• Defaulters not eligible for new power connections: HC

    The KSEB cannot be asked to provide a new connection to a customer if dues from an earlier connection remains unsettled for the very same premises, the Kerala high court has held.
    The decision by Justice AM Shaffique was after considering a petition (WP-C 30150/2013) filed by Kochumon Shamsudeen of Kayamkulam. An anti-power-theft squad (APTS) had imposed a penalty of Rs 3.79 lakh on the petitioner for unauthorized use of 7,254 watts of energy.
    During the inspection, it was allegedly found the petitioner, who had a power connection, had extended it to another new building.
    According to KSEB, it was understood during further verification that a new building was constructed in the premises where an old building existed, which had a consumer number. Cases were filed against arrears of current charges but were dismissed. The consumer number was thereafter dismantled. The extension that was being illegally used was given to the building constructed in the premises where the old consumer number existed.
    As the petitioner declined to deposit 50 per cent of the penalty, an appellate authority had confirmed the order on January 17, 2014. At the high court, the petitioner argued that he had been requesting a new connection to the new building all along. He sought a court directive to KSEB to provide a new connection.
    KSEB opposed this argument and informed the court that once there is a liability to be discharged, there is no question of giving any further power connection to the new building constructed in the very same premises.
    Ruling in favour of KSEB, the court held, “As far as the claim for regularisation of the power connection to the premises where an earlier Consumer No.4216 existed, as indicated by the respondents, if there is a liability in respect of the said premises, the board cannot be called upon to provide a new connection, unless the liability is settled. Under such circumstances, it is not possible for this Court to issue any direction as sought for by the petitioner.”
    If the petitioner is willing to settle the entire liability related to the earlier connection, KSEB can take appropriate action, the court said. Dede Westbrook Womens Jersey

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