed by a notice served upon him under clause (f), comply with the notice, the operator may himself execute the alteration;

(h)        All expenses properly incurred by the owner in complying with a notice served upon him by the operator under clause (f), may be recovered by him from the operator.

(3)        Where the licensee or other person desiring to make the alteration makes default in complying with any of these provisions, he shall make full compensation for any loss or damage incurred by reason thereof, and where any difference or dispute arises as to the amount of such compensation, the matter shall be determined by arbitration.

COMMENTARY

            Constitutional petition. Demand of average bills for electricity consumed by petitioner. Fixation of ‘Check Meter” on directive of Electric Inspector for determination of actual and correct consumption of electricity. Authority instead of actual reading of units transpired from ‘Check Meter’, continued to send bills on average basis at much higher side than such actual reading. Electric Inspector decided matter without considering reading of ‘Check Meter’, which order was upheld by Appellate Authority. Validity. ‘Check Meter’ installed at premises had remained in control of the Authority for all practical purposes, which could prima facie establish consumption of electricity by petitioner. No reason had been given in the impugned orders for increasing average units consumption and for not accepting reading of ‘Check Meter’. Authority had failed to discharge burden to prove that reading shown by ‘Check Meter’ was not acceptable for some cogent reasons. High Court accepted Constitutional petition and set aside impugned orders. (2004 CLC 678).

            Installation of electric poles. Electricity, being for benefit of all and WAPDA having authority of putting poles in different places, held, could not be restrained from putting electric lines on poles fixed on petitioner’s land as same would be against public interest. If petitioner wanted that any particular person should not be supplied electricity from those poles then petitioner should have impleaded that person as respondent. Compensation however had to be offered to owner of land where poles were poles were fixed. (1968 CLC 1615).

15.        Laying of electric supply-lines or other works near sewers, pipes or other electric supply-lines or works.  (1)  Where: —

(a)        the  licensee  requires  to  dig  or  sink, any trench for laying down any new electric supply-lines or other works, near to which any sewer, drain, water – course or work under the control of the Provincial Government or of any local authority, or any pipe, syphon, electric supply – line or other work belonging to any duly authorized person, has been lawfully placed, or

(b)        any duly authorized person requires to dig or sink any trench for laying down or constructing any new pipes or other works, near to which  any  electric supply-lines or works of a licensee have been lawfully placed, the licensee or such duly authorized person, as the case may be (hereinafter in this section referred to as “the operator”), shall, unless it is otherwise agreed upon between the parties interested or in case of sudden emergency, give to the Provincial Government or local authority, or to such duly authorized person or to the licensee, as the case may be (hereinafter in this section referred  to as “the owner”), not less than forty eight hours’ notice in writing before  commencing  to dig or sink the trench and the owner shall have the right to be present during execution of the work, which shall be executed to the reasonable satisfaction of the owner.

(2)        Where the operator finds it necessary to undermine, but not to alter, the position of any pipe, electric supply-line or work, he shall support it in position during the execution of the work, and before completion shall provide a suitable and proper foundation for it where so undermined.

(3)        Where the operator (being the licensee) lays any electric supply-line across, or so as to be liable to touch, any pipes, lines or service-pipes or service-lines belonging to any duly authorized person  supplying,  transmitting or using energy under this Act, he shall not, except with the written consent of such person and in accordance with section 34,  sub-section  (1)  lay his electric supply lines so as to come into contact with any such pipes, lines or service pipes or service-lines.

(4)        Where the operator makes default in complying with any of the provisions or this section, he shall make full compensation for any loss or damage incurred by reason thereof.

(5)        Where any difference or dispute arises under this section, the matter shall be determined by arbitration.

(6)        Where the licensee is a ‘local authority’, the references in this section to the local authority and to sewers, drains water-courses or works under its control shall not apply.

16.        Streets, railways, tramways, sewers, drains, tunnels broken up to be reinstated without delay. – (1)  Where any person, in exercise of any of the powers conferred by or under this Act, opens or breaks up the soil or pavement of any street, railway or tramway, or any sewer, drain or tunnel, he shall: –

(a)        immediately cause the part opened or broken up to be fenced and guarded;

(b)        before sunset cause a light or lights, sufficient for the warning of passengers, to be set up and maintained until sunrise against or near the part opened or broken up;

(c)        with all reasonable  speed fill in the ground an reinstate and make good the soil  or  pavement,  or  the sewer, drain or tunnel, opened or broken up, and carry away the rubbish occasioned by such opening or breaking up; and

(d)        after reinstating and making good the soil or pavement, or the sewer, drain or tunnel broken or opened up, keep the same in good repair for three months and for any further period not exceeding nine months during which subsidence continues.

(2)        Where any person fails to comply with any of the provisions of sub-section (1) the person having the control or management of the street, railway, tramway, sewer, drain or tunnel in respect of which the default has occurred, may cause to be executed the work which the defaulter has delayed or omitted to execute, and may recover from him the expenses incurred in such execution.

(3)        Where any difference or dispute arises to the amount of the expenses incurred under sub-section (2), the matter shall be determined by arbitration.

17.        Notice to Telegraph Authority . –  (1) A licensee shall, before laying down or placing, within ten yards of any part of any telegraphic-line, any electric supply-line or other works [not being either service lines (Subs. by the Electricity (Amdt) Act, 1922 (1 of 1922) S. 4 for “not being service lines immediately attached or intended to be immediately attached to a distribution main)] or electric supply-lines for the repair,  renewal or amendment of existing works of which the character or position is not to be altered), give not less that ten days notice in writing to the telegraph-authority, specifying:–

(a)  the course of the works or the alteration proposed,

(b)  the manner in which the works are to be utilized,

(c)  the amount and nature of the energy to be transmitted, and

(d)  the extent to, and manner in, which (if at all) earth returns are to be used;

and the licensee shall conform with  such reasonable requirements, either  general or special, as maybe laid down by the telegraph-authority within that period  for preventing any telegraphic-line from being injuriously affected by such works or alterations;

Provided that, in case of emergency (which shall be stated by the  licensee  in writing to the telegraph authority) arising form defects in any of the electric supplylines or other works of the licensee, the licensee shall be required to give only such notice  as  may  be  possible  after  the necessity for the proposed new works or alterations has arisen.

(2)        Where the works to be executed consist of the laying [or placing (Ins. By the Electricity (Amdt) Act, 1922 (I of 1922), S. 4)] of any (The world “underground” omitted, ibid) service line (The words “immediately attached, or intended to be immediately attached, to a distributing main” omitted, ibid) the licensee shall, not less than forty-eight hours before commencing the work, serve upon the telegraph authority a notice in writing or his intention to execute such works.

18.        Aerial lines.   (1)  Save as provided in section 13, sub-section (3), nothing in this Part shall be deemed to authorize or empower a licensee to place any aerial line along or across any street, railway, tramway, canal or waterway unless and until the Provincial Government has communicated to him a general approval in writing of the methods of construction which he proposes to adopt:

Provided that the communication of such approval shall in no way relieve the licensee of this obligations with respect to any other consent required by or under this Act.

(2)        Where any aerial line has been placed or maintained by a licensee in breach of the provisions of sub-section (1), the following Provincial Government may require the licensee to forthwith to remove the same, or may cause the same to be removed, and recover from the licensee the expenses incurred in such removal.

[(3)       Where any tree standing or lying near an aerial line, or where any structure or other object which has been placed or has fallen near an aerial line subsequently to the placing of such line, interrupts or interferes with, or is likely to interrupt or interfere with, the conveyance or transmission or energy or the accessibility of any works, a Magistrate of the first class  may, on the application of the licensee, cause the tree, structure or object to be removed or otherwise dealt with as he thinks fit. Subs. by Act I of 1922, S. 5, for the original sub-section (3)].

(4)        When disposing of an application under sub-section (3), the Magistrate shall, in the  case of any tree in existence before the  placing of the aerial line, award to  the person interested in the tree such compensation as he thinks reasonable, and such person may recover the same form the licensee.

[Explanation.  – for  the purposes of this section, the expression “tree” shall be deemed to include any shrub, hedge, jungle growth or other plant.] (Explanation ins. By the Electricity (Amdt) Act, 1922 immediately (I of 1922) S. 5.

19.        Compensation for damage.   (1)  A licensee shall, in exercise of  any  of the powers conferred by or under this Act, cause as little damage, detriment and inconvenience as may be, and shall make full compensation for any damage, detriment or inconvenience caused by him or by any one employed by him.

(2)        Save in the case Provided for in Section 12, Sub section (3), where any difference or dispute arises as to the amount or the application or such compensation, the matter shall be determined by arbitration.

Supply

[19A.    Point where supply is delivered.  For the purposes of this Act, the point at which the supply of energy, by a licensee to a consumer shall be deemed to commence shall be determined in such a manner as may be prescribed] (Section 19-A ins. Ibid, S. 6)

20.        Power for license to enter premises and to remove fittings or other apparats of licensee.  (1)  A licensee or any person duly authorized by the licensee may, at any reasonable time, and on informing the occupier of his intention, enter the premises to which energy is or has been, or is to be, supplied by him, for the purpose of:

(a)             examining, inspecting and testing the electric supply-lines, meters, maximum demand indicators or other measuring apparatus, electric wires, fittings, works and apparatus for  the supply or use of energy, whether belonging to the licensee or to the consumer; or

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

removing, where a supply of energy is on longer required or where the licensee is authorized to take away and cut off such supply, any electric supply-lines, meters, maximum demand indicators or other measuring apparatus fittings, works or apparatus belonging to the licensee:

Provided that, where a consumer’s apparatus is involved, no person shall be deemed to have been so authorized by the licensee unless, at the time of entry into such premises, he is in possession of a written authorization from the secretary, manager or any other officer of the licensee not below the rank of a Divisional Officer in the Public Works Department;

Provided further that previous permission of the District Magistrate shall be necessary for making such entry into the premises of a domestic consumer.

(2)        Where a consumer refuses to allow  a  licensee or any person authorized as aforesaid to enter his premises in pursuance of the provisions of sub-section (1) or, when such licensee or person has so entered, refuses to allow him to perform any act which he is authorized by that sub-section to perform, or fails to give reasonable facilities for such entry  or  performance, the licensee may, after the expiry of twenty four hours from the service of a notice in writing to the consumer, cut off the supply to the consumer for so long as such refusal or failure continues, but for no longer.

COMMENTARY

            Suit for declaration, prohibitory and mandatory injunction. Detection charges. Authorities removed the meter of the plaintiff, who was consumer without notice, and instead installed a second meter and on the same day handed over two bills, one for consumption of electricity and other for detection of illegal use of energy to the plaintiff. Junior clerk produced by the authorities as prosecution witness, had categorically stated in his examination-in-chief that there was no defect in the suit meter. Held, before taking any action against any person, a notice must be given to him as envisaged under S. 20 of Electricity Act, 1910, and any action taken at the back of the consumer and without notice to him, would be violative of the principles of natural justice. Having a notice issued to him was the vested right of the plaintiff or at least at the time of removing the meter, respectables from the locality ought to have been associated with the proceedings. Checking of the meter without notice to the consumer was violative of the principles of natural justice and illegal. Trial Court decreed the suit filed by the plaintiff and Appellate Court dismissing appeal filed by the authorities, maintained judgment passed by the Trial Court. Concurrent findings of the two Courts below were based on the correct appreciation of evidence. No misreading or non-reading of evidence, had been pointed out by the counsel for the authorities. Two Courts below had arrived at concurrent findings of facts and law and had considered the evidence strictly in accordance with established principles of appreciation of evidence which findings could not be set at naught in the revisional jurisdiction of the High Court. (Subs. by Ordinance LXII of 1979)

21.        Restriction on licensee’s controlling or interfering with use of energy.– (1) A licensee shall not be entitled to prescribe any special form of appliance for utilizing energy supplied by him, or, save as provided by section 23, sub-section (2), or by section 26, sub-section (7), in any way to  control or interfere with the use of such energy:

[Provided that no person may adopt  any  form of appliance, or use the energy supplied to him, so as unduly or improperly to interfere with the safety or efficient working of the electric supply-lines or works of the licensee or with the supply by the licensee of energy to any other person. (Subs. by Ordinance LXII of 19790

Provided further that, if the licensee requires a consumer, desiring to use, or using, the energy for running of an electric  motor  excepting single phase motor for domestic use, to install a capacitor therewith, the consumer shall not so use the energy without installing the capacitor to the satisfaction of the licensee who, shall, if so required by the consumer, cause  the consumer to be supplied with the capacitor on payment of its cost.]

[(2)       Subject to the provisions (1), a licensee may, with the previous sanction of the Provincial Government, given  after  consulting the local authority, where the licensee is not the local authority, make conditions not inconsistent with this Act or with his license or with any rules made under this Act, to regulate his relations with persons who are intended to become consumers, and may, with the like sanction given after the like consultation add to or alter or amend any such conditions; and any conditions made by a licensee without such sanction shall be null and void: (Sub-sections (2) and (3) ins. By Act of 1922, S. 8)

Provided that any such conditions made before the 23rd day of January 1922 shall, if sanctioned by the Provincial Government on application made by licensee before such date as the Provincial Government may, by general or special order, fix in this behalf, be deemed to have been made in accordance with the provisions of this sub-section.

(3)        The Provincial Government may, after the like consultation, cancel any condition or part of a condition previously sanctioned under sub-section (2) after giving to the licensee not less than one month’s notice in writing of its intention so to do.]

[(4)       Where any difference of dispute arises as to whether a licensee has prescribed any appliance or controlled or interfered with the use of energy in contravention of subsection (1), the matter shall be either referred to an Electric Inspector, and decided by him or, if the licensee or consumer so desires, determined by arbitration.] [The original sub-section (2) was re-numbered as sub-section (4) by the Electricity (Amdt) Act, 1922 (I of 1922)]

COMMENTARY

            Opportunity to show cause against intended discontinuance or temporary connection. Where necessary? As discontinuance of temporary sanction does not necessitate coming to a finding of fact against licensee, the Provincial Government is not bound to afford an opportunity to show cause in circumstances. (PLD 1968 Dacca 773, PLD 1964 SC 451)

 

22.        Obligation on licensee to supply energy. – Where energy is supplied by a licensee, every person within the area of supply shall, except in so far as is otherwise provided by the terms and conditions of the license be entitled, on application, to a supply on the same terms as those on which any other person in the same area in entitled in similar circumstances to corresponding supply:

Provided that no person shall be entitled to  demand,  or  to  continue to receive, from a licensee  a  supply of energy for any premises having a separate supply unless he has agreed with the licensee to pay him such minimum and annual sum as will give him a reasonable return on the capital expenditure, and will cover other  standing  charges incurred by him in order to meet the possible maximum demand for those premises, the sum payable to be determined in case of difference or dispute by arbitration.

COMMENTARY

            Rates payable by consumer. No discrimination permissible. The implication or section 22 is that a person should be entitled to the same rates as some other person is paying on the date of which he applied for a connection, and is prepared to comply with the requirements of the law for getting a connection. (PLD 1958 Lah. 614, PLR 1959 WP (2) 453).

            Constitutional jurisdiction. Scope. Disconnection of electricity line. Remedy of civil suit already availed of by petitioner. Competency of constitutional jurisdiction. Remedy of civil suit to meet situations where electricity line of establishment had been disconnected without justifiable cause, being no adequate and speedy remedy, recourse to constitutional jurisdiction of High Court by petitioner, held, was justified in law and facts of the case. Disconnection of electricity of petitioner establishment was declared to be without lawful authority and of no legal consequence and same was ordered to be restored forthwith. (PLD 1988 Lah. 243)

            Disconnection of electricity line of an establishment. Petitioner closing down three units of his establishment and instead started running A.R.C. Furnace. Electricity load sanctioned to petitioner, however, remained the same and never crossed the specified limit. Authority without giving any prior notice to petitioner’s running of A.R.C. Furnace after closing three units of previous business, amounted to change of business. Justification for disconnection of electricity line. Validity. Where petitioner was running his establishment in accordance with law and was admittedly consuming electricity within his sanctioned load, was never in arrears or a defaulter, action of Authority depriving him of electricity, held, was wholly unjustified, uncalled for and not warranted in law. (PLD 1988 Lah. 243)

            Electric connection. Demand of. Courts below concurrently found that consumer spending amount from his own pocket on purchase of transformer required for electric connection, was entitled to adjustment of amount so spend by him against estimated cost paid by such consumer on demand for electric connection, even if electric connection was given to him out of turn. Courts below having not been shown to have acted with the material irregularity and illegality in passing concurrent judgment and decree, either on account of having misread and misconstrued any piece of evidence or having kept any evidence out of consideration, such judgments and decrees of Courts below, held, could not be interfered with in revisional of High Court. (1988 CLC 1169)

            Electricity, supply of. Every person within area of supply of electricity, held, would be entitled to supply of electricity subject to terms and conditions of licence. (1986 CLC 1255)

            Electricity Supply of Tariff for Petitioner, limited company, treated under C 2 of Schedule of Tariffs issued by WAPDA for bulk supply of electricity. Subsequently, Revenue Officer, WAPDA charging petitioner under Tariff R. 3 of Schedule for industrial supply of electricity. Held: Petitioner being industrial organization carrying on business of exraction and development of minerals, mere fact of its entire capital having been subscribed by Government not to bring it as par with Railways, MES, PAF or Cantonment Boards. (PLJ 1986 Quetta 187)

23.        Charges for energy to make without undue preference.   (1)  A licensee shall not, in making any agreement for the supply of energy, show undue, preference to any person, but may, save as aforesaid, make such charges for the supply of energy as may be agreed upon, not exceeding the limits imposed by his license.

(2)        No consumer shall, except with the consent in writing of the licensee, use energy supplied  to  him  under  one  method of charging in a manner for which a higher method of charging is in force.

(3)        In the absence of an agreement to the contrary, a licensee may charge for energy supplied by him to any consumer:  (Sub-section (3) inserted by Elec. (Amdt) Act, 1922, S. 9)

(a)        by the actual amount of energy so supplied, or

(b)        by the electrical quantity contained in the supply, or

(c)        by such other method as may be approved by the Provincial Government.

(4)        Any charges made by a licensee under clause (c) of sub-section (3) may be based upon,  and  vary in accordance with, any one or more of the following considerations, namely: —

(a)        the consumer’s load factor

(b)        the power factor of his load, or

(c)        his total consumption of energy during any stated period, or

(d)        the hours at which the supply of energy is required

COMMENTARY

            Court may determine whether rate is excessive or not. The price can be named by the licensee but it is for the Court to determine whether it is not excessive in view of Section 23. (PLD 1959 Lah. 614, PLD 1959 (2) W.P 154).

            Constitutional petition. Demand of additional charges for using above the sanctioned load. Suit challenging vires of such demand pending. Disconnection of electricity after withdrawal of stay application. Prayer in Constitutional petition for restoration of electricity on the ground that no notice of disconnection under S. 24 of Electricity Act, 1910 had been issued. Validity. Petitioner had remained silent for 2-1/2 years after disconnection, thus, Constitutional petition was hit by laches. Petitioner was bound to pay reconnection fee and other charges according to policy of WAPDA and he could not be exempted therefrom merely on ground of non-issuance of notice under S. 24 of the Act. Matter between parties was already pending before Civil Court. Such prayer could not be allowed. Petitioner could settle dispute with concerned authority. High Court disposed of Constitutional petition. (2003 YLR 3193)

            Fuel adjustment surcharge. Recovery Fuel adjustment surcharge being paid in Pakistan, same are being validly recovered from consumers in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. (PLD 1955 SC (AJ&K) 47).

            Electricity charges. Allegation of discrimination on account of different charges of tariff in different areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Such allegation being a result of misapplication of mind of serious nature which led to wrong results was not proved in circumstances.  (PLD 1955 SC (AJ&K) 47)

            Electricity duty could not be recovered from any consumer while minimum charges could be recovered only from those who do not cross the minimum amount so fixed. Adjustment charges, tariff surcharge and income-tax were held to be legally recoverable. (PLD 1955 SC (AJ&K) 47)

            Grievance relating to applicability of wrong tariff. Jurisdiction. Such grievance being not relatable either to Notification dated 27.11.1994, issued under S. 23, Electricity Act, 1910 or clause X of the Schedule thereof, civil suit and not Constitutional petition was maintainable in respect of such dispute. (PLD 1955 SC (AJ&K) 47)

            Constitutional jurisdiction, exercise of. Provision of S. 23, Electricity Act, 1910, notification issued thereunder and clause XI of the Schedule thereof, being legal provisions in case of violation of such provisions, Constitutional jurisdiction of High Court would be attracted. (PLD 1955 SC (AJ&K) 47)

            Minimum charges. Minimum charges could only be received from a person whose total bill was less than minimum charges. (PLD 1955 SC (AJ&K) 47)

Levy of fixed charge in lieu of reservation of power according to billing demand of consumers has statutory backing and does not suffer from any illegality. (1997 CLJ 106)

Constitutional petition. Use of two rooms of a residential house by a lawyer as study/library rooms. Demand of electricity charges by WAPDA for entire premises on commercial basis. Validity. Building in question was primarily a residential house occupied by the petitioner and her family members including her late husband (a practicing lawyer). Lawyer does not carry on trade or business. Such building, thus, could not be converted into a commercial one on account of use of its few rooms by a lawyer as his library / study rooms or for that matter even his office. High Court accepted Constitutional petition and declared such demand to be illegal and void. (2004 CLC 293)

Second appeal. Interference. Scope. Consumption of electricity. Electricity bill disputed. Plaintiff’s suit that amount on account of consumption of electricity demanded through disputed bill was not due was dismissed by two Courts below. Validity. Perusal of both judgments would show that except for bald statement of plaintiff, no other evidence was placed on record to support plaintiff’s version that amount on disputed bill was not due. Plaintiff’s plea that meter in question was incorrect had been dealt with in detail by Trial Court in its judgment whereby incorrectness of meter was deemed to be inconsequential for allied apparatus and not meter was determining factor in such situation and that other method of charging for electricity supply was load of electricity consumed. Reasons given by Courts below for dismissing suit had not been controverted in second appeal. No justification was, thus, made out to differ with findings concurrently reached by Courts below. (1997 CLC 1794)

[24.       Discontinuance of supply to consumer neglecting to pay charge.  (1)  Where any consumer neglects to pay any charge for energy or any sum, other than a charge for energy, assessed  against  him  by a licensee in respect of supply of  energy to his premises, the licensee may after giving not less than seven clear day’s  notice in writing to such consumer and without prejudice to his right to recover such  charge or other sum by suit or otherwise, cut off the supply and for that purpose cut or disconnect any electric supply-line or  other works, being the property  of  the licensee, through which energy may be supplied  to such premises other than domestic  premises, running distinctly in the name of such consumer, and may discontinue the supply until such charge or other sum together with any expenses incurred by him in cutting off and reconnecting the supply and the minimum charges on account of continued reservation of supply during the period of such discontinuance, are paid, but not longer. (Subs. by Ordinance LXII of 1979)

(2)        Where any difference or dispute as to any matter connected with any charge or other sum included in the bill of a licensee has been referred by a consumer under this Act to an Electric Inspector before the notice as aforesaid has been given by the licensee, the licensee shall not exercise the powers conferred by sub-section (1) until the Inspector has given his decision:

Provided that the prohibition contained in  this  sub-section shall not apply in any case in which the licensee has made a request in writing to the consumer for a deposit with the licensee of the undisputed charges and other sums and with the Electric Inspector of fifty percent of the disputed charges and other sums and for the  deposit  with the licensee of further  charges for supply of energy, as they accrue, and the consumer has failed to comply with such request or, as the case may be, from the date of receipt of bills in respect of further charges for supply of energy.]

COMMENTARY

            Suit for declaration and permanent injunction. Controversy raised in suit was demand raised by Electric Supply Company as plaintiff had made excess payment. Controversy as urged in the suit fell within the purview of Ss. 24(2) and 26(6) of Electricity Act, 1910. Controversy was referred to Electric Inspector; in the meantime plaintiff was to deposit current demand with the Company and disputed amount was to be deposited with Nazir of the Court within three days. Electric Inspector was directed to decide controversy within three months. Parties were entitled to avail remedy of appeal as provided under Electricity Act, 1910 itself. Electric Supply Company could not take any coercive action for recovery of disputed amount till decision was recorded by Electric Inspector. (2005 CLC 1236)

            Constitutional petition. Disconnection of electric supply due to default in payment of dues. Petitioners were aggrieved of such disconnection. Authority submitted copies of some documents containing list of seven meters in different names against which default in payment of dues had been effected. Petitioners had asserted that most of the petitioners had been paying all dues, disconnection of electric supply to such paying petitioners was unlawful. Validity. Prima facie electric supply could be disconnected only in respect of those meters whose consumers were actually found defaulters in the payment of their respective dues. Authority was directed to restore electric supply to such meters in respect whereof all upto-date dues had been cleared. (2006 MLD 1540)

            Constitutional petition. Order of electric inspector to Govt. Challenged on the ground of jurisdiction through writ petitions. Question of. Whether decision made by Electric Inspector was in accordance with law. Validity. Electric Inspector could only entertain and decide the matter u/s 26(6) of Electricity Act, relating the meter correctness and consequent determination thereto and no other dispute. Order of appellate authority who once accepted the appeal and then by subsequent order dismissed it. Electric Inspector had trespassed his domain by exercising jurisdiction not vested in him. Petition was allowed. (PLJ 2010 Pesh. 134)

            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 penalized 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 Lah. 1213)

            Electric Inspector has no power or authority to amend, alter or annual order of Wafaqi Mohtasib passed under Art. 9, Wafaqi Mohtasib Order (1983). Secretary (Power) of Provincial Government would be right in setting aside order of Electric Inspector by which he had annulled order of Wafaqi Mohtasib. High Court refusing to interfere with order of Secretary (Power) as he had adhered to the soul and spirit of Wafaqi Mohtasib Order, 1983. (NLR 2003 Civil Pesh. 467)

            Cutting off power supply of residential premises of consumer who had paid the charges for residential connection but had defaulted to pay charges for his industrial premises. Plaintiff’s (consumer’s) suit for damages was decreed and Trial Court awarding Rs. 10,000 as damages. Appellate Court, however, enhanced amount of such damages to the extent claimed by plaintiff (consumer). Appellate Court by enhancing such damages did not appear to have committed any illegality or material irregularity in arriving at such correct conclusion which would not justify interference in revisional jurisdiction of High Court. High Court directed Authority to ascertain names, present designation and place of posting of officials who were responsible for illegal cutting of supply of electricity to plaintiff (consumer) in proportion to their liability. (1995 CLC 739)

            Disconnection of power supply to consumer neglecting to pay electricity charges. Validity. Where consumer had neglected to pay charges for his industrial premises, licensee for such non-payment of charges could not cut off electric supply of his residential premises for which consumer had paid charges. (1995 CLC 739)

            Injunctive order of WAPDA restraining them from recovering detection bills and disconnecting electricity connection passed in a suit challenging legality of detection bills issued to plaintiff. Upheld by High Court on revision filed by WAPDA. Held: In view of reports of Electric Inspector prima facie, case preponderated in favour of plaintiffs. (NLR 1988 Civil Lah. 145)

            Negligence to pay charge. Discontinuance of supply for. Meter obtained by previous owner of house in his own name. Held: Petitioner being purchaser to be successor for all intent and purposes of previous owner. Electricity admittedly received by occupants of shop from same meter. Held: Owner of building to be under obligation to clear dues. (PLJ 1984 Civil Lah. 145)

            Notice. Disconnection of electric supply for non-payment of charges for energy or any other dues. Held, notice for disconnection specifically required. Proceedings initiated without notice declared without lawful authority. (1985 CLC 2245)

            Disconnection of electricity supply. Issuance of notice to the consumer. Non-issuance of notice. Effect. Where a licensee had not issued notice to the consumer to discontinue his supply of energy due to the non-payment of amount assessed against him by the licensee/Authority, the Court had the jurisdiction to entertain and pass an order for restoration of supply of electricity without the order for deposit of amount. (2001 MLD 1287)

            Consideration of Electric Inspector’s report at revisional stage, justification for. Proceedings in suit still at initial stages of disposal of temporary injunction. Electric Inspector’s report, held, could be taken into consideration particularly when same was a document of employee of respondent which further strengthened case of petitioner that he had a prima facie case. Such report could be taken into consideration at revisional stage in circumstances. (PLD 1988 Lah. 511)

            Constitutional petition. Grievance of the petitioner was that he was refused electricity connection at his premises by the Authorities on the ground that the predecessor occupant of the said premises was defaulter against the electricity connection provided by the Authorities. Objection of the Authorities that they cannot provide electricity meter to the petitioner as he was the successor of the predecessor occupant and according to explanation provided under S. 24 of Electricity Act, 1910, any person who inherited the property sold by way of sale, gift, exchange, lease or any other mode of the new incumbent, was bound to pay the defaulted amount. Validity. Record showed that the predecessor possessee of the said premises was an illegal occupant and the Authorities had given the electricity connection to him without obtaining necessary documents or verifying whether he was the owner, therefore, the Authorities could not refuse the new electricity connection to the petitioner on the ground of arrears of electricity charges against the said illegal occupant. Petitioner could not be burdened due to the misdeeds of the Authorities themselves. Predecessor possessee of the premises being an illegal occupant, the Authorities could not take advantage of the explanation provided under S. 24 of the Electricity Act, 1910. Constitutional petition was allowed in circumstances. (2004 MLD 1657)

            Disconnection of electric supply. If any consumer had neglected to pay any charge for energy or any sum other than charge for energy assessed against him by a licensee/Authority in respect of the supply of energy to his premises, the licensee/Authority, after giving seven days’ notice, in writing to such consumer, could disconnect electric supply, but without the issuance of the notice to the consumer, no such action could be taken. Provisions of S. 24, Electricity Act, 1910 had provided issuance of notice whereas provisions of S. 54-C of the said Act had contemplated that if the licensee/Authority had given the notice to the consumer, then, without the deposit of amount assessed against the consumer, the Court would not make an order prohibiting the licensee discontinuing supply of energy to the premises of the consumer. If said notice was not issued, there was no bar in issuing the injunction without deposit of the assessed amount in the Court. Notice to the consumer before disconnection of electric supply was a must which could not be allowed to be avoided. (2001 MLD 1287)

            Disconnection of electric supply of WAPDA without issuing notice u/s 24(1), Electricity Act (X of 1910) to consumer. Suit filed to challenge legality of detection bills alongwith application u/rr. 1,2, O.39 and S. 151, C.P.C., for direction to WAPDA to restore supply during pendency or suit. Trial Court dismissing application as not maintainable and lower Appellate Court upholding Trial Court. Plaintiffs/consumers filing revision petitions to challenge concurrent orders of lower Courts refusing them grant of temporary mandatory injunction High Court finding that plaintiffs had fulfilled requirements governing grant of temporary mandatory injunction, accepting revision petitions and directing WAPDA/defendant to restore electricity supply to plaintiffs during pendency of their suits. (NLR 1988 Civil Lah. 696)

            Suit for recovery of amount. Submission of defendant was that pursuant to the decision of the Electric Inspector he had made payment through a pay-order dated 17.12.1987. Counsel for plaintiff on the other hand had stated that said pay-order appeared to be of 17.12.1983. Counsel for defendant has claimed that pay-order dated 17.12.1987, contained the exact amount which was determined by the Electric Inspector vide his decision. No further proceedings after the decision of the Electric Inspector was taken by the plaintiff and without contesting before Electric Inspector pressed the suit, which was filed prior to the decision of Electric Inspector. Division Bench of High Court, having specifically referred the matter to the Electric Inspector for decision and decision had been given; and as claimed by the defendant, payment pursuant to the decision, had been made, suit had become infructuous which however, would not prejudice right of the plaintiff to question its claim that pay-order was dated 17.12.1983. (2008 CLC 717)

            Tenant of rented premises is not entitled to a separate electric connection in rented premises. Tenant has no locus standi to apply for separate electric connection in case of disallowance of electricity amenity by landlord. In such case tenant had remedy under Sindh Rented Premises Ord., but cannot claim sanction of separte meter in his own name. demand by KESCO from tenant to produce No Objection Certificate from landlord in support of tenant’s application for separate meter. Not open to interference in writ jurisdiction. (NLR 1988 Civil Kar. 17)

            Injunctive order to WAPDA restraining them from recovering detection bills and disconnecting electricity connection passed in a suit challenging legality of detection bills issued to plaintiff. Upheld by High Court on revision filed by WAPDA. Held: In view of reports of Electric Inspector prima facie case preponderated in favour of plaintiffs. (NLR 1988 Civil Lah. 145)

            Disconnection Notice, service of. On a bare reading of Section 24 is becomes obvious that in first instance a demand should be made by licensee for payment of a specified sum of money by a specified date. If consumer neglects to pay amount demanded then licensee is required to issue a notice calling upon consumer to pay amount within a period which should not be less than 7 days and also  inform consumer that in event of non-payment of amount electric connection would be disconnected. Appeal accepted. (PLJ 1996 Lah. 668 (DB)

            Disconnection notice. Service of Power under section 24 is drastic in nature because as a result of action taken consumer is deprived of electricity which is a necessity for life. Consequently a strict compliance of provision of S. 24 must be insisted upon. (PLJ 1996 Lah. 668 (DB)

            Suit for recovery of amount. Submission of defendant was that pursuant to the decision of the Electric Inspector he had made payment through a pay-order dated 17.12.1987. Counsel for plaintiff on the other hand had stated that said pay-order appeared to be of 17.12.1983. Counsel for defendant has claimed that pay-order dated 17.12.1987, contained the exact amount which was determined by the Electric Inspector vide his decision. No further proceedings after the decision of the Electric Inspector was taken by the plaintiff and without contesting before Electric Inspector pressed the suit, which was filed prior to the decision of Electric Inspector. Division Bench of High Court, having specifically referred the matter to the Electric Inspector for decision and decision had been given; and as claimed by the defendant, payment pursuant to the decision, had been made, suit had become infructuous which however, would not prejudice right of the plaintiff to question its claim that pay-order was dated 17.12.1983. (2008 CLC 717)

            Suit for declaration. Charge of energy. Non-payment of. Effect. Plaintiff filed suit for declaration to the effect that detection bill issued by authorities had to be issued under S. 26-A of Electricity Act, 1910 and not under Section 24 and therefore, provision of Section 54-C of the said Act did not apply. Application under O. XXXIX. Rr. 1,2 had also been filed. Trial Court dismissed application of the plaintiff. Appellate Court on appeal, also dismissed the same. Validity. Detection bill had been served on the plaintiff which was charge of energy assessed by the authorities. Authorities had a right to disconnect electricity if the plaintiff neglected to pay any charge for energy. High Court declined to interfere in revisional jurisdiction and petition was dismissed. (2010 CLC 436)

            Application for reduction in sanctioned load by the consumer. Reduced load would be recorded from the date on which the payment had been made pursuant to the application made by customer asking for the reduction.  WPDA should have no excuse for delaying the reduction of the load after the payment of the cost and the new test report having been submitted. Delay, if any, by WAPDA would, thus, lie at its own cost. (1999 CLC 1540)

            Consumer getting electric connection from WAPDA out of turn and spending from his pocket amount on purchase of transformer required for electric connection. Entitled to adjustment of amount spent by him against demand of amount for electric consumption. (NLR 1988 Civil Lah. 196)

            Electric Inspector is disinterested and independent person and also a technical hand. It was held that in present case there was nothing on record to disbelieve his report. (NLR 1989 Civil Multan 160)

            Electricity Dues. Dispute involving dues for electricity consumed, should be referred for resolution to Electric Inspector in accordance with Electricity Act. High Court accepting writ petition and directing Electric Inspector to dispose of dispute. (NLR 1984 UC 356)

            Constitutional petition. Discontinuance of electric supply. On the default of one of the Directors of the petitioner Company for some other premises electric supply to the petitioner Company was discontinued. Contention of the Authority was that supply to the other premises could be discontinued for recovery of the outstanding amount. Validity. Both the consumers being two different persons Authority had no lawful right to recover the amount from the petitioner Company or to discontinue its electric supply in terms of S. 24(1) of the Electricity Act, 1910. Authority was directed by High Court to restore electricity to the premises of the petitioner. (2000 MLD 2039)

            Failure to pay electricity charges. Discontinuance of electric supply. Process to be adopted by licensee against the consumer. Subject to service of notice of not less than seven clear days in writing the licensee can adopt the process to recover the amount by filing a suit to recover the amount as provided in Electricity Act, 1910; cut off supply of energy to such premises, and any other premises other than domestic premises running distinctly in the name of such consumer. (2000 MLD 2039)

            WAPDA Charges. WAPDA charges do not come within definition of tax or cess. WAPDA as such does not fall within definition of State in Art. 7 of Constitution. Mere fact that WAPDA charges are made recoverable as arrears of land revenue would not make them land revenue or Govt. dues. (NLR 1991 Civil Pesh. 453)

            Fixed charges, cannot be debited to consumer’s account in case of temporary disconnection of electricity supply. (NLR 1989 Civil Lah. 353)

            Electric connection for tube-well. Action of WAPDA in discontinuing supply without notice to consumer. Violates imperative and mandatory requirement of S. 24, Electricity Act, 1910. (NLR 1989 Civil Lah. 41)

            Disconnection of electric supply. Validity. Electric supply restored by Authority in terms of consent order was disconnected again on account of alleged non-payment of current bill. Authority did not put any question to the consumer in cross-examination that supply had been disconnected on account of non-payment of current bill nor produced the alleged unpaid bill. No notice was served upon the consumer before disconnection of supply nor any intimation or application was made in Court pointing out that consumer had failed to pay outstanding due. Disconnection of electric supply by Authority was without any justification and lawful authority. (2003 CLC 1038)

            Suit for recovery of compensation for damage caused on account of unlawful disconnection of electric supply. Plaintiff/consumer’s factory remained without production of eight days. Plaintiff produced extract of sales for disputed period to show that no sale could take place due to non-availability of electric supply. Plaintiff also claimed salary of labour and loss for diversion of clients due to closure of the factory. Documents produced by plaintiff in support of its claim were exhibited without any objection by defendant (Authority). Validity. Plaintiff was not entitled for loss of customers for not having examined any customer in support of its claim. Plaintiff was also not entitled for loss of salary for not having examined any labourer. Defendant (Authority) in its evidence had not stated a single word that plaintiff had not suffered loss on account of disconnection of electric supply. Plaintiff’s claim regarding loss of production and loss of customers were too remote and could not be granted under S. 73 of Contract Act, 1872 as law did not recognize any loss not naturally flowing from the breach of contract. Plaintiff’s suit to the extent of damages claimed for period during which its factory remained out of production was decreed in circumstances. (2001 CLC 1038)

            Notice to consumer before disconnection of supply of energy is a must. It cannot be allowed to be avoided by WAPDA on plea that if notice in a case of detection of slowness of meter was given to consumer he would destroy evidence. In such case WAPDA can refer matter to Electric Inspector u/s 26(6) after removing meter and installing another temporary meter till settlement of dispute. There is no compulsion that with removal of allegedly defective meter supply of energy is bound to be disconnected. (NLR 1988 Civil Lah. 696, PLD 1988 Lah. 511)

            Term ‘premises should be running distinctively in the name of such consumer’. Connotation. Non-payment of electric dues. Discontinuance of electric supply to any other premises. Scope. Where the same consumer in the same name has obtained electric connection in two different premises and there is default in respect of one such premises, then as a result of such default, the other premises can also be disconnected under the provision of S. 24(1) of Electricity Act, 1910. (2000 MLD 2039)

            Defective electricity meter. WAPDA finding electricity meter defective charging bill on basis of 50% slowness of meter but not replacing same inspite of being duly informed. Connection disconnected later on due to non-payment of bill. Held, WAPDA ought to have either replaced meter or charged on average consumption in past. Conduct of relevant officer is questionable as they could not violate law or become judges in their own cause to deprive petitioner of their rights under S. 24. Bill sent without getting meter tested by Electric Inspector or without basing same on average consumption of past, held further, without lawful authority. (1983 CLC 211)

            (i)         Electricity licence, grant of. Discontinuation of supply. Licensee, held, entitled to discontinue supply of energy for non-payment of any other charges not being a case for supply or energy.

            (ii)         Electricity licence, grant of. Discontinuation of supply. Notice. Licensee, after serving a notice for not less than 7 days, held, can exercise power to discontinue supply of energy to a consumer who failed to pay any charge for energy supplied to him or any other charge in respect of energy to his premises provided it has been assessed against him.

            (iii)        Electricity licensee, grant of. Discontinuation of supply. Powers of licensee. Licensee, held, dues not have unrestricted powers to demand any sum from customer and on his failure to pay such sum discontinue supply of energy. Such demand, held, should be either charges or supply of energy or any other sum relating to supply of energy.

            (iv)       Electricity licence, grant of. Discontinuation of supply to domestic premises. Powers of licensee. “Charge for energy” or any other sum demanded by licensee in respect of domestic premises. Licensee cannot discontinue supply of energy to such premises in circumstances.

            (v)        Interpretation. Words ‘any sum’ used in S. 24, held, cannot be read to mean ‘charges for supply of energy only’ as it embraces other charges relating to supply of energy to consumer’s premises.

            (vi)       Security deposit. Licensee’s demand requiring any consumer to deposit security or additional amount of security, held, a demand for payment of amount relating to supply of energy such demand, held, should not be arbitrary or in contravention of provision of law and agreement between parties.

            (vii)       Insufficient security. Invalidity of security. Distinction. Security is insufficient if it does not satisfy demand of or which furnished but protects claim partially. Invalid security is that which is null and void and being illegal cannot be enforced and cannot give any protection.

            (viii)      Security. Schedule to Act pre suppose existence of a security or furnishing of security by consumer and does not restrict licensee’s right to demand additional security. (1983 CLC 856)

            Disconnection of electric supply to consumer who obtained electric connection for tube-well on basis of no objection in writing from owner of land. Violates mandatory provisions of S. 24. It would be imperative to issue a notice to consumer before discontinuance of electric supply. Notice to owner of land would not be sufficient compliance of requirement of S. 24. (NLR 1989 Civil Lah. 41)

            Constitutional petition. Detection of excess consumption of energy. Detection bill for specified amount was issued against petitioner under S. 24 of the Electric Act on very next day of alleged detection without issuing him statutory notice of 10 days. Validity. Authorities acted illegally in straightaway issuing show-cause notice under S. 24, Electricity Act, 1910. Authorities could not ignore or violate law and become judge in their own cause to deprive consumer of this right under S. 24, Electricity Act, 1910. Order of issuance of detection bill against petitioner was set aside. Case would be deemed to be pending at the stage when report was sent by detection staff. Authority concerned would pass fresh order determining liability after giving opportunity of showing cause to petitioner. (1999 MLD 1751)

            Cutting off power supply of residential premises of consumer who had paid the charges for residential connection but had defaulted to pay charges for his industrial premises. Plaintiff’s (consumer’s) suit for damages was decreed and Trial Court awarding Rs. 10,000 as, damages. Appellate Court, however, enhanced amount of such damages to the extent claimed by plaintiff (consumer). Appellate Court by enhancing such damages did not appear to have committed any illegality or material irregularity in arriving at such correct decision which would not justify interference in revisional jurisdiction of High Court. High Court directed Authority to ascertain names, present designation and place of posting officials who were responsible for illegal cutting of supply of electricity to plaintiff (consumer) and his family and recover the amount of damages from them personally in proportion to their liability. (1995 CLC 739)

            Discontinuance of power supply to consumer neglecting to pay electricity charges. Validity. Where consumer had neglected to pay charges for his industrial premises, licensee for such non-payment of charges could not cut off electric supply of his residential premises for which consumer had paid charges. (1995 CLC 739)

            Inconsistency between Federal and Provincial Laws. Provision of S. 24(2) as amended by Provincial Statute and as amended by Federal Statute in respect of the same matter. Mode to resolve inconsistency between Provincial Statute and Federal Statute under Art. 143, Constitution of Pakistan. Where any provision of Provincial Statute was in conflict with any provision of Federal Statute, then Federal Law would prevail and Provincial Law, would, to the extent of repugnancy or conflict, be void. Both the provisions of S. 24(2), one amended by Provincial Statute and the other by Federal Statute cannot stand together as the one conferred right of appeal while the other took away said right. Both provisions (as per respective amendments) being in respect of the same matter, the provision of Federal Law have to prevail by virtue of Art. 143 of the Constitution. (PLD 1995 Lah. 56).

            Electricity meter found to be defective. WAPDA obliged to send meter to Electric Inspector to find out defect or amount of slowness. In alternative WAPDA can prepare bill on past average consumption. Act of WAPDA in charging from consumer on basis of 50% slowness of meter on understanding that there was no necessity to send meter to Inspector. Illegal. Disconnection by WAPDA for non-payment by consumer of electricity bill prepared on 50% slowness of meter. Unwarranted Held: (i) In case WAPDA had found that electricity meter was defective they ought to have either replaced it or charged consumer on average consumption in past. (ii) WAPDA having not done either of two alternatives conduct of relevant officers of WAPDA was questionable and disconnection of electricity for non-payment of bill prepared on basis of 50% slowness of meter was unwarranted. (iii) WAPDA could not ignore or violate law and become judges in their own cause to deprive consumer of his rights u/s 24. (iv) Impugned bills which had been sent without getting meter tested from Electric Inspector or without basing bills on average of past were without lawful authority and of no legal effect. High Court accepting writ petition and directing WAPDA to immediately send meter, which was admittedly still sealed, to Electric Inspector for passing an order u/s 24. (NLR 1982 Civil Lah. 663)

            Both these provisions cannot stand together as one conferred right of appeal whereas the other took away said right. Both provisions occupy same field and in view of Art. 143 of Constitution (1973) sub-section (2) as amended by Central Law (Ordinance LXII of 1979) would prevail over sub-section (2) as amended by Provincial Law (Punjab Ordinance XXIX of 1971). Amount assessed and determined u/s 26A cannot be disputed before Electric Inspector by invoking provisions of S. 24(2) as no right of reference of dispute to Electric Inspector is contemplated by S. 24(2). Phraseology used in sub-section (2) of S. 24 is wider as it includes amongst others, controversy of correctness or otherwise of meter, etc. Controversy in sub-section (6) of S. 26, however, is limited in scope and context. Word “any” in S. 26(6) cannot, in context of S. 24, be interpreted to be conferring a right on a consumer or a licensee to refer any and every dispute to Electric Inspector. Dispute referable to Electric Inspector u/w 26(6) is whether meter or other measuring apparatus is or is not correct. Electric Inspector has no jurisdiction u/s 26(6) to adjudicate upon determination of charges made by WAPDA u/s 26A for dishonest abstraction of electric energy. Amount of bill for dishonest abstraction and method adopted would not be challengeable before Electric Inspector. Consumer who wishes to challenge same would have to seek his remedy under general civil law by initiating appropriate proceedings before Civil Court of plenary jurisdiction. Electric Inspector by straining language of S. 26(6) cannot assume jurisdiction qua determination u/s 26A, which Legislature has not conferred on him and in its wisdom has left parties to avail of remedy under general law from judicial forum itself, which forum having plenary jurisdiction is best suited to decide question after holding proper inquiry and on basis of proper evidence. Non-inclusion of Ss. 24 and 26 and inclusion of S. 23 in non-obstante clause (notwithstanding anything contained in S. 23) of S. 26A, cannot be treated as indicative of intention to render charges assessed scrutinizable by Electric Inspector u/s 26(6). Dispute which is referable, under Clause VI (3) of Schedule, to Electric Inspector pertains to a difference or dispute as to amount of energy to be taken or guaranteed or as to cost of any service-line or as to amount of expenses incurred under third proviso to sub-clause (I). Clause VI cannot be invoked in aid to enforce duties and obligations of WAPDA constituted under WAPDA Act, 1958. (NLR 1995 Lah. 295)

            Suit for declaration. Payment of amount in excess of electricity consumed and disconnection of electricity supply from the premises. Plaintiff/consumer instituted suit against defendant company for a declaration to the effect that defendant had no justification to call upon plaintiff to pay amount in excess of the electricity consumed; or disconnect the electricity supply from his premises and that defendant was bound to second revised and correct electricity bill to the plaintiff after deducting excess amount. Plaintiff also prayed for recovery of amount as damages. Trial Court decreed suit, but Appellate Court set aside judgment and decree passed by the Trial Court. Validity. Judgment rendered by the Trial Court, was not maintainable because as compared to judgment of Appellate Court, it suffered from grave legal errors, which had been rectified by Appellate Court by reversing findings of the Trial Court and substituting its own findings, which were supported by the reasons. Impugned judgment, was neither contrary to the evidence on record nor in violation of principles of administration of justice. Record showed that on a number of occasions, plaintiff was caught red-handed stealing the electricity through books and direct connection from the main pole. Appellate Court had given its findings on all the points of controversy and no prejudice seemed to have been caused to plaintiff. Giving issue-wise findings by Appellate Court, was not the requirement of law as under O. XLI, R. 31, C.P.C, Appellate Court was to state the points for determination, give its decision thereon and reasons for the said decision be also mentioned. In absence of any infirmity in the impugned judgment, same could not be interfered with by High Court in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction. (2007 CLC 424)

25.        Exemption of electric supply-line or other apparatus from attachment in certain cases.  Where any electric supply-lines, meters,  fittings,  works  or apparatus belonging to a licensee are placed in or upon any premises, not being in the possession of the licensee, for the purpose of supplying energy, such electric supply-lines, meters, fittings, works and apparatus shall not be liable to be taken in execution under any process of any Civil Court or in any proceedings in insolvency against the person in whose possession the same may be.

26.        Meters.  (1)  In the absence of an agreement to the contrary, the amount of energy supplied to a consumer or the electrical quantity contained in the supply shall be ascertained by means of a correct meter, maximum demand indicator and other measuring apparatus and the licensee shall, if required by the consumer, cause the consumer to be supplied with such a meter.(added and subs. by Ordinance LXII of 1979) [Maximum demand indicator and other measuring apparatus]:

Provided that the licensee may require the consumer to give him security for the price of a meter maximum demand indicator and other measuring apparatus and enter into an agreement for the hire thereof, unless the consumer  elects  to purchase a meter, maximum demand indicator and other measuring apparatus.

(2)        Where the consumer so enters into an agreement for the hire of a meter, maximum demand indicator and other measuring apparatus correct, and in default of his  doing  so, the consumer shall, for so long as the default continues, cease to be liable  to pay for the hire of the meter. (added and subs. by Ordinance LXII of 1979) [Maximum demand indicator and other measuring apparatus]

(3)        Where the meter, maximum demand indicator and other measuring apparatus is the property of the consumer, he shall keep the meter, maximum demand indicator and other measuring apparatus is the property of the consumer, he shall keep the meter, maximum demand indicator and other measuring apparatus correct and, in default of his doing so, the licensee may after giving him seven days notice, for so long as the default continues, cease  to supply energy, through the meter. (added and subs. by Ordinance LXII of 1979)[Maximum demand indicator and other measuring apparatus.]

(4)        The  licensee or any person duly authorized by the licensee shall, at any reasonable time and on informing the consumer of his intention, have access to, and be at liberty to inspect and test and for that purpose, if he thinks fit, take off and remove, any meter, (added and subs. by Ordinance LXII of 1979) [maximum  demand  indicator  and other measuring apparatus] referred to in sub-section (3); and, except where the meter, (added and subs. by Ordinance LXII of 1979) [maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus] is so hired as aforesaid, all reasonable expenses of, and incidental to, such inspecting, testing, taking off and removing shall, if the meter, (added and subs. by Ordinance LXII of 1979) [maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus] is found to be otherwise than correct, be recovered from the consumer; and, where any difference or dispute arises as to the amount of such reasonable expenses, the matter shall be referred to an Electric Inspector, and the decision of such Inspector shall be final:

Provided that the licensee shall not be at liberty to take off or remove any such meter (added by Ordinance LXII of 1979) [maximum demand indicator and other measuring apparatus] if any difference or dispute of the nature described is sub-section (6) has arisen until the matter has been determined as therein provided.

(5)        A consumer shall not connect any meter maximum demand indicator and other measuring apparatus referred to in sub-section (1) with any  electric  supply-line through which energy is supplied by a licensee, or disconnect the same form any such electric supply-line without [obtaining the consent of the  licensee  in writing which shall not be withheld unreasonably.]

[(5A)     A consumer shall not injure any meter, maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus, or alter their indexes or prevent them from duly registering the amount of energy supplied or the electrical quantity contained in the supply. (added by Ordinance LXII of 1979)]

[(6)       Where any difference or dispute arises between a licensee and a consumer as to whether any meter, maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus is nor is not correct the matter shall be decided, upon the application of either party, by an Electric Inspector, within a period of ninety days from the date of receipt of such application, after affording the  parties  and  opportunity of being heard, and where the meter, maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus has, in the opinion of an Electric Inspector, ceased to be correct, the Electric  Inspector shall estimate the amount of energy supplied to the consumer or the electrical quantity contained in the supply, during such time as the meter, indicator or apparatus has not, in the opinion of the Electric Inspector, been correct; and where the Electric Inspector, fails to decide the matter of difference or dispute within the said  period  or where either the licensee  of the consumer decline to accept the decision of the Electric Inspector, the matter  shall be referred to the Provincial Government whose decision shall be final: (added by Ordinance LXII of 1979)

Provided that, before either a licensee or a consumer applies to the Electric Inspector under this sub-section, he shall give to the other party not less than seven days’ notice of this intention to do so.]

(7)        In addition to any meter, maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus which  maybe placed upon the premises of a consumer in pursuance of the provisions of sub-section (1), the licensee may place upon such other premises such meter, maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus as he may think fit for the purpose of ascertaining or regulating either the amount of energy supplied to the consumer, or the number of hours during which the supply is given, or the rate per unit of time at which energy is supplied to the consumer, or any other quantity or time connected with the supply:

Provided that the meter, indicator or apparatus shall not, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary be placed otherwise than between the distributing mains of the licensee and any meter referred to in sub-section (1)

Provided also that, where the charges for the supply of energy depend wholly or partly upon the reading or indication of any such meter, indicator or apparatus as aforesaid, the licensee shall, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, keep the meter, indicator or apparatus correct; and the provisions of sub-section (4), (5) (5A) and (6) shall in that case apply as though the meter, indicator or apparatus were a meter referred to in sub-section (1).

Explanation – A meter shall be deemed to be “correct” if it registers the amount of energy supplied, or the electrical quantity contained in the supply, within the prescribed limits of error, and a maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus shall be deemed to be “correct” if it complies with such conditions as may be prescribed in the case of any such indicator or other apparatus.

COMMENTARY

            Case involving dispute between consumer and KESC about correctness of demand for consumption of electricity, should be referred to Electric Inspector u/w 26(6) for determination of amount due to KESC. (NLR 1988 UC 298)

            Constitutional petition. Dispute between Electric Supply Company and consumer with regard to meter. Powers of Electric Inspector. Scope and extent. Under provision of S. 26 of Electricity Act, 1910 any dispute between the parties regarding meter would be adjudicated  upon Electric Inspector within a period of ninety days as to whether any meter, maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus was or was not correct. Electric Inspector could not go beyond the said limits. Impugned order had shown that Electric Inspector had given findings in the matter which hardly touched the issue within his jurisdiction. Electric Inspector could only entertain and decide the matter under S. 26(6) of Electricity Act, 1910 relating the meter correctness and consequent determination thereto and no other dispute. Appellate Authority I the present case, had accepted the appeal against order of Electric Inspector and then by subsequent order dismissed same. Order of the Appellate Authority was illegal because while altering/modifying his earlier order he failed to provide opportunity of hearing to the aggrieved party. Electric Inspector, in circumstances, had trespassed his domain by exercising jurisdiction, not vested in him. Constitutional petitions were allowed with direction to Electric Inspector to process the complaint of complainant strictly in accordance with law. (2010 YLR 1876)

            Holding that billing meter was found to be tampered with, that security slips pasted on meter were found to be fictitiously passed and further that signatures of senior officers of WAPDA were found to be bogus would not constitute a simple case of defect in metering equipment to attract provision of S. 26(6). Assumption and exercise of jurisdiction by Advisory Board in such case would be bad in law. High Court striking down order of Advisory Board by accepting writ petition of WAPDA filed against consumer by holding that Advisory Board did not appreciate the import of S. 26(6), ignored the material evidence available on record and the impugned order passed by Advisory Board was without jurisdiction. (NLR 2005 Civil Lah. 594)

            Disconnection of electricity supply. Suit against. Housing Project was completed in the year 1995 and the plaintiffs were inducted in their respective flats/units in the same year. Defendants applied for regular electricity connection and for individual meters for each unit as late as in February, 2003, but Electric Cupply Company instead of disconnecting the facility, continued to supply electric power upto 4.4.2009. Parties seemed to have been negligent in the matter, mainly the defendants, were at fault, inasmuch as they did not care even to supply for the requisite connection any time before the year 2003. Enter burden of excessive rates/tariff should not be put on the plaintiffs. Since it was the defendants who had mainly been at fault they should bear 50% of the amount charged; and being charges in excess of the regular or normal individual residential connection rates. Out of the balance 50% of the excessive amount 25% would be borne by Electric Supply Company and 25% by the plaintiffs. Said amount could only be determined after proper accounts were prepared. Electric Supply Company was directed to restore the supply, though temporarily to the plaintiffs upon their making payment of 25% of the amount. (2006 CLJ 892)

            Recommendations of Special Committee constituted against order of Electric Inspector in matter relating to detection bill cannot be given the status of “final decision” by Secretary, Irrigation and Power, Government of Punjab. The approval by Secretary of recommendations of Special Committee without giving final decision as required by law would be of no legal significance and effect. (PLD 2004 SC 7)

            Theft of electricity. Constitutional petition challenging show-cause notice issued by Authority to chare 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 corresponding hole on top of KWH 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 eventually 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. (2006 CLJ 892)

 

[26A.    Dishonest abstraction or consumption of energy.  Notwithstanding anything contained  in section 23, the licensee may charge the consumer on the basis of one or more of the following considerations for the amount of energy deemed to have been dishonestly abstracted, consumed or used, for the period  during which the meter, maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus had, in the opinion of the  licensee, remained connected, disconnected, injured, altered or prevented from registering the amount of energy supplied or the electrical quantity contained in the supply: —  (Subs. by Ordinance LXII of 1979)

(a)        consumer’s connected load or maximum demand in kilowatt during any period.

(b)        consumer’s  maximum  consumption  of energy in kilowatt hours during any period;

(c)        consumer’s load factor;

(d)        the powers of consumer’s load;

(e)        the hours and the time for which the energy is deemed to have been abstracted, consumed or used by the consumer; and

(d)       the purpose for which the energy is deemed to have been abstracted, consumed or used by the consumer.

COMMENTARY

            Constitutional petition. Detection bill was issued to the consumer. Dispute as to metering equipment. Where the dispute regarding metering equipment was involved. S. 26(6) of the Electricity Act, 1910, was attracted and the licensor could neither evaluate the consumption nor assess the bill under S. 26-A of the Electricity Act, 1910. Detection bill issued to the consumer by the licensor was without lawful authority and the same was set aside in circumstances. (1999 CLC 1591)

            Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power Act, 1997. Advisory Board has no jurisdiction to hear an appeal, on direction of Provincial Government, in case of detection bill due to heft of electricity nor could Provincial Government by direction could confer such jurisdiction on Advisory Board. High Court would be wrong in upholding order of Advisory Board setting aside detection bill and dismissing writ petition filed to challenge it. Supreme Court converting leave petition against judgment of High Court into appeal, allowing appeal, setting aside judgment of High Court and order of Advisory Board and leaving it open to consumer/respondent to avail of remedy available to him under law. (2007 CLJ 171)

            In case of theft of electricity or illegal abstraction of energy. Electric Inspector has no jurisdiction to adjudicate a dispute. It is only the Court of plenary jurisdiction which could resolve such a controversy. (2007 CLJ 171)

27.        Supply of energy outside area of supply.  Notwithstanding anything in this Act, the Provincial Government may, by order in writing, and subject to such conditions and restrictions, if any, as it thinks fit to impose, authorize any licensee to supply energy to any person outside the area of supply, and to lay down or place electric supply-lines for that purpose:

Provided first, that no such authority shall be conferred on the licensee within the area of supply of another licensee without that licensee’s consent, unless the Provincial Government considers that his consent has been unreasonably withheld:

Provided secondly that such authority shall not be conferred unless the person to whom the supply is given has entered into a specific agreement with the licensee for the taking of such supply:

Provided thirdly, that a licensee on whom such authority has been conferred shall not be deemed to be empowered outside the area of supply to open or break up any street, or Environmental Law in Pakistan I Federal 19 04 I Processes and Institutions any sewer, drain or tunnel in or under any street, railway or tramway, or to interfere with any telegraph-line, without the written consent of the local authority or person by whom such street, sewer, drain or tunnel is repairable, or of the telegraph-authority, as the case may be, (Ins. By Electricity (Amdt) Act 1922 (I of 1922), S. 12) [unless the Provincial Government, after such inquiry as it thinks fit, considers that such consent has been reasonably withheld]:

Provided fourthly, that save as aforesaid, the provisions of this Act shall apply in the case of any supply authorized under this section as if the said supply were made within the area of supply.

PART III

 

SUPPLY, TRANSMISSION AND USE OF ENERGY BY

NON-LICENSEES

28.        Sanction required by non-licensee in certain cases.  (1)  No person, other than a licensee, shall engage in the business of supplying energy except with the previous sanction of the Provincial Government and in accordance with such conditions as the Provincial Government may fix in this behalf, and any agreement to the contrary shall be void:

(The first proviso omitted by Act of 1922, S. 13) [***] (Words “also” omitted, ibid) Provided * * that such sanction shall not be given within the area for which a local authority is constituted, without that local authority’s consent, or within the area of supply of any licensee, without that licensees consent, unless the Provincial Government considers that consent has been unreasonably withheld.

(2)        Where any difference or dispute arises  as  to  whether any person is or is not engaging, or about to engage, in the  business of supplying energy within the meaning of sub-section (1), the matter  shall be referred to the  Provincial Government, and the decision of the Provincial Government thereon shall be final.

COMMENTARY

            Electricity Act, 1910, S. 28 read with S. 5. Absence of provision in the Electricity Act, 1910 expressly authorizing the Government to hand over electrical undertaking to a statutory body cannot be called in aid for contending that there is a bar to do so. (PLD 1968 Dacca 773 (DB)

            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 of findings was in its favour in accordance with law. Copy of order of Court was sent to Chairman NEPRA for compliance of Court’s order. (PLJ 2001 Lahore 1018)

29.        Power for non-licensee to break up streets.   (1)  The local authority may by, order in writing, confer and impose upon any person, who has obtained the sanction of the Provincial Government under section 28 to engage in the business of supplying energy, all or any of the powers and liabilities of a licensee under sections 12 to 19, both inclusive, and the provisions of the said sections shall thereupon apply as if such person were a licensee under Part II.

(2)        A local authority, not being a licensee, shall, for the purpose of lighting any street, have  the powers and be subject to the liabilities respectively conferred and imposed by sections 12 to 19, both inclusive, so far as is applicable, as if it were a licensee under Part II.

(3)        In  cases other than those for which provision is made by sub-section (1), the person responsible for the repair of any street may, by order in writing, confer and impose upon any person who proposes to transmit energy in such street all or any of the powers and liabilities of a licensee under section 12 to 19 (both inclusive), in so far as the same relate to :-

(a)        opening or breaking up of the soil or pavement of such street;

(b)        laying down or placing electric supply-lines in, under, along or across such street, or

(c)        repairing, altering  or  removing such electric supply-lines, and thereupon the provisions of the  said  sections shall, so far as aforesaid, apply to such persons as if he were a licensee under Part II

(4)        If no order is made within fourteen days after the receipt of an application for the same  under  sub-section (1) or sub-section (3), the order so applied for shall be deemed  to  have been refused, and every order, and every refusal to make an order, under sub-section (1) or sub-section (3), shall be subject to revision by the Provincial Government.

(S. 29-A, ins. By the Electricity (Amdt) Act 1923 (40 of 1923), S. 2) [29. A  Application of section 18 to aerial lines maintained by railways.  The provisions of sub-section (3) and (4) of section 18 and the Explanation thereto shall  apply  in  the case of any aerial line  placed by any railway administration as defined in section 3 of the Railways Act,  1890, as if references  therein  to  the licensee were references to the railway administration. (Subs. by the Electricity (Amdt) Act. 1922 (I of 1922) for “1881” See now the Factories Act, 1934 (25 of 1934)

30.        Control of transmission and use of energy.   (1)  No person, other than a licensee duly authorized under the terms of his license, shall transmit or use energy at a rate exceeding two hundred and fifty watts,

(a)        in any street; or

(b)        in any place —

(i)         in which one hundred or more persons are likely ordinarily to be        assembled, or

(ii)         which is a factory, within the meaning of the “Factories Act, 1934 (XXV of 1934)”; or

(iii)        which is a mine within the meaning of the “Mines Act, 1923 (IV of 1923)”; or

(iv)       to which the Provincial Government, by general or special order declares the provision of this sub-section to apply; (The word “or” and sub-clause (iv) ins. By Act of 1922, S. 14)

without giving not less than seven clear days notice in writing of his intention to the District Magistrate, and complying with such of the provisions of Part IV, and of the rules made there under, as may be applicable:

Provided  that nothing in this section  shall apply to energy used for the public carriage of passengers, animals or goods on, or for the lighting or ventilation of the rolling-stock of, any railway or tramway subject to the provisions of the Railways Act, 1890.

Provided, also that the Provincial Government may, by general or special order and subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be specified therein, exempt from the application of this section or any such provision or rule as aforesaid any person or class of persons using energy on premises upon or in connection with which it is generated, or using energy supplied under Part II in any place specified in clause (b).

(2)        Where any difference or dispute arises as to whether a place is or is not one in which one hundred or more persons are likely ordinarily to be assembled, the matter shall be referred to the Provincial Government, and the decision of the Provincial Government, thereon shall be final.

(3)        The provisions of this section shall be binding on the Government

PART IV

 

General

 

Protective Clauses

31.        Protection of railways and canals, docks, wharves and piers.   No person shall, in the generation, transmission, supply or use of energy, in any way injure any railway, tramway, canal or waterway or any dock, wharf or pier vested in or controlled by a local authority, or obstruct or interfere with the traffic on any railway, tramway canal or water-way.

32.        Protection of telegraphic, telephonic and electric-signalling lines.      (1)  Every person generating transmitting, supplying or using energy (hereinafter in this section referred to as the operator shall  take all reasonable precautions in constructing, laying down and placing his electric supply-lines and other works and in working his system so as not injuriously to affect, whether by induction, or otherwise the working of any wire or line used for  the  purpose of telegraphic, telephonic, or electric-signaling communication, or the currents in such wire or line.

(2)        Where any difference or dispute arises between the operator and the telegraph authority as to whether the operator has  constructed,  laid  down or placed his electric supply-lines or other works, or worked his system, in contravention or subsection (1), or as to whether the working or any wire, line or current is or is not injuriously affected thereby, the matter shall  be  referred  to  the  Federal Government; unless it is of opinion that the wire or line has been placed in unreasonable proximity to the electric supply-lines or works of the operator after the construction of such lines or works, may direct the operator to make such alterations in, or additions to, his system as may be necessary in order to comply with the provisions of this section, and the operator shall make such alterations or additions accordingly;

Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall apply to the repair, renewal or amendment or any electric supply-line so long as the course of the electric supply-line and the amount and nature or the energy transmitted thereby are not altered.

(3)        Where the operator makes default in complying with the requirements of this section, he shall make full compensation for any loss or damage incurred  by reason thereof, and where any difference or  dispute arises as to the amount of such compensation, the matter shall be determined by arbitration.

Explanation – For the purposes of this section, a telegraph-line shall be deemed to be injuriously affected if telegraphic, telephonic or electric signaling communication by means of such line is, whether through induction or otherwise, prejudicially interfered with by an electric supply-line or work or by any use made thereof.

33.        Notice of accidents and inquiries.  (Subs. by Electricity (Amdt) Act, 1922 (I of 1922), S. 15, for the original sub-section (1)    (1)  If any accident occurs in connection with the generation, transmission, supply or use of energy in, or in connection with, any part of the electric supply-lines or other works or any person, and the accident results or is likely to have resulted in loss of life or personal injury, such person shall give notice of the occurrence, and of any loss of life or personal injury actually occasioned by the accident, in such form and within such time and to such authorities as the Provincial Government may, by general or special order direct].

(2)        The Provincial Government may, if it thinks fit, require any Electric Inspector, or any other competent person appointed by it in this behalf, to inquire and report:

(a)        as to cause of accident affecting the safety of the public, which may have been occasioned by, or in connection with, the generation, transmission, supply or use of energy; or

(b)        as to the manner in, and extent to which the provisions of this Act or of any licence or rules thereunder, so far as those provisions affect the safety of any person, have been complied with.

COMMENTARY

            Damage. Electrocution of plaintiff’s mare. Suit for damages decreed by Trial Court as also by Appellate Court. Validity. Plea of bar of jurisdiction. Provisions of Ss. 33 & 54-C. Electricity Act, 1910, clearly indicated that suit for damages had been properly presented before Trial Court. Provision of S. 54-C, Electricity Act was not attracted in that same pertained to situation where licensee i.e. WAPDA had given notice of disconnection to consumer. Section 33 of the Act while dealing with accident was also equally inapplicable to situation in hand since it provided that in case of accident in connection with generation, transmission, supply or use of energy resulting in loss of life or personal injury, notice of same would be given by person so affected to Provincial Government which would require Electric Inspector to inquire and report about cause of accident. No mechanism, however, has been provided in S. 33, Electricity Act, 1910, for grant of compensation by way of damages to affected person even in event of positive report by Electric Inspector in his favour. Plaintiff, therefore, had no alternative available in law but to invoke plenary jurisdiction of Civil Court. Trial Court thus had jurisdiction to try and decide plaintiff’s suit of damages against defendant. (1997 MLD 1920)

            Damages. Electrocution of plaintiff’s mare. Suit for damages. Maintainability. Quantum of damages. Duty of proper maintenance of electric wires rested exclusively with defendant. Failure to perform such duty by defendant resulted in incident whereby plaintiff’s mare was electrocuted. Rain and thunder storm caused rupture of wire, and same remained lying on road unattended by defendant staff and it was on receipt of information about incident that electric current was switched off. Case of clear negligence on part of concerned employees of defendant was established for which defendant was rightly deemed responsible. Where mishap was shown to have been caused due to negligence of defendant or its employees in action for damages and accident occurred was such that in ordinary course of things same would not have so occurred, if party charged with duty in that regard had used proper care, it would afford reasonable evidence that incident/mishap was due to lack of care. Where relevant act had created duty, same would also result in enforceable right. Right of action for damages would be conferred on any one who could bring himself within the benefit of relevant Act including one, who could not be otherwise specified than as a person using highway or road. There being statutory duty of defendant to property maintain system for transmission of electric wires running in close proximity to road, which, perforce , must be kept in good shape to obviate possibility of endangering life and safety of those who used that road. Plaintiff while plying tonga justifiably felt satisfied, that while doing so even at night time, he would not be confronted with unforeseeable situation of getting his mare struck against live electric wires. Plaintiff had fully proved his case. No misreading or non-reading of material having taken place either at Trial Court or before Appellate Court, no justification for interference was made out. Judgments and decrees of Courts below were maintained in circumstances. (1997 MLD 1920)

            34.        Prohibition of connection with earth, and power for Government to interfere in certain cases of default.   (1)  No person shall, in the generation, transmission, supply or use of energy, permit any part of his electric supply-lines to be connected with earth except so far as may be prescribed in this behalf or may be specially sanctioned by the Provincial Government.

(2)        If at any time it is established to the satisfaction of the Provincial Government —

(a)        that any part of an electric supply-line is connected with earth contrary to the provisions of sub-section (1); or

(b)        that any electric supply-lines or other works for the generation, transmission, supply or use of energy are attended with danger to the public safety or human life or injuriously affect any telegraph-line; or

(c)        that any electric supply lines or other works are defective so as not to be in accordance with the provisions of this Act or any rule thereunder.

the Provincial Government may, by order in writing, specify the matter complained of and require the owner or user of such electric supply-lines or other works so remedy it in such manner as shall be specified in the order, and may, also in like manner forbid the use of any electric supply-line or works until the order is complied with or for such time as is specified in the order.

Administration and Rules

35.        Advisory Boards.   (1)  The (The words “Central Government may, for the whole or any part of Pakistan and each” as amended by A.O. 1939 A.O. 1949 and the Central Laws (Statute Reform) Ordinance, 1960 (21 of 1960), S. 3 and Sch. (with effect from the 14th October 1955), have been omitted by A.O. 1964, Art 2 and Sch.) *** Provincial Government may, for the whole or any part of the Province, by notification in the official Gazette, constitute an Advisory Board.

(2)        (Subs. by A.O. 1964, Art 2 and Sch, for “Every such Board”) [The Board] shall consist of a Chairman and not less than two other members.

(Sub-section (3) omitted by the Electricity (Amdt) Act, 1922 (I of 1922), S. 16) ****

(The original sub-section (4) was re-numbered as sub-section (3) by the Electricity (Amdt) Act, 1922 (I of 1922), S. 16 [(3)]    The Provincial Government may, by general or special order:

(Clause (a) ins. By Act. I of 1922, S. 16)  [(a)     determine the number of members of which the Board shall be constituted and the manner in which such members shall be appointed];

(Clauses (a), (b) and (c) were re-lettered as clauses (b), (c) and (d) respectively, by Act I of 1922, S. 16)  [(b)  define the duties and regulate the procedure of (Subs. by A.O. 1964, Art. 2 and Sch. For “Any such Board”) [the Board);

[(c)]      determine the tenure of office of the members of (Subs. by A.O. 1964, Art. 2 and Sch. For “Any such Board”) [the Board; and

COMMENTARY

            Constitution of Standing Advisory Board for Power Rates Notification. By notification No. SOPP-3/6-65, dated 9th July, 1969, the Government of West Pakistan, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by section 35 of the Electricity Act, 1910, and in supersession of Government of West Pakistan, Irrigation and Power Department Notification No. SOPP-31/6-55, dated 9th March, 1967, has constituted a Standing Advisory Board for Power Rates for overhauling and rationalizing the rate structure of all Electric Supply Understandings in Pakistan including WAPDA, and also keeping under constant watch the tariff structure and costs of various supply undertakings and to submit proposals to Government at suitable intervals for its approval.

            Constitutional petition. Discretionary relief. When to be refused. Electricity dues. Detection bill, issuance of. Petitioner/consumer was issued a detection bill by the respondent/licensee. Petitioner/consumer approached Wafaqi Mohtasib where the petitioner/consumer agreed to pay in installments the amount of bill agreed by both the parties. Mohtasib observed that the metering equipment installed at the premises of the petitioner/consumer would be checked by Electric Inspector. Report of Electric Inspector was not accepted by respondent/licensee and the matter was referred to the Advisory Board. Respondent/licensee in pursuance to the decision of the Board resorted to the coercive provision of S. 81. West Pakistan Land Revenue Act, 1967. petitioner/consumer did not deposit any installment as agreed before Wafaqi Mohtasib and objected to the constitution of the Board. Validity. Decision of the Chairman of the Board was supported by one member and, as such, the same was valid and was final. Petitioner/consumer did not adhere to the agreement reached before Mohtasib and failed to pay the installments as agreed but was compelled to do so when criminal case was registered and when coercive measures were used/threatened to be used. Petitioner/consumer, in circumstances, could not expect to claim discretionary relief under Art. 199 of the Constitution. (PLD 1999 Lah. 347)

            36.        Appointment of Electric Inspectors **** (The original sub-section (1) as amended by A.O.1937, has been omitted by A.O.1964, Art 2 and Sch.)

(2)        The Provincial Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint duly qualified persons to be Electric Inspectors within such areas as may be assigned to them respectively; and very Inspector so appointed shall (The words “except in relatioin to mines, oil-fields and railways” which were ins. By A.O. 1937, have been omitted by A.O. 1964, Art 2 nd Sch) * * * exercise the powers and perform the functions of an Electric Inspector under this Act subject to such restrictions as the Provincial Government may direct.

(3)        In the absence of express provision to the contrary in this Act, or any rule thereunder, and appeal shall lie from the decision of any Electric Inspector to the (Subs. by A.O. 1964, Art. 2 and Sch. For certain original words, amended by A.O. 1937 and Act. I of 1922) [Provincial Government or, if the Provincial Government, by general or special order, so directs, to the Advisory Board].

COMMENTARY

            Right of appeal before Advisory Board under S. 36 is continuation of original proceeding before Electric Inspector under S. 26(6). As Electric Inspector in original Forum has no jurisdiction to adjudicate upon detection bill relating to theft of energy. Advisory Board as Appellate Court would also have no jurisdiction to adjudicate on such dispute. (2007 CLJ 171)

            An appeal to Advisory Board against an illegal order of Electric Inspector would lie in the same manner as it lies against a legal order. Therefore, in case Electric Inspector assumes jurisdiction, which he does not have under S. 26(6) and passes an order, an appeal of licensee before Advisory Board shall be competent. In that case, relief would be claimed against excess of jurisdiction exercised by Electric Inspector. (2007 CLC 171)

(S.36-A inserted by the Electricity (Admt.) Act, 1937 (10 of 1937), S. 3. [36A. ElectricityBoard.  (1)  A Board to be called the Federal Electricity Board shall be constituted to exercise the powers conferred by section 37.

(2)        The Federal Electricity Board shall consist of the following members, namely: –

(a)        a Chairman to be nominated by the Federal Government;

(b)        one member each to be nominated  by  the Provincial Governments of the

Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan;

(c)        one member to be nominated by the Federal  Government  for  Islamabad

Capital Territory; and

(d)        one member to be nominated by the Chairman of the Railway Board:

Provided that if at any time it seems fit to do so the Federal Government may appoint not more than two additional members.

(3)        Any vacancy occurring in the Board (The words “otherwise than by the expiry of the term of office of the member referred to in clause (e) of sub-section (2)” omitted by Ordinance 21 of 1960, S.2 and 2nd Sch. (with effect from the 14th October, 1955) [* * * *] shall be filled as soon as may be by a nomination made by the authority by whom the member vacating office was nominated.

(4)        The Board shall have full power to regulate by by-laws or otherwise it’s own procedure and the conduct of all business to be transacted by it.

(5)        The powers of the (Subs. by Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Ordinance XXVI of 1981) [Federal Electricity Board] maybe exercised notwithstanding any vacancy in the Board.]

37.        Power for Board to make rules.  (1)  The Federal Electricity Board may make rules to regulate the generation transmission, supply and use of energy, and generally, to carry out the purposes and objects of this Act.

(2)        In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may –

(a)        prescribe the form of applications for licenses and the payments to be made in respect thereof;

(b)        regulate the publication of notices;

(c)        prescribe the manner in which  objections with reference to any application under Part II are to be made;

(d)        provide for the preparation and submission  of accounts by licensees in a specified form;

(e)        provide for the securing of a regular, constant and sufficient supply of energy by licensees to consumers and for the testing at various parts of the system of Environmental Law in Pakistan I Federal 23 04 I Processes and Institutions the regularity and sufficiency of such  supply and for the examination of the records of such tests by consumers;

(f)         provide for the protection of persons and property from injury by reason of contact with, or the proximity of, or by reason of the defective or dangerous condition of, any appliance or apparatus used in the generation, transmission, supply or use of energy:

(g)        for the purposes of electric traction regulate the employment  or  insulated returns, or of insulated metallic returns of low resistance, in order to prevent fusion or injurious electrolytic action  of or on metallic pipes, structures or substances,  and  to minimize, as far as is reasonably practicable, injurious interference with the electric wires, supply-lines and apparatus of parties other than the owners of the electric traction  system, or with the currents therein, whether the earth is used as a return or not;

(h)        provide for preventing telegraph  lines and magnetic  observatories  or laboratories  from being injuriously affected by the generation, transmission, supply or use of energy;

(i)         prescribe the qualifications to be required of Electric Inspectors;

(j)         authorize any Electric Inspector or other officer of a specified rank and class to enter, inspect and examine any place, carriage or vessel in which he has reason to believe any appliance or  apparatus  used  in  the  generation, transmission, supply or use of energy to be, and to carry out tests therein, and to prescribe the facilities to be given to such  inspectors  or  officers  for  the purposes of such examinations and tests;  (The word “and” omitted by the Electricity (Amdt.) Act, 1922 (I of 1992), S. 18) * *

(k)        authorize and regulate the levy of fees for any such testing or inspection and generally, for the services of Electric Inspectors under this Act; and (The word “and” clause (I) and sub-section (3), ins. Ibid)

(l)         provide for any matter which is to be or may be prescribed.

(3)        Any rules made in pursuance of clause (f) of clause (h) of sub-section (2) shall be binding on the (Subs. by A.O., 1961, Art. 2 for “Crown” (with effect from the 23rd March, 1956) [Government].

(The original sub-section (3), renumbered as sub-section (4) by Act I of 1922, S. 18)  [(4)         In making any rule under this Act the (Subs. by Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Ordinance XXVII of 1981) [Federal Electricity Board] may direct that every breach thereof shall  be  punishable  with fine which may extend to three hundred rupees, and, in the case of a continuing breach with a further daily fine which may extend to fifty rupees.

38.        Further provisions respecting rules.   (1)  The power to make rules under section 37 shall be subject to the condition of the rules being made after previous publication.

(2)        The date to be specified in accordance with clause (3) of section 23 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, as that after which a draft of rules proposed to be made under section 37 will be taken into consideration shall not be less than three months from the date on which the draft of the proposed rules was published for general information. (The original sub-section (3) omitted and sub-section (4) re-numbered as sub-section (3) by the Electricity (Amdt.) Act, 1937 (10 of 1937) [X X X X X X X X X X X]

(Subs. by Ordinance LXII of 1979) [(3)]           All rules made under section 37 shall be published in the official Gazette and on such publication shall have effect as if enacted in this Act.

(Subs. by Ordinance LXII of 1979 as applicable to province, except Punjab [39. Theft of energy (1)  Whoever  dishonestly  abstracts, consumes or uses  energy shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both; and the existence of any device, contrivance or artificial means for such abstraction, consumption or use shall be prima facie evidence of such abstraction, consumption or use.

(2)        Whoever abets, or conspires in the commission of acts mentioned in sub-section (1) shall be deemed to have committed an offence under sub-section (1).

Explanation  –  A person shall be deemed to  have dishonestly abstracted, consumed or used energy –

(a)        if he is found to have  tampered  or  interfered with the set order of wiring connections of any meter,  measuring apparatus including kilowatt meter, kilowatt hour meter, kilovolt ampere hour meter, kilovolt ampere reactive hour meter, current transformers, potential transformers, or their respective fuses, installed by the licensee for the supply and registration of energy; or

(b)        if he is found to have prevented  by  drilling hole in the casing, covering or glass, or by jamming the mechanism by mechanical, magnetic or by any other means, any meter, maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus from duly registering the amount of energy supplied or the electrical quantity contained in the supply; or

(c)        if he is found, without written consent of the licensee, to have connected his installations, appliances and apparatus for the consumption or use of energy with the licensee’s works directly without passing through a meter maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus.

COMMENTARY

            Criminal trial. Magistrate after recording statement of one prosecution witness coming to conclusion that he was not competent to try case and case was entrusted to Special Magistrate. Nothing pointed out to show that entrustment of case to Special Magistrate was illegal. Trial was held by competent Magistrate who recorded conviction. Accused, held, was in no way prejudiced in his trial. Trial of accused found to be legal in circumstances. (1986 PCrLJ 1754)

            Charge of theft of electricity. During trial supplementary electricity bill issued by which the accused/respondent required to pay arrears of electricity charges together with penalty. Contention that after the issuance of this bill the criminal liability of accused was absolved. Held, even if it (the bill) covers the period during which the accused was alleged to have committed theft of electricity yet merely by issuing of the bill the accused could not be absolved of the liability of theft. (KLR 1986 CRC 500)

            Conviction. Revision against. Prosecution case was supported by two eye-witnesses and was accepted by two Courts below. Defence counsel failing to point out any illegality or infirmity in trial or misreading of evidence by Courts below Revision dismissed as being without merit. (1936 PCrLJ 1754)

            Electricity. Theft of. Offence of. Electricity consumed. Amount due for. Recovery of. Effect of. Theft of electricity committed by accused during disputed period. Held. Recovery of amount due on electricity consumed by accused during such period not to absolve him from liability to conviction. (PLJ 1986 Cr.C (Kar) 306)

            Theft of electricity. Payment of electricity not to absolve accused from liability of conviction and it would not be a case of double jeopardy. Accused, held, who under obligation to make payment even for electricity in respect of which he was alleged to have committed theft regardless of whatever be verdict of Court as to his guilty or innocence. Even if he was found guilty of theft of electricity and convicted in consequence, has conviction vis-à-vis recovery of electricity charges alongwith penalty from him, could not be construed as a case of double jeopardy. (1986 PCrLj 1684)

            (Subs. by Ord. LXII of 1979 as applicable to Provinces except Punjab) [39A.   (As applicable to Provinces, except Punjab Penalty for installation of artificial means. etc.  (1)  Whoever installs or uses any device, contrivance or artificial means  for  dishonest abstraction,  consumption  or use of energy of a licensee, whether he derives any benefit therefrom or not, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a  term which may extend to three years, or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both; and if it is  proved that any device, contrivance or artificial means for such abstraction, consumption or use exists or has existed on a premises, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that such person has committed an offence under this sub-section.

(2)        Whoever abets, or conspires in the commission of any act mentioned  in  subsection (1) shall be deemed to have committed an offence under that sub-section.

Explanation – In this section “artificial means” includes –

(a)        making of direct electrical connection from the aerial line through artificial jumper;

(b)        making of direct electrical connection from transformers, cable, meter’s main terminals and from consumer’s installations through artificial wiring;

(c)        disconnecting the potential link from the meter terminals by means of a plier, screw driver, cutter or any other instrument;

(d)        breaking the glass cover of a meter or drilling hole in the casing or covering of a meter by any means;

(e)        stopping or slowing the revolutions of a meter disc by artificial magnet; and

(f)         stopping or slowing or reversing the revolutions of the meter disc by changing the phase sequence of meter through artificial electric circuit.

COMMENTARY

            Quashing of F.I.R. Constitutional petition, maintainability of. Authority in the present case, got a criminal case registered against the petitioner vide D.I.R. under S. 39-A, of Electricity Act, 1910. Constitutional petition with prayer for quashing of said F.I.R, having been disposed of by the High Court, petitioner filed another Constitutional petition with the prayer that the Authority be restrained from recovering amount in question from the petitioner till final adjustment by Competent Authority/Electricity Magistrate, which petition was dismissed for non-prosecution by the High Court. Principles of Civil Procedure Code, 1908 being applicable to the proceedings under Art. 199 of the Constitution, present Constitutional petition was not maintainable qua the same subject matter in relief in view of S. 11, C.P.C. Criminal and civil proceedings however, could be initiated simultaneously. Constitutional petition having no merits was dismissed. (2003 YLR 2112)

            Excessive bill. Testing of electric meters. Suit for declaration and permanent injunction. Plaintiff/consumer in his suit had declared that there was not arrears or dues on plaintiff in respect of meters and that alleged arrears, are illegal, unlawful and liable to be cancelled/set aside. Plaintiff also sought permanent injunction restraining defendant from disconnecting electricity of plaintiff through meter and further to restrain it from claiming any alleged arrears except current bill as per consumption. Defendant/electric supply company set up case that Meter Reader was not allowed by the plaintiff to record energy supplied to meters installed in the plots of plaintiffs, which resulted in less billing than energy consumed. Validity. Plaintiff’s premises, never remained closed, smooth passage was provided to the Meter Readers, but company, in violation of settled norms, had illegally and unlawfully claimed an exercise bill resulting in the cause of action to file suit against company. Documentary evidence had specifically reversed that Meter Readers were allowed to have access on number of occasions for the purpose of recording the meter reading of both the meters. Disputed meter in the premises was burnt and plaintiff himself had reported burnt meter to the Authorities and new meter was installed. Reporting of the burnt meter by company’s staff, was not supported by cogent evidence.  Meter in question was burnt, but bill was sent to plaintiff without setting the near tested from Electric Inspector or without basing the bill on the past average. Metering equipment being involved provisions of S. 26(6) of Electricity Act, 1910 were attracted and licensee could neither evaluate consumption nor assess the bill. No action of testing work could be carried out by licensee, as only Electric Inspector was authorized to test the meters. Supplementary bills on the basis of the claim of company, were arbitrary, fanciful and without legal justification. In case of removal of faulty near, it ought not to have been tested in the Laboratory of the company. Supplementary bill prepared on its basis could not be acted upon to come to the conclusion that amount claimed by company under disputed meter was in conformity with the law. Plaintiff’s suit was decreed to the extent of the prayer accordingly. Plaintiff had claimed damages to the tune of Rs.25,000 against defendant for the inconvenience caused on account of exorbitant bill against meters installed in the premises. Onus was upon plaintiff to prove claim beyond reasonable doubt to the effect that he had suffered mental torture as well as loss in business on account of acts and omission of defendants. On account of non-availability of cogent evidence, relief to that extent, could not be granted. (2007 YLR 1854)

            (Subs. by Ordinance LXII as applicable to Punjab) [39B.  (As applicable to Punjab)., Penalty for installation of artificial means, etc.              (1)   Whoever installs or uses any device, contrivance or artificial means for dishonest abstraction, consumption or use of energy of a licensee, whether he derives any benefit therefrom or not, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both, and if it is proved that any device, contrivance or artificial means for such abstraction, consumption or use exists or has existed on a premises, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that such person has committed an offence under this sub-section.

            (2)        Whoever abets, or conspires in the commission of any act mentioned in sub-section (1) shall be deemed to have committed an offence under that sub-section.

            Explanation.     In this section, “artificial means” includes:

(a)           making of direct electrical connection from the aerial line through artificial jumper;

(b)           making of direct electrical connection from transformers, cable, meter’s main terminals and from consumer’s installations through artificial wiring;

(c)            disconnecting the potential link from the meter terminals by means of a plier, screw driver, cutter or any other instrument;

(d)           braking the glass cover of a meter or drilling hole in the casing of coverting of a meter by any means;

(e)           stopping or slowing the revolutions of a meter disc by artificial magnet; and

(f)             stopping or slowing or reversing the revolutions of the meter disc by changing the phase sequence of meter through artificial electrical circuit.]

COMMENTARY

            Constitutional petition. Disconnection of electric supply and removal of electric meter on allegation of tampering with the meter. Petitioner had alleged that the Authority without prior notice to him had disconnected electric supply in his premises and had removed his electric meter with mala fide intention. Authority had opposed the petition contending that I petitioner was served with a notice to the effect that on checking meter installed in his premises, was found tampered with and that petitioner was called upon to show cause within seven days as to why his premises should not be disconnected and meter removed. Evidence on record had proved that premises of petitioner was disconnected and meter was removed before issuance of said notice and even the notice did not relate to disconnection or removal of the meter. Service of notice according to which petitioner was directed to show cause against issuance of detection bill and he was further asked to associate with the Detection Committee with all relevant record in connection with preparation of detection bill, was also not proved. Detection bill in circumstances, was prepared without service of notice on the petitioner and without his association in Detection Committee. Detection bill did not disclose as to on what basis it was prepared and to which period it related. Action of the Authority in disconnecting premises of petitioner, removing of meter, lodging F.I.R, against petitioner and issuing detection bill to him without notice to petitioner, were against mandatory provisions of law, without justification and without lawful authority. High Court accepting petition directed the Authority to reconnect petitioner’s premises and to install meter. (2003 CLC 598)

            Consumer has no right to break seals of meter installed by WAPDA when he does so, he becomes criminally liable even though there be no malice or benefit derived therefrom. Arguments to challenge conviction u/s 39-A that it had blindly been assumed that meter was tampered with object of reversing reading therein. Rejected as being without substance although attractive. High Court upholding conviction but reducing sentence of one year’s R.I. to one already undergone with sentence of fine of Rs.1,000/- (NLR 188 Criminal Lah. 248, 1988 PCrLJ 1465)

            Finding by Civil Court that WAPDA’s demand in electricity bill was illegal and consequential decree for refund, cannot absolve consumer of his criminal liability u/s 39-A. Petition u/s 561-A, Cr.C.P. seeking quashment of case u/s 39-A for theft of electricity dismissed after rejecting as untenable plea that petitioner was not liable as accused for theft of electricity. (NLR 1988 Criminal Multan 465)

            Quashing of F.I.R Constitutional jurisdiction of High Court. Scope. Matter was at investigation stage and case against the accused had not been sent up to the Court. If case after investigation was sent up in the Court and petitioner/accused was challaned, he could avail of remedy before Trial Court under S. 249-A, Cr.P.C. for his acquittal after proving that charge was groundless or there was no probability of his conviction. High Court could not quash F.I.R. when investigation was not completed; no challan had been submitted in the Court and no proceedings were pending in the Court. Mala fides or fact that the F.I.R. disclosed civil liability could not be the grounds for quashing the F.I.R. High Court could not interfere in the investigation undertaken by police. (2003 YLR 1997)

            Conviction. Prosecution had been able to prove its case on factual grounds against accused by producing independent witnesses. One legal aspect too, no case had been made out by defence. Conviction and sentence being well-founded not interfered with in circumstances. (1989 SCMR 608

40.        Penalty for maliciously wasting energy or injuring works.  Whoever maliciously causes energy to be wasted or diverted, or, with intent to cut off the supply of energy, cuts or injures, or attempts to cut or injure, any electric supply-line or works, shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

41.        Penalty for unauthorized supply of energy by non-licensees.   Whoever, in contravention  of the provisions of section 28, engages in the  business  of supplying energy shall be punishable with fine  which  may  extend  to  three  thousand rupees, and, in the case of a continuing contravention, with a daily fine which may extend to three hundred rupees.

42.        Penalty for illegal or defective supply or for non-compliance with order.         Whoever –

(a)        being a licensee, save as  permitted  under section 27 or section 51 or by his license, supplies energy or lays down or places any electric supply line or works outside the area of supply; or

(b)        being a licensee, in contravention of the  provisions of this Act or of  the  rules thereunder or in breach of the conditions of his license, and without reasonable excuse, the burden of proving which shall  lie on him, discontinues the supply of energy or fails to supply energy; or

(c)        makes default in complying with any  order issued to him under section 34, subsection (2);

shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, and in the case of a continuing offence or default, with a daily fine which may extend to one hundred rupees.

            Prosecution launched against individuals but not the company. Whether legal? Where a person filed three complaints under S. 42 and chose to prosecute not the company which was the licensee but individuals who may or may not be connected with the licensee and so the prosecution of the individuals instead of the licensee company was a violation of the express terms of section 42 of the Act and, therefore, illegal in the words of Court. (PLD 1961 Lah. 875, PLR 1962 (1) WP 514)

            Section 42 of the Electricity Act, 1910, deals with acts of omission or commission on the part of a licensee under the Act. It is a statute creating specific offences and prescribing penalties against the licensee. There is nothing in the terms of the Act to indicate that the liability will not be enforced against a company or corporation, there is no legal or juristic difficulty in enforcing the terms of section 42 of the Electricity Act, 1910. That being so, any prosecution under section 42 must conform to those terms. The penalty prescribed in the section is only a fine, and there is no obligation on the Court to impose imprisonment in default of payment of fine. The fine can always be realized from the property of the company if it be a licensee.

43.        Penalty for illegal transmission or use of energy.  Whoever in contravention of the provisions of section 30, transmits or uses energy without giving the notice required thereby, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, and in the case of a continuing offence, with a daily fine which may extend to fifty rupees.

(Subs. by Ordinance LXII of 1979) [44.      Penalty for interference with meters or licensee’s works and for improper use of energy.

 

Whoever –

(a)        connects any meter, maximum demand indicator or other  measuring  apparatus referred to in section 26, with any electric  supply-line  through which energy is supplied by a licensee, or disconnects the same from any such electric supply-line without the licensee’s consent in writing; or

(b)        lays, or causes to be laid, or  connects up any works for the purpose of communicating with any other works  belonging to a licensee, without such licensee’s consent in writing; or

(c)        uses the energy supplied to him by a licensee under one method of charging in a manner  for  which  a higher method of charging is in force without the licensee’s consent  in writing or adopts any appliance  or uses energy supplied to him by a licensee in a manner prejudicial to the safety or efficient working of the licensee’s electric supply-line or works, or deals with it in a manner so as to interfere with the 26  Environmental Law in Pakistan I Federal  04 I Processes and Institutions efficient supply of energy by the licensee to any other person; shall be punishable with fine which may extend to  five hundred rupees and in the case of a continuing offence, with a daily fine of fifty rupees; and if it is proved that any artificial means exist or have existed for making such connection as referred to in clause (a), or such communication as is referred to in clause (b), or for facilitating such improper use of energy as is referred to in clause (c), and that the meter, maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus is under the custody or control  of  the consumer, whether it is his property or not, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that such connection, communication or improper use, as the case may be, has been knowingly and willfully caused by such consumer.

COMMENTARY

            Mere fact that a charge could have been made under S. 44 (c)doe not prevent a charge under S. 39. Where an offence falls under both sections 39 and 44 (c) tha fact that charge could have been made under S. 39 from being properly made especially where the offence under S. 39 is clearly established. S. 39 is fact major offence. (AIR 1938 PC 130, 65 IA 158, ILR (1938) 2 Cal. 295, 32 SLR 476, 174ICJ, 39 CrLJ, 452)

45.        Penalty for extinguishing public lamps.  Whoever maliciously extinguishes any public lamp shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend  to  three hundred rupees, or with both.

46.        Penalty for negligently wasting energy or injuring works.  Whoever negligently causes energy to be  wasted  or diverted, or negligently breaks, throws down or damages any electric supply-line, post, pole or lamp or other apparatus connected with the supply of energy, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees.

47.        Penalty for offences not otherwise provided for.   Whoever, in any case not already provided for by sections 39 to 46 (both Inclusive) makes default in complying with any of the provisions or this Act, or with any order issued under it, or, in the case of  a  licensee,  with  any of the conditions of his license, shall be punishable  with  fine which may extend to one hundred rupees, and, in the case of a continuing default, with a daily fine which may extend to twenty rupees:

Provided that, where a person had made default in complying with any of the provisions of sections 13,14,15, 17 and 32, as the case may be, he shall not be so punishable if the Court is of opinion that the case was one of emergency, and that the offender compiled with the said provisions as far as was reasonable in the circumstances.

48.        Penalties not to affect other liabilities.   The penalties imposed by sections 39 to 47 (both inclusive) shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of any liability in respect of the payment of compensation or, in the case of a licensee, the revocation of his license,  (Ins. By Electricity Act (Amdt.) Ordinance 1962 (6 of 1962), S. 3) [for the payment of penalty in lieu thereof,] which the offender may have incurred.

49.        Penalties where works belong to Government.  The provisions of section 39, 40, 44, 45 and 46 shall, so far as they are applicable, be deemed to apply also when the acts made punishable thereunder are committed in the case of energy supplied by, or of works belonging to, the Central Government or any Provincial Government.

50.        Institution of prosecution.   No prosecution shall be instituted against any person for any offence against this Act or any rule, license or order thereunder, except  at  the  instance of the Government or an  Electric Inspector, or of a person aggrieved by the same.

 

Supplementary

51.        Exercise in certain cases of powers of telegraph authority.  Notwithstanding anything in sections 12 to 16 (both inclusive) and sections 18 and 19, the Provincial Government may, by order in  writing,  for the placing of appliances and apparatus  for  the  transmission of energy, confer upon any public officer or licensee, subject to such conditions and restrictions  (if any) as the Provincial Government may think fit to impose, and to the provisions of the Telegraph Act, 1885, any of the powers which the telegraph authority possesses under that Act, with respect to the placing of telegraph–lines and posts for the purposes of a telegraph established or maintained by the Government or to be so established or maintained.

COMMENTARY

            Authorization to WAPDA u/s 51 Electricity Act read with S. 12 WAPDA Act.

            Notification No. S. O. II (E) 2/5-60, dated 6-6-1961: In exercise of the powers conferred on him by section 51 of the Electricity Act, 1910 read with S. 12 of the WAPDA Act, 1958, the Governor of West Pakistan is pleased, for the placing of appliances and apparatus for the transmission of energy, to confer on the WAPDA (hereinafter referred to as the Authority) all the powers which the Telegraph Authority possesses under Part III of the Telegraph Act, 1885, with respect to the placing of telegraph lines and posts for the purpose of a telegraph established or maintained by the Government or to be so established or maintained.

            Preamble. Constitution of Pakistan (1973), Art. 183(3). Leave to appeal. Case involved question of interpretation of provisions of West Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority Act, 1958 and those of Electricity Act, 1910 which was of substantial legal importance. Leave to appeal was granted. (1980 SCMR 980)

            Suit for damages with plea that buildings and fruit trees of plaintiffs were damages as a result of installation of transmission line by WAPDA is not maintainable. In such case resort should be made to forum made available u/s 14, WAPDA Act, as it excludes application of S.51, Electricity Act. Contended that S. 14 would be attracted only upto stage of preparation of scheme and not to stage when it is to be executed. Contention repelled as untenable. Held: (i) Use of word “preparation in S. 14 is in a general way and for purpose of damage and compensation, would include stages of scheme which may be termed as execution of scheme. (ii) Provisions of S. 14 relating to determination and award of compensation as well as forum concerned are in nature of special provisions and would override provisions of S. 51, Electricity Act which would only be treated as general. (NLR 1991 SCJ 714)

            Leave to appeal. Case involved question of interpretation of provisions of West Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority Act, 1958 and those of Electricity Act, 1910 which was of substantial legal importance. Leave to appeal was granted. (1990 SCMR 980)

            Suit for damages with plea that building and fuit trees of plaintiffs were damaged as a result of installation of transmission line by WAPDA is not maintainable. In such case resort should be made to forum made available u/s 14, WAPDA Act, as it excludes application so S. 51, Electricity Act. Contended that S. 14 would be attracted only upto stage of preparation of scheme and not to stage when it is to be executed. Contention repelled as untenable. Held: (i) Use of word “preparation” in S. 14 is in a general way and for purpose of damage and compensation, would include stages of scheme which may be termed as execution of scheme. (ii) Provisions of S. 14 relating to determination and award of compensation as well as forum concerned are in nature of special provisions and would override provisions of S. 51, Electricity Act which would only be treated as general. (NLR 1991 SCJ 714)

52.        Arbitration.   Where any matter is, by or under this Act, directed to be determined by arbitration, the matter shall, unless it is otherwise expressly provided in the license or a licensee, be determined by such person or persons as the Provincial Government may nominate in that behalf on the application of either party; but in all other respects the arbitration shall be subject to the provisions of the  Arbitration Act, 1940.

53.        Service of notices, orders or documents.   (1)  Every notice, order or document by or under this Act required or authorized to be addressed to any person may be served by post or left, —

(a)        where the Federal Government or  the Provincial Government is the addressee, at the office of such officer as the Federal Government or Provincial Government, as the case may be, may designate in this behalf;

(b)        here a local authority is the addressee, at the office of the local authority;

(c)        where a Company is the addressee, at the registered office of the Company or, in the event of the registered office of the Company not being in Pakistan, at the head office of the Company in Pakistan;

(d)        where any person is the addressee, at the usual or last known place of abode or business of the person.

(2)        Every notice, order or document by or under this Act, required or authorized to be addressed to the owner or occupier  of any premises shall be deemed  to  be properly addressed if addressed by the description of the “owner” or “occupier” of the premises (naming the premises), and may be served by delivering it, or a true copy  thereof, to some person on the premises, or, if there is no person on the premises to whom the same can with reasonable diligence be delivered, by affixing it on some conspicuous part of the premises.

54.        Recovery of sums recoverable under certain provisions of Act.  (S. 4 for “Every sum”[Any penalty imposed under section 4, sub-section (2), every sum declared to be recoverable by section 5, clause (f), section 6,  sub-section (2), section 14, sub-section (2), clause (h), section 16, sub-section (2), section 18, sub-section (2), or subsection (4) or section 26, sub-section (4), and every fee leviable under this Act, may be recovered, on application to a Magistrate having jurisdiction where the person liable to pay the same is for the time being resident, by the distress  and sale of any moveable property belonging to such person.

COMMENTARY

            Mere fact that charges of WAPDA are made recoverable as arrears of land revenue, does not mean that such charges become land revenue or Government dues. (NLR 1989 Civil Pesh 590)

[54A.    Charges for supply of energy recoverable as arrears of land revenue.   (1)  Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or in any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument or agreement, the charges for supply of energy or any other sum outstanding against a consumer under this Act shall be recoverable as an arrear of land revenue.

(2)  A license, or any person duly authorized by the licensee, may apply, with a certificate showing the amount outstanding against a consumer, to the Collector of the district concerned for the recovery of the said amount, and the Collector shall, thereupon, proceed to recover the same from the such consumer, or his sureties, or from all of them, as an arrear of land revenue.]

COMMENTARY

            Deposit of disputed amount in Court is a condition precedent for grant of temporary injunction against discontinuance of supply of energy. S. 54C has mollified the element of irreparable loss vis-à-vis cases in regard to supply of energy by providing that interim relief can be granted if amount assessed against a consumer by licensee is deposited in Court. (2000 CLJ 416)

            Mode of recovery of dues has alone been prescribed by S. 54-A. Amount which is not due does not become due by operation of S. 54A. WAPDA would not be warranted in resorting to S. 54A for recovery of amount from consumer on basis of its audit report. Held: Audit affair is between WAPDA and its Audit Department and any audit report could not make consumer liable for any amount and could not bring about any agreement between WAPDA and consumer making consumer liable to pay amount on basis of audit report. (NLR 1988 Civil Multan 28)

(Ins. By Ordinance LXII of 1979) [54B.      Requisition of police assistance.  Where a license, or any person duly authorized by him in this behalf, requires any police  assistance,  for  carrying  out the purposes of this Act, he may make an application to the District Magistrate or Assistant Commissioner of the sub- division 28  Environmental Law in Pakistan I Federal  04 I Processes and Institutions concerned and the District Magistrate or  , as the case may be , the Assistant Commissioner may direct the officer in charge of the police station to render  the assistance required.]

(Ins. By Ordinance LXII of 1979) [54C.      Bar of Jurisdiction.   (1)  Where a licensee  gives  a  notice  referred to in subsection ( 1 ) of section 24 or discontinuous  supply  of energy to a premises under the provisions of this Act ,no court  shall make an order prohibiting the licensee from discontinuing supply of energy to the premises, and any such order made before the commencement of the Electricity (Amendment) Ordinance, 1979, shall cease to have effect:

Provided that nothing contained herein shall apply to a case in which the plaintiff, applicant or appellant, within a period of thirty days of the aforesaid date of at the time of filing the suit, application or appeal, as the case may be, deposits with the court the amount assessed against him by the licensee and all further charges of the licensee as and when they become due; and in the event of his failing to do so, any order prohibiting the licensee from discontinuing the supply of energy to the premises  or  requiring him to restore the supply of energy to the premises or requiring him to restore the supply of energy to the premises, if already made, shall cease to have effect.

(2)        Where an amount has been deposited under sub-section (1), the court shall direct it to be deposited in a scheduled bank in the name  of  the  licensee  on  an undertaking being furnished by the licensee to the effect that in case the suit of appeal is decided against him, he  shall repay  the said amount to the plaintiff of appellant,  as  the  case  may  be,  with such reasonable return as the court may determine.]

COMMENTARY

            Suit for declaration and permanent injunction impugning supplementary electricity bill together with consequential relief against the recovery and disconnection of the electricity supply to the plaintiff. Trial Court, after recording evidence came to the conclusion that suit was barred under S. 54-C of the Electricity Act, 1910 and under Ss. 42 & 56 of Specific Relief Act, 1877, but decreed the suit partially for settlement of accounts’ and referred the matter to the Electric Inspector who was the Authority competent under S. 26(6) of Electricity Act, 1910, for settlement of such demand. Electric Inspector gave its findings and submitted a report to the Trial Court, which was accepted by the Court, despite objection by the appellant, and the same order was upheld by the Appellate Court. Validity. Trial Court, after coming to the conclusion that it had no jurisdiction rightly referred the controversy to the Electric Inspector for deciding the controversy and appropriate course left to the Court was to leave the parties to contest the matter before hierarchy provided under Electricity Act, 1910, but Trial Court stepped over its jurisdiction and entered into the domain of other functionary while sitting over the report of Electric Inspector as an appellate forum and deciding the objections filed against it and giving its findings on the same and said error was repeated by Appellate Court. Decree passed by both the Courts below could not be sustained. (2001 YLR 2226)

            Disconnection of electric connection on ground of default in payment of bill. Interim injunction, grant of. Essentials. Property demanded that disputed amount be deposited in Court. Interim injunction could be granted subject to deposit of disputed amount in Court. Such amount would be disbursed in accordance with ultimate order of Court. (1999 CLC 492)

            Interim injunction. Outstanding electricity bill. Disconnection of electricity. Deposit of outstanding amount. Issuance of injunction subject to furnishing of security. Validity. Injunctive order could not have been issued without deposit of amount. (1999 CLC 492)

            Suit for declaration and permanent injunction impugning supplementary electricity bill together with consequential relief against the recovery and disconnection of the electricity supply to the plaintiff. Trial Court, after recording evidence came to the conclusion that suit was barred under S. 54-C of the Electricity Act, 1910 and under Ss. 42 & 56 of Specific Relief Act, 1877, but decreed the suit partially for settlement of accounts and referred the matter to the Electric Inspector who was the Authority competent under S. 26(6) of Electricity Act, 1910, for settlement of such demand. Electric Inspector gave its findings and submitted a report to the Trial Court, which was accepted by the Court, despite objection by the appellant, and the same order was upheld by the Appellate Court. Validity. Trial Court, after coming to the conclusion that it had no jurisdiction rightly referred the controversy to the Electric Inspector for deciding the controversy and appropriate course left to the Court was to leave the parties to contest the matter before hierarchy provided under Electricity Act, 1910, but Trial Court stepped over its jurisdiction and entered into the domain of other functionary while sitting over the report of Electric Inspector as an appellate forum and deciding the objections filed against it and giving its findings on the same and said error was repeated by Appellate Court. Decree passed by both the Courts below could not be sustained. (2001 YLR 2226)

55.        Delegation of certain function of Provincial Government to Electric Inspectors.           The Provincial Government may, by general or special order, authorize the discharge of any of its functions under section 13 or section 18 (Ins. by Electricity (Amendment) Act, 1922, S. 22) [or section 34, sub-section (2)], or clause V, sub-clause (2), or clause XIII of the Schedule by an Electric Inspector.

56.        Protection for acts done in good faith.   No suit, prosecution or other proceeding shall lie against any public officer, or any servant of a local authority, for anything done, or in good faith purporting to be done, under this Act.

57.        Amendment of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.   (1)  In section 40, sub-section (1), clause (b), and section 41, sub-section (5), of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, the term “work” shall be deemed to include electrical energy supplied, or to be supplied, by means of the work to be constructed.

(2)        The Provincial Government may, if it thinks fit, on the application of any person, not  being a company, desirous of obtaining  any land for the purposes  of  his undertaking, direct, that he may acquire such land under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, in the same manner and on the same conditions as it might be acquired if the person were a company.

58.        Repeal and savings.   (1)  The Indian Electricity Act, 1903, is hereby repealed:

Provided that every application for a license made and every license granted under the said Act shall be deemed to have been made and granted under this Act.

(2)        Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to affect the terms of any license which was granted, or of any agreement which was made, by or with the sanction of the Government for the supply or use of electricity before the commencement of this Act.

_____________

THE SCHEDULE

 

PROVISIONS TO BE DEEMED TO BE INCORPORATED WITH, AND TO FORM PART OF, EVERY LICENSE GRANTED UNDER PART II, SO FAR AS NOT ADDED TO, VARIED OR EXCEPTED BY THE LICENSE.

 

[See section 3, sub-section (2), clause (f)]

COMMENTARY

            Schedule, Clauses (iv) and (vi) – Written notice (10 days) before discontinuing supply of energy. Necessary. Discontinuance of supply of energy without notice. Unlawful. (NLR 1978 Ciivl Lah. 142)

Security and Accounts

1.         Security for execution of works of licensee not being local authority.  Where the licensee is not a local authority, the following provisions as to giving security

shall apply, namely:–

(a)    The licensee shall, within the period fixed in that behalf by his license, or any-longer period which the Provincial Government may substitute therefore by order under section 4, subsection (3), clause (b), of the Electricity Act, 1910, before exercising any of the powers by the license conferred on him in relation to the execution of works, show, to the satisfaction of the Provincial Government, that he is in a position  fully  and efficiently to discharge the duties and obligations imposed upon him by the license throughout the area of supply.

(b)    The licensee shall also, within the period fixed in that behalf by his license, or any longer period which the Provincial Government may substitute therefor by order under section 4, subsection (3), clause (b), of the Electricity Act. 1910, and before exercising any of the powers conferred on him in relation to the execution of works, deposit or secure to the satisfaction of the Provincial Government, such sum (if any) as may be fixed by the license, or, if not so fixed, by the Provincial Government.

(c)    The said sum deposited or secured by licensee under the provisions of this clause shall be repaid or released to him on the completion of the works or at such earlier date or dates and by such installments, as may be approved by the Provincial Government.

II.         Audit of accounts of licensee not being local authority.   Where the licensee is not a local authority, the following provisions as to the audit of accounts shall apply, namely:–

(a)             The annual statement of accounts of the undertaking shall, before being rendered under section 11 of the Electricity Act, 1910, be examined and audited by such person as the Provincial Government may appoint or approve in this behalf, and the remuneration of the auditor shall be such as the Provincial Government may direct, and his remuneration and all expenses incurred by him in or about the execution of his duties to such an amount as the Provincial Government shall approve, shall be paid by the licensee on demand.

(b)             The licensee shall afford to the auditor, his clerks and assistants, access to all such books and documents relating to the undertaking as are necessary for the purposes of the audit, and shall, when required, furnish to him and then all vouchers and information requisite for that purpose, and afford to him and them all facilities for the proper execution of his and their duty.

(c)             The audit shall be made and conducted in such manner as the Provincial Government may direct.

(d)             Any report made by the auditor, or such portion thereof, as the Provincial Government may direct, shall be appended to the annual statement of accounts of the licensee, and shall thenceforth form part thereof.

(e)             Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this clause the Provincial Government may, if it thinks fit, accept the examination and audit of an auditor appointed by the licensee.

III.        Separate accounts.    The licensee shall, unless the Provincial Government otherwise directs, at all  times  to keep the accounts of the capital employed for the purposes of the undertaking distinct from the accounts kept by him of any other undertaking or business.

IV.        Execution of work after commencement of licence.   The licensee shall, within a period of three years after the commencement of the license, execute the satisfaction of the Provincial Government all such works as may be specified in the license in this behalf or, if not so specified, as the Provincial Government may, by order in writing issued within six months of the date of commencement of the license, direct

V.         Provision as to laying down of further distributing mains.   (1) Where after the expiration of two years and six months from the commencement of the license, a requisition is made by six or more owners or occupiers of premises in or upon any street or part of a street within the area of supply or by the Provincial Government or a local authority charged with the public lighting thereof, requiring the licensee to provide distributing mains throughout such street or part thereof, the licensee shall comply within six months with the requisition, unless, —

(a)        where  it  is made by such owners or  occupiers as aforesaid, the owners or occupiers making it do not, within fourteen  clear days after the service on them by the licensee of a notice in writing in this behalf, tender to the licensee a  written contract duly executed and  with sufficient security binding themselves to take, or guaranteeing   that there shall be taken, a supply of energy for not less than two years to  such amount as will in the aggregate produce annually, at the current rates charged by the licensee, a reasonable return to the licensee; or

(b)        where it is made by the Provincial Government or a local authority,  the Provincial Government or local authority, as the case may be, does, not within the like period, tender a like contract binding itself to take a supply of energy for not less than seven years for the public lamps in such street  or  part thereof.

(2)        Where any difference or dispute arises between the licensee and such owners or occupiers as to the sufficiency of the security offered under this clause, or, as to the amount of energy to be taken or guaranteed as aforesaid, the matter shall be referred to the Provincial Government, and either decided by it or if it so directs, determined by arbitration.

(3)        Every requisition under this clause shall be signed by the maker or makers thereof and shall be served on the licensee.

(4)        Every  requisition under this clause shall be in a form to be prescribed by rules under the Electricity Act, 1910; and copies of the form shall be kept at the office of the licensee and supplied free of charge to any applicant.

VI.        Requisition for supply to owners or occupiers in vicinity.  (1) Where (Ins. by the Electricity (Amdt) Act, 1992 (I of 1992), S. 23)  [after distributing mains have been laid down under the provisions of clause IV or clause V and the supply of energy through those mains or any of them has commenced] a requisition is made by the owner or occupier of any premises situate within (Subs. ibid for “one hundred yards from any distributing main”.)  [the area of supply] requiring the licensee to supply energy for such premises, the licensee shall, within one month form the making of the requisition (Ins by Electricity (Amdt) Act, 1992 (I of 1992) S. 23) [or within such longer period as the Electric Inspector may allow], supply, and save in so far as he is prevented from doing so by cyclones, floods storms or other occurrences beyond his control, continue to supply, energy in accordance with the requisition:

Provided first, that the licensee shall  not  be  bound  to comply with any such requisitions unless and until the person making it –

(a)    within fourteen days after the service on him by the licensee of a notice in writing in this behalf, tenders to the licensee a written contract, in a form approved by the Provincial Government, duly executed and with sufficient security, binding himself to take a supply of energy  for  not  less  than two years to such amount as will produce, at current rates  charged  by  the licensee, a reasonable return to the licensee, and

(b)    if required by the licensee so to do, pays to the licensee the cost of so much of any service line as may be laid down or placed for the purposes of the supply upon the property in respect of which the requisition is made, and of so much of any service line as it may be necessary for the said purposes to lay down or place beyond one hundred feet from the licensee’s distributing main although not on that property:

(Subs. by Ordinance LXII of 1979) Provided secondly, that the licensee shall be entitled to discontinue such supply—

(a)        if the owner or occupier of the premises to which the supply is made by the licensee has not already given security, or if any security already given by him has become invalid, or there is change of  owner or occupier and such owner or occupier fails to furnish security according to the prevalent rate, as the case maybe within seven days after the service upon him of notice from the licensee requiring him so to do, or

(b)        if the owner or occupier of the premises to which the supply is made adopts any appliance, or uses the energy supplied to him by the licensee for any purpose, or deals with it in any manner, so as unduly or improperly to interfere with the efficient supply of energy to any other person by the licensee, or

(c)        if the electric wires, fittings, works and apparatus in such premises are not in good order and condition, and  are  consequently  likely to affect injuriously the use of energy by the licensee, or by other persons, or

(d)        if the owner or occupier makes any alteration of, or addition to, any electric wires, fittings, works or apparatus within such premises as aforesaid, and does not notify the same to the licensee before the same are connected to the source of supply, with a view to their being examined, tested, accounted or charged for, or

(e)        if the owner or occupier of the premises to which the supply is made has:-

(i)         used it in a manner prejudicial to the safety or efficient working of the licensee’s electric supply lines or works;

(ii)         used it under one method of charging in a manner for which a higher method of charging is in force;

(iii)        broken, tempered with or counterfeited the licensee’s seal, casing or covering affixed or placed to protect any meter, maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus referred to in section 26;

(iv)       altered the index of any such  meter, maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus

(v)        prevented any such meter, maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus from duly registering the energy supplied or the electrical quantity contained in the supply; or

(vi)       presented the supply, consumption or use of energy from being duly registered by any such meter, maximum demand indicator or other measuring apparatus; but the licensee shall reconnect the supply with all reasonable speed on the cessation of  the  act  or  default or both, as the case may be, which entitled him to discontinue it:

Provided, thirdly, that the maximum rate per  unit  of time at which the owner or occupier shall be entitled to be supplied  with energy shall not exceed what is necessary for the maximum consumption on his premises, and, where the owner or occupier has required a licensee to supply him at a specified maximum rate, he shall not be entitled to alter that maximum, except after one months notice  in writing to the licensee, and the licensee may recover form the owner or occupier any expenses incurred by him by reason of such alteration in respect of the service lines by which energy is supplied to the property beyond one hundred feet from the licensee’s distributing main, or in respect of any fittings or apparatus of the licensee upon that property: and

Provided, fourthly, that if  any requisition is made for a supply of energy and the licensee can prove, to the satisfaction of an Electric Inspector, —

(a)                               that the nearest distributing main is already loaded up to its full current – carrying capacity, or

(b)                               that, in case of a larger amount of current being transmitted by it, the loss of pressure will seriously affect the efficiency of the supply to other consumers in the vicinity.

the licensee may refuse to accede tot he requisition for such reasonable period not exceeding six months, as such Inspector may think sufficient for the purpose of amending the distributing main or laying down or placing a further distributing main or laying down or placing a further distributing main.

(2)        Any service line laid for the purpose of supply in pursuance of a requisition under sub-clause (1) shall notwithstanding that a portion of it may have been paid for the person making the requisition, be maintained by the licensee.

(Subs by Ordinance LXII of 1979) [(3)        Where any difference or dispute arises as to the amount of energy to be taken or guaranteed as aforesaid, or as to the cost or any service line, or as to the amount or the expenses incurred under the third proviso to sub-clause (1), the matter shall be referred,  on  the  application of either party to an Electric Inspector who, within a maximum period of ninety days from the date of such application, and after affording the parties an opportunity of being heard, shall decide the matter; and where the Electric Inspector fails to decide the matter within the said period or where either party declines to accept the  decision of the Electric Inspector, the matter  shall be referred to the Provincial Government whose decision shall be final.

(4)        Every requisition under this clause shall be signed by the maker or makers thereof and shall be served on the licensee.

(5)        Every requisition under this clause shall be in a form to be prescribed by rule under the Electricity Act, 1910; and copies of the forms shall be kept at the office of the licensee and supplied free of charge to any applicant.

Sch. Clause VII, sub-para, (1), proviso (a). Electricity licence, grant of. Discontinuation of supply. While exercising right to discontinue supply of energy under licence which incorporates Schedule, licensee, held, can discontinue electricity supply, provided security becomes invalid an distinguished from insufficient.

Sch. Clause VI, sub-para. (1), proviso (a), Electricity licence, grant of, Discontinuation of supply. Security becoming insufficient, licensee while invoking its powers, held, not entitled to discontinue supply of energy. (1983 CLC 856)

(Subs by the Electricity (Amdt) Act, 1922 (I of 1922 (I of 1922), S. 24, for the original clause.) [VII.  Further provisions as to laying of service lines.    The licensee shall, before commencing to lay down or place a service line in any street in which a distributing main has not already been laid down or placed, serve upon the local authority (if any) and  upon  the  owner or occupier of all premises abutting on so much of the street as lies  between  the points of origin and termination of the service line so to be laid down or placed, twenty-one days’ notice stating that the licensee intends to lay down or place a service line, and intimating that, if within the said period the local authority or any five or more of such owners or occupiers require, in accordance with the provisions of the license, that a supply shall be given for any public lamps or to their premises, as the case may be, the necessary distributing main will be laid down or placed by the licensee at the same time as the service-line.]

VIII.      Supply for public lamps.    (1)Where after distributing mains have been laid down under the provisions of clause IV or clause V and the supply of energy through those mains or any of them has commenced a requisition is made by the Provincial Government or by a local authority requiring the licensee to supply for a period of not less than seven years of energy for any public lamps within the area of supply, the licensee shall supply, and, save in so far as he is prevented from doing so by cyclones, floods, storms or other occurrences beyond his control, continue to supply, energy for such lamps in such quantities as the Provincial  Government or the local authority, as the case may be, may require.

(2)        The provisions of sub-clause (b) of the first proviso, of sub-clauses (c) and (d) of the second proviso, and of the third and fourth provisos to sub-clause (1) and the provisions of sub-clauses (2) and (3) of clause VI shall, so far as may be, apply to every case in which a requisition for the supply of energy is made under this clause as if the Provincial Government or local authority were an owner or occupier within the meaning of those provisions.]

IX.        Special provisions supplying to supply by bulk-licensees.  (1) Where and in so far as, the licensee (hereinafter referred to as “the bulk-licensee) is authorized by his license to  supply  energy  to other licensees for distribution by them (hereinafter in this clause referred to as “distributing-licensees”) the following provisions shall apply, namely: –

(a)        any distributing-licensees within  the  bulk-licensee’s area of supply may make a requisition  on  the  bulk-licensee, requiring him to give a supply of energy and specifying the point and the maximum rate  per unit of time, at  which  supply  is required, and the date upon which the supply is required, and the date upon which the supply is to commence, such date being fixed after the date of receipt of the requisition so as to allow an interval that is reasonable with regard to the locality and to the length of the electric supply-line and the amount of the plant required;

(b)        such distributing-licensee shall, if required by the bulk-licensee so to do, enter into a written agreement to receive and pay for a supply or energy for a period of not less than seven years of such an amount  that the payment to be made for the same at the rate of charge for the time being charged for such supply shall not be less that such an amount as will produce a reasonable return to the bulk-licensee on the outlay (excluding expenditure on  generating plant then existing and any electric supply-line then laid down or placed) incurred by him in making provision for such supply;

(c)        the maximum rate per unit of time at which a distributing licensee shall be entitled to  be supplied with energy shall not exceed what is necessary for the purposes for which the supply is required by him, and need, not be increased except upon a fresh requisition made in accordance with the foregoing provisions;

(d)        if  any difference or dispute arises under this clause, it shall be determined by arbitration, and, in the event of such arbitration the arbitrator shall have regard to the following amongst other considerations, namely:-

(i)         the period for which the  distributing  licensee is prepared to bind himself to take energy

(ii)         the amount of energy required an the hours during which the bulk-licensee is to supply it;

(iii)        the capital expenditure incurred or to be incurred by the bulk-licensee in connection with the  aforesaid supply of energy; and

(iv)       the extent to which the capital expended or to be expended by the bulk-licensee in connection with  such supply may become unproductive upon the discontinuance thereof.

(2)        Notwithstanding anything in sub-clause (1), the bulk-licensee shall give a supply of energy to any distributing-licensee within his area of supply applying therefor, even although the distributing-licensee desires to be supplied with only a portion of the energy required for distribution by him:

Provided that the  distributing-licensee shall, if so required by the bulk-licensee, enter  into an agreement to take such energy upon special terms (including a minimum  annual  sum  to  be  paid  to the bulk-licensee) to be determined, if necessary, by arbitration in the manner laid down in sub-clause (1)(d).

(3)        The maximum price fixed by a license for energy supplied to a distributing-licensee shall not apply to any partial supply given under sub-clause (2).

(4)        Every distributing-licensee, who is  supplied with energy by a bulk-licensee and intends  to discontinue to receive such  supply, shall give not less than twelve month’s notice in writing of such intention to the bulk –licensee:

Provided that, where the distributing-licensee has entered into a written agreement with the bulk-licensee to receive and pay for a supply of energy for a certain period, such notice shall be given so as not to expire before the end of that period.

 

 

X.         Methods of charging charges (The first part of the clause upto and including sub-clause (c) omitted by the Electricity (Amdt) Act, 1922 (I of 1922) S. 26) * * * *

(The first, second and third provisions and (3) respectively, by the Electricity (Amdt) Act, 1922 (I of 1922), S. 26)            [(1)] (The words, “Provided, first, that” omitted, ibid)* * *   Where the licensee charges by any method approved by  the Provincial Government in accordance with section 23, sub-section (3), clause (c), of the Electricity Act, 1910, any consumer who objects to that method, by not less than one month’s notice in writing, require the licensee to charge him, at the licensee’s option, either by the actual amount of energy supplied to him or by the electrical quantity contained in the supply, and thereafter the licensee shall not, except with the consent of the consumer charge him by another method.

(2)        Before commencing to supply energy through any distributing main, the licensee shall give notice, by public advertisement, of the method by which he proposes to charge for energy so supplied; and where the licensee has given such notice, he shall not be entitled to change that method of charging without giving not less than one month’s notice  in writing of such change to the Provincial Government, to the local authority (if any) concerned, and to every consumer of energy who is supplied by him from such main.

(3)        If the consumer is provided with a meter  in  pursuance of the provisions of section 26, sub-section (1), of the Electricity Act, 1910, and the  licensee changes  the method of charging for the energy supplied by him form the distributing main, the licensee shall  bear the expense of providing a new meter, or such other apparatus as may be necessary by reason of the new method of charging.

XI.        Maximum charges.  Save as provided by clause IX, sub-clause (3), the prices charged  by  the licensee for energy supplied by him shall not exceed the maxima fixed by his license, or, in the case of a method  of  charge  approved by the Provincial Government, such maxima as the Provincial Government shall fix  on approving the method:

Provided, that, if at any time after the expiration of seven years from the commencement of the license, the Provincial Government considers that the maxima  so fixed or approved as aforesaid should be altered, it shall refer the matter to an Advisory Board,  and,  if  the Board recommends any alteration, may make an order in accordance with such recommendation, which shall have effect form such date as may be mentioned therein:

            Provided also, that, where an order in pursuance of the foregoing proviso has been made, no further order altering the maxima fixed thereby shall be made until the expiration of another period of five years.

(The words “or is satisfied” omitted by the Electricity (Admd) Act, 1922 (I of 1922), S. 27.) [XIA. Minimum charges.     A licensee may charge a consumer a minimum charge for energy of such amount and determined in  such a manner as may be specified by his license, and such minimum charge shall be payable notwithstanding that no energy has been used by the consumer during the period for which such minimum charge is made.]

XII.       Charge for supply for public lamps.    The price to be charged by the licensee and to be paid to him for energy supplied for the public lamps, and the mode in which those charges are to be ascertained, shall be settled by agreement between the licensee and the Provincial Government or the local authority, as the case may be, and, where any difference or dispute arises, the matter shall be determined by arbitration.

Testing and Inspection

XIII.      Licensee to establish testing stations and keep instruments for testing.  The licensee shall establish at his own cost and keep in proper condition such number of testing stations, situated at such places within reasonable distance from any distributing main, as the Provincial Government may direct for the purpose of testing the pressure or periodicity of the supply of energy in the distributing main, and shall supply and keep in proper condition thereat, and on all premises form which he supplies energy, such instruments for testing as an Electric Inspector, may approve, and shall supply energy to each testing station for the purpose of testing,

XIV.     Facilities for testing.   The licensee shall afford all facilities for inspection and testing of his works and for the reading, testing and inspection of his instruments, and may, on each occasion of the testing of his works or the reading, testing or inspection of any instruments, be represented by an agent, who may be present, but shall not interfere with the reading, testing or inspection.

XV.      Testing of works.   On  the occasion of the testing of any works of the licensee by an Electric Inspector reasonable notice thereof shall be given to the licensee; and the testing shall be carried out at such suitable hours as, in the opinion of the Electric Inspector, will least interfere with the supply of energy by the licensee, and in such manner as the Electric Inspector shall not be entitled to have access to, or interfere with the supply of energy by the licensee, and in such manner as the Electric Inspector may think fit; but, except under the provisions or an order made in each case in that behalf by the Provincial Government,  the  Electric Inspector shall not be entitled to have access to, or interfere with, the works of the licensee at any points other than those at which the licensee himself has access to the same:

Provided that the licensee shall not be held responsible for any interruption or irregularity in the supply of energy which may be occasioned by, or required by the Electric Inspector for the purpose of, any such testing as aforesaid:

Provided, also, that the testing shall not be made in regard to any particular portion of the works oftener than once in any three months, unless in pursuance of an order made in each case in that behalf by the Provincial Government.

 

Plans

XVI.     Plan of area of supply to be made and kept open for inspection. (1)The licensee shall, after commencing to supply energy, forthwith cause a plan to be made of the area of supply, and shall cause to be marked thereon the alignment and, in the case of underground works, the approximate depth below the surface of all his then existing electric supply-lines, street distributing boxes and other works, and shall once in every year cause that plan to be duly corrected so as to show the electric supply-lines, street-distributing boxes and other works for the time being in position, The licensee shall also, if required by an Electric Inspector, cause to be made sections showing the approximate level of all his existing underground works other than service lines.

(Subs. by the Electricity (Amdt) Act, 1922 (I of 1922), S. 29, for the original sub-clauses (2) and (3)      [(2)  Every such plan shall be drawn to such scale as the Provincial Government may require: provided that no scale shall be required unless maps of the locality on that scale are for the time being available to the public.

(3)        Every such section shall be drawn horizontal and vertical scales which shall be such as the Provincial Government may require.]

(4)        Every plan and section so made or corrected, or a copy thereof marked with the date when it was so made or corrected, shall be kept by the licensee at his principal office or place of business within the area of supply, and shall at all reasonable times by open to the inspection of all applicants, and copies thereof shall be supplied on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by rules under the Electricity Act, 1910.

(5)        The licensee shall, if required by an Electric Inspector and, where the licensee is not a local authority (if any) concerned, supply free of charge to such Electric Inspector or local authority a copy of every such plan or section duly corrected so as to agree with the original kept at the principal office or place of business of the licensee.

Additional notice of certain works

XVII.    Notice to Electric Inspector.   On the day next preceding the commencement of any such works as are referred to in section 13 of the Electricity Act, 1910, the licensee shall, in addition to any other notices which he may be required to give, serve upon the Electric Inspector, or such officer as the Provincial Government may appoint in this behalf for the area of supply, a notice in writing stating that he is about to commence the works, and the nature and position of the same.