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HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD, LUCKNOW BENCH
(AFR)Court No. - 27
Case :- MISC. BENCH No. - 4545 of 2005
Petitioner :- Om Narian Sahu
Respondent :- U.P.Power Copr.Shakti Bhawan And 3 Ors
Petitioner Counsel :- K.K.Tripathi
Respondent Counsel :- C.Sc.,Prashant Arora, S.M.K Chaudhary
Hon'ble Devi Prasad Singh,J.
Hon'ble Sudhir Kumar Saxena,J.
Heard learned counsel for the petitioner and Sri Prashant Arora, learned counsel for the respondent no. 2.
With the consent of the learned counsel for the parties, we decide this writ petition at the admission stage.
Petitioner has preferred this writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India against the impugned recovery proceeding initiated against him alongwith 10% collection charges. Copy of the Citation of recovery which is for Rs. 31715/- has been filed as Annexure no. 1 to the writ petition.
In brief the facts of the case are that petitioner had applied for 3 K.W. electric connection for his house situated at 346/133K Mehndi Ganj, Lucknow on 21st August, 1991. After moving appropriate application in accordance with the Rules, the petitioner deposited an amount of Rs. 1614/- on 29th August, 1991 in the Central Bank of India, Alambagh, Lucknow to avail electricity connection. In spite of the fact that the petitioner has completed all the necessary formalities and deposited the requisite amount, electricity connection was not provided to him. He approached repeatedly respondents and their authorities but failed to get any electricity connection.
However, on 31st May, 1996 the petitioner received a letter from the then Executive Engineer, Vidyut Nagariya Vitaran Khand, Aishbagh, Lucknow with a demand of Rs. 95,782.41/-. After receipt of the aforesaid demand notice dated 31st May, 1996, copy of which has been filed as Annexure no. 3 to the writ petition, the petitioner sent a legal notice dated 13th June, 1996 (Annexure no. 4A) stating that in spite of deposition of the requisite fees, no electricity connection was provided to him but even then a demand notice of aforesaid amount was served. After receipt of notice sent by the petitioner, Executive Engineer ordered enquiry.
Since nothing happened in spite of notice (supra) sent by the petitioner, the petitioner sent another registered letter on 7th July, 1998 (Annexure no. 5) ventilating his grievance to provide electricity connection and withdraw the demand notice dated 31st May, 1996.
Another reminder dated 19th August, 1998 was sent by the petitioner personally to Executive Engineer (Commerce), Aishbagh, Lucknow but nothing happened in spite of the fact that the petitioner has sent notice for withdrawal of demand letter (supra) and to provide electricity connection. Impugned citation of recovery (Annexure no. 1) requiring the petitioner to ensure his presence before the revenue authority, was issued on 7th July, 2005 to appear, hence petitioner approached this Court by means of present writ petition.
While filing counter affidavit, Sri Vipin Jain, Executive Engineer, EUDD, Aishbagh, Lucknow has not denied the facts pleaded in the writ petition. However, he stated that the R.C. which is under challenge has been withdrawn vide order dated 29.07.2005.
Keeping in view the withdrawal order, it is stated by Sri Prashant Arora, learned counsel for respondent no. 2 that this petition has become infructuous.
On the other hand, learned counsel for the petitioner submits that order for withdrawal is conditional one which is subject to further inquiry. Learned counsel for the petitioner apprehends that he shall be harassed by the authorities in case the writ petition is dismissed as infructuous.
While filing counter affidavit, the respondent has not denied Para 2 to 18 of the writ petition and it is submitted that para nos. 2 to 18 of the writ petition do not call for any specific reply.
It emerges out from the record that there appears no room of doubt that petitioner deposited requisite amount for electricity connection but same was not provided to him rather demand notice was sent in response to which he sent notice (supra) but he received no response. Matter is of the year, 1991 while electricity connection was not provided to the petitioner in spite of all completed formalities. The fact has not been denied in counter affidavit filed by the respondent.
Once specific plea has been taken that petitioner has deposited requisite amount and completed necessary formalities, it was incumbent upon respondents to bring on record the factual matrix. Petitioner has also prayed that estimated charges given by him for installing the electric connection may be refunded alongwith 20% compound interest.
Keeping in view the relief no. 3, argument advanced by learned counsel for the petitioner that writ petition has not become infructuous, has substance. Moreover, keeping in view the public interest involved and petitions filed from time to time with this Court with the grievance that electric Bills are sent them without providing electricity connection or even after disconnection, it shall be appropriate that respondents be directed to take remedial measures and fix accountability.
In view of the above and keeping in view the fact that pleadings on record have not been denied by the respondents, the writ petition deserves to be allowed with costs.
The petitioner has suffered harassment and mental agony since 1991. The respondents did not resolve the controversy in question at an early date. In case, a citizen moves application for electricity connection, then such application should be decided expeditiously within a reasonable time frame and electricity connection may be provided within a reasonable period after completion of necessary formalities.
In the present case, in spite of the fact that petitioner has completed necessary formalities in the year, 1991 itself, electricity connection was not provided to him, which manifests callous attitude on the part of Power Corporation.
It shall not be out of place to mention here that electricity in present era is necessity and part & partial of the quality of life which is guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Electricity is need not only for the household matter but also for other activities necessary for civilized society. U.P. Power Corporation and Authorities have no right to delay the matter with regard to the electricity connection. It shall be appropriate to the U.P. Power Corporation to provide electricity connection after completion of necessary formalities as well as disconnection of electricity whenever citizen moves application to the said effect expeditiously.
Subject to aforesaid observations, writ petition is allowed.
1.A writ in the nature of mandamus is issued directing respondents to consider the petitioner's prayer for refund of dues deposited in the year, 1991 within one month alongwith simple interest @ 10%. The appropriate order shall be passed within one month from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order.
2.Further, a writ in the nature of mandamus is issued directing U.P. Power Corporation to constitute a Committee to provide therein time frame essentially with regard to providing electricity connection. Time frame for electricity connection to the citizen after completion of necessary formalities should be reasonable subject to feasibility. In case, connection is not provided within time frame, the accountability may be fixed and for delay of every date, appropriate interest be provided to the citizen with regard to amount deposited by them. The decision should be taken by U.P. Power Corporation within three months and report with regard to the action taken by Corporation be sent to this Court within a period of three months.
3.Further a writ in the nature of mandamus is issued directing U.P. Power Corporation to hold enquiry and take disciplinary action against the officers who are responsible for present controversy and inaction in providing electricity connection.
Registry shall send copy of judgment to the Managing Director, U.P. Power Corporation. The compliance report by the U.P. Power Corporation be placed before Court immediately after three months.
Writ petition is allowed accordingly with the cost of Rs.50,000/-(fifty thousand) which will be deposited with the Registrar of Court within one month failing which it shall be recovered as arrears of land revenue. Out of which, an amount of Rs. 25,000/-(twenty-five thousand) will be remitted to the present petitioner and rest will go to Oudh Bar Association Library.
Order Date :- 03.01.2013