CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has set aside the orders of Tangedco demanding maximum charges and compensation from high tension consumers, saying it was illegal, unsustainable and a violation of the statutory regulations.
Justice N Anand Venkatesh quashed the demand notices, while allowing a batch of writ petitions from the South India Spinners Association in Coimbatore and 19 others challenging them, on Friday.
The judge directed Tangedco to issue a revised bill to the petitioners by applying Regulation 6(b) of the Supply Code for the entire period when the establishment was shut down. If it has already recovered the entire dues from any of the petitioners, the bill shall be reworked in accordance with the direction given in Clause (a) and the excess amount shall be adjusted towards future bills.
If the demand made by Tangedco has been adjusted from the security deposit and any of the petitioners has been asked to pay any amount towards additional security deposit on that count, the claim shall be withdrawn forthwith and the calculation of the additional security deposit shall be independently done under Regulation 5 of the Supply Code and demand/adjustment shall be done in accordance with the said regulation.
Tangedco shall not levy compensation charges towards low PF from the petitioners during the period of lockdown. Even if such levy is made in future, a show cause notice shall be issued to the consumer before levying any compensation under Clause 18.104.22.168 of the tariff regulation. If any amount has already been recovered towards levy of compensation charges for low PF from any of the petitioners, it shall be adjusted towards future bills.
These directions will apply only for the period during which the establishment was under total lockdown due to the orders issued by the government, the judge said and made it clear that it pertains only to the Minimum Charges payable under Regulation 6(b) of the Supply Code and there is no exemption or concession in so far as the charges payable for the actual consumption of electricity (energy charges).
If any of the establishments continue to be under lockdown due to the government orders passed in this regard, the minimum charges alone shall be collected till the lifting of the lockdown, the judge said.