S.C. Jha, President:
1. This appeal has been directed against the order dated 24.1.2007 passed by the learned District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Samastipur in Consumer Complaint No. 87/2004 whereby and whereunder the District Forum has directed to rectify the electric bill of the complainant-respondent waiving the D.P.S. charge and thereby to submit correct bills before him within sixty days of the order. Besides the appellant has also been directed to pay compensation of Rs. ten thousand to the complainant-respondent for mental agony and harassment and Rs. 2,000 as litigation cost.
2. The complaint was filed by the respondent Yatish Narain in the District Forum, Samastipur on the allegation that on his application he was given electric connection for consumers in rural area and electric energy charge @ 75 units per month was being realized from him, which was subsequently enhanced from 75 units to 125 units for four months, i.e., September,99 to December,99. The complainant raised objection and as such, he was advised to instal his own electric meter and after such installation of meter at his cost on 1.11.1999, the Electricity Board-appellant was not required to charge any meter rent but even then exorbitant billing was not stopped and as per direction of the appellant, the complainant made payment of Rs. 725.84 on 28.9.1999 and Rs. 1,500 on 29.9.2001. The complaint of the respondent-complainant remained unheard and hence the case. However, the complainant remained enjoying electric supply till the date of the final judgment.
3. The appellant-O.P. appeared and repudiated the claim of the respondent saying that there was clerical error in respect of submission of bill of Rs. 6,242.70, which was dated 10.6.2003. Page-2 of the order goes to show that the bill dated 8.6.2003 was for Rs. 5,704.40, bill dated 10.6.2003 was for Rs. 6,242.70 and bill dated 10.7.2003 was for Rs. 5,898.09 and as such, the learned District Forum disbelieved this discrepancy and held that there could not be billing for Rs. 6,242.70 just after from 8.6.2003 and on this score the learned District Forum have held that the appellant was guilty and deficient and awarded such compensation to the respondent.
4. We have gone through the documents on the record and considered the submission advanced on behalf of the parties by their learned respective Counsel.
5. It has been submitted on behalf of the appellant that the respondent had taken electric connection and had paid only Rs. 1,500 on 29.9.2001 and as such, dues went on accumulating on 8.6.2003 for Rs. 5,704.40 and the same was issued along with realization for arrear amount till May, 2003 and in the month of July,2003 similarly there was presentation of bill of Rs. 5,898.09 along with earlier arrears till June,2003 and again in the month of August, 2003 the bill for Rs. 6,242.70 was issued along with earlier arrears of Rs. 5,998.09 till July,2007. So in nutshell it was submitted that the bill for Rs. 6,242.70 was issued on 10.8.2003 not on 10.6.2003 and the learned District Forum has mistaken dated 10.8.2003 as 10.6.2003 and jumped on the conclusion hurriedly holding them deficient.
6. It has further been submitted that the complainant-respondent had paid only Rs. 1,500 on 29.9.2001 and as such, his electric connection was disconnected in the month of April 2004 when electrical consumption dues rose to Rs. 6,659.87. Not only that the premises of the complainant-respondent was also raided on 12.1.2006 by the Raiding Team of Electricity Board and it was found that the complainant was using electrical energy from the main line by means of hook and wire and, therefore, the criminal case was also lodged and these facts were not considered. From the aforesaid facts, it is manifest that the learned District Forum has not considered everything in its entirety rather jumped on the conclusion simply on the electric bill for Rs. 6,242.70, which was as a matter of fact in respect of realization for the month of July,2003 in the month of August, 1993. Relevant annexures have also been made so as to support the contents of the memo of appeal.
7. The learned Counsel for the respondent has submitted that the order impugned should be affirmed as there was deficiency found on the part of the appellant.
8. Having considered everything in detail and papers in the connected circumstance, it is manifest that in spite of utilization of electric energy for long five years, the respondent never paid any electric dues and was also found using electric energy illegally by connecting hook and wire from the pole and in such situation the appellant cannot be held responsible in providing service to the respondent.
9. In the aforesaid situation and circumstance, we are unable to affirm the order under challenge here, which is not sustainable on facts and in law and so the same stands set-aside.
10. In the result, the appeal is hereby allowed. However, there shall not be any order of cost in respect of pendency of the appeal here.