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Jindal Oil Mills and ors. and Vs. Godhra Electricity Co. Ltd. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectElectricity
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Appeal Nos. 15 and 16 of 1969
Judge
Reported inAIR1969SC1225; (1969)GLR1036(SC); (1969)1SCC781; [1969]3SCR836
ActsElectricity(Supply) Act, 1948 - Sections 57 and 57(2); Electricity(Supply)(Amendment) Act, 1956
AppellantJindal Oil Mills and ors. and ;somalal Nathji and ors.
RespondentGodhra Electricity Co. Ltd.
Appellant Advocate M.C. Chagla,; P.C. Bhartari,; P.C. Bhartari,;
Respondent Advocate M.C. Chagla, ; P.C. Bhartari, ; P.C. Bhartari, ;
Prior historyAppeals form the judgment and order dated December 3, 1968 from the judgment and order dated December 3, 1968 of the Gujarat High Court in Letters Patent Appeals Nos. 43 and 42 of 1969 respectively
Excerpt:
electricity - supply of electricity - sections 57 and 57 (2) of electricity (supply) act, 1948 and electricity (supply) (amendment) act, 1956 - appellant was consumer of electricity - sued respondent company seeking to restrain respondent from enforcing enhanced charges sought to be collected from consumers - government granted licence to respondent firm authorizing it to generate and supply electricity - licence prescribed maximum charges that licensee can levy for power supplied - whether under provisions of amended electricity act respondent was competent to unilaterally enhance charges - apex court observed that amending act does not affect any right accrued under repealed provision - no basis for saying that it affects vested right - supreme court opined that respondent has right to.....k.s. hegde, j.1. common questions of law arise for decision in these appeals, by certificate. the suits from which these appeals arise have been considered together and decided by common judgments both in the high court as well as in the courts below. it is convenient to do so in this court as well.2. the suits in questions are representative suits. the plaintiffs-appellants who are consumers of electricity in the godhra area sued the respondent-company on behalf of all the consumers in that area necking to restrain the respondent from enforcing the enhanced charges sought to be collected from the consumers of power used for lights and fans as well as of motive power.3. the facts leading to these appeals may now be stated. on november 19, 1922, the then government of bombay granted a.....
Judgment:

K.S. Hegde, J.

1. Common questions of law arise for decision in these appeals, by certificate. The suits from which these appeals arise have been considered together and decided by common judgments both in the High Court as well as in the courts below. It is convenient to do so in this Court as well.

2. The suits in questions are representative suits. The plaintiffs-appellants who are consumers of electricity in the Godhra area sued the respondent-company on behalf of all the consumers in that area necking to restrain the respondent from enforcing the enhanced charges sought to be collected from the consumers of power used for lights and fans as well as of motive power.

3. The facts leading to these appeals may now be stated. On November 19, 1922, the then Government of Bombay granted a licence under the Indian Electricity Act, 1910 to a concern called Lady Sulochna Chinubhui & Co. authorising it to generate and supply electricity to the consumers in Godhra area. Clause 10 of the licence prescribed the maximum charges that the licensee could levy for the power supplied. The respondent is the successor of the said licensee. After the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 (to be hereinafter referred to as the Supply Act) came into force. a rating committee was constituted under Section 57(2) of the Supply Act at the request of the respondent on January 19, 1950. On the recommendation of that committee, the Government fixed with effect from February 1, 1952, the following charges for the power supplied :

(i) 0-7-9 pies per unit for the electricity supplied for lights and fans with a minimum of Rs. 3/- per month per installation and

(ii) for motive power at 4 annas per unit with a minimum of Rs. 4-8-0 per month per installation.

The Supply Act was amended in 1956. The respondent increased the charges for motive power from January 1, 1963 to 35 NP. per unit with a minimum of Rs. 7/- per month for every installation. On June 22, 1963, the rates for lights and fans were increased with effect from July 1, 1963 to 70 NP. per unit with a minimum of Rs. 5/- per month for every installation. The contention of the appellants is that the respondent was not competent to enhance the charges in question without the matter having been considered by a rating committee. Their suits to restrain the respondent from levying the proposed increased charges were decreased by the trial court. Those decrees were affirmed by the first appellate court as well as by a single judge of the Gujarat High Court in second appeals but the appellate bench of the Gujarat High Court reversed those decrees and dismissed the suits holding that under the Supply Act as amended in 1956 the respondent has a unilateral right to enhance the charges subject to the conditions prescribed in the VI Schedule to that Act. It is as against those decisions these appeals have been brought. Civil Appeal No. 15 of 1969 relates to' the enhancement of charges for electricity power for lights and fans and Civil Appeal No. 16 of 1969 relates to the enhancement of charges for the motive power.

4. The only question that arises for decision in these appeals is whether under the provisions of the Supply Act as amended in 1956, the respondent was competent to unilaterally enhance the charges.

5. In these appeals we are not concerned with the provisions of the Electricity Act, 1910. There is no dispute as regards the charges fixed by the Government with effect from February 1, 1952, under Section 57(2)(c) of the Supply Act on the basis of the recommendation made by the rating committee. The appellants admit their liability to pay enhanced charges that may be fixed by the Government on the basis of any recommendation by a freshly appointed rating committee. They merely challenge the respondent's right to unilaterally enhance the charges. According to the appellants they have a vested right to be governed by the charges fixed in 1952 until the same is revised by the Government on the basis of the recommendation of a rating committee. It was urged on their behalf that the amendments made in 1956 do not affect the charges fixed in 1952 and they continue to rule till altered by the Government in accordance with law. The respondent repudiates those contentions. It denies that the appellants have any vested right in the charges fixed. It was urged on its behalf that the amendments made to the Supply Act in 1956 have substantially altered the scheme as regards levying charges; it is now open to a licensee to alter the charges fixed by the Government unilaterally subject to the conditions prescribed in Section 57(A) and in Schedule VI of the Supply Act. We may mention at this stage that even according to the appellants the charges that may be fixed by the Government now on the basis of the recommendation of a rating committee can be unilaterally altered by the licensee after the period fixed in the Government order in accordance with Clause (e) of Section 57(A)(1), expires.

6. In order to decide the point in controversy, we have to take into consideration the relevant provisions of the Supply Act as it stands now and as it stood prior to its amendment in 1956. For the sake of convenience we shall set out side by side the relevant provisions.

_________________________________________________________________________________

The Supply Act as it stood before The Supply Act as amended in 1956

1956.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Section 57. Licensee's charges to Section 57. The Provisions of the

consumers. Sixth-Schedule and the Seventh

Schedule

(I) The provisions of the Sixth shall be deemed to be incorporated

Schedule and the Table appended in the licence of every licensee,

ded to the Seventh Schedule not being a local authority:

shall be deemed to be incorp-

orated in the licence of every (a) the case of a licence granted

licensee, not being a local before the commencement of

authority, from the date of this Act, from the date of the

the commencement of the lice- commencement of the licensee

nsee's next Succeeding year of next succeeding year of accou-

account, and from such date nt; and

the licensee shall comply therewith accordingly and any pr- (b) in the case of a licencee gra provisions of such licence or of nted after the commencement of

the Indian Electricity Act, this Act, from the date of the

1910 (LX of 1910), or any other commencement of supply, and as

law, agreement or instrument from the said date, the licen-

applicable to the licensee cee shall comply with the pro-

Shall, in relation to the licenses provisions of the said Schedules

licensee, be void and of no effect accordingly, and any provisions

in so far as they are inconsistent of the Indian Electricity Act,

inconsistent with the provisions of 1910, and the licence granted

this section and the said schedule to him thereunder and of any

edule and Table. other law. agreement or instrument applicable to the licen-

(2) Where the provisions of the see Shall, in relation to the

Sixth Schedule and the Table licensee, be void and of no

appended to the Seventh schedule effect in so far as they are

ule are under Sub-section (1) inconsistent with the provisi-

deemed to be incorporated in ons of Section 57A and the said

the licence of any licensee, Schedules.

the following provisions shall

have effect in relation to the Section 57(A)(1) : where the

said licensee, namely: provisions of the Sixth schedule

ule and the Seventh Schedule

(a) The Board or where no Board we under Section 57 deemed to

is constituted under this be incorporated in the licence

Act, the Provincial Govern- of any licensee, the following

ment, may, if it it satisfied provisions shall have effect

ied that the licensee has in relation to the said licen-

failed to comply with any cee namely:

provisions of the Sixth

Schedule and shall when (a) the Board or where no Board

requested so to do by the is constituted under this Act.

licensee, constitute a rat- the State Government--

ing committee to examine

the licensee's charges for (i) may, if satisfied that the

the supply of electricity licensee has failed to co-

and to recommend thereon comply with any of the prov-

to the Provincial Government- provisions of the Sixth schedule

ent; ule, and

Provided that no rating committee (ii) shall, when so requested

ttee shall be constituted in by the licensee in writing

respect of a licensee within constitute a rating commit-

three years from the date on tee to examine the license-

which such a committee has e's charges for the supply

reported in respect of that of electricity and to make

licensee, unless the Provincial recommendations in that

al Government declares that in behalf to the State Gover-

its opinion circumstances have nment :

arisen rendering the orders

passed on the recommendation Provided that where it is prop-

of the previous rating commit- parposed to constitute a rating co-

tee unfair to the licensee or mmittee under this section on

any of his consumers. account of the failure of the

licensee to comply with any pr-

(b) The rating committee shall provisions of the Sixth Schedule,

after giving the licensee such committee shall not be co-

a reasonable opportunity of constituted unless the licensee

being heard and after taking has been given a notice in wri-

into consideration the efficiency ting of thirty clear days (whi-

efficiency of operation and man- ch period,, if the circumstances

management and the potentialities so warrant may be extended from

ies of his undertaking report time to time) to show cause aga-

to the Provincial Government inst the action proposed to be

making recommendations (and taken:

giving reasons therefore) r-

regarding the charges for el- Provided further that no such

ectricity which the licencee rating committee shall be con-

may make to any class or cl- stituted if the alleged failure

asses of consumers so however of the licensee to comply with

that the recommendations are any provisions of the Sixth

not likely to prevent the li- Schedule raises any dispute or

censee from earning clear pr- difference as to the interpre-

profits sufficient when taken interpretation of the said provisions

with the sums available in or any matter arising therefrom

the Tariffs and Dividends Co- and such difference or dispute

control Reserve to afford him a has been referred by the licen-

reasonable return during his see to the arbitration of the

next succeeding three years Authority under paragraph XVI

of account if the potentialities of that Schedule before the no-

ties of the undertaking of notice referred to in the preced-

the licensee, with efficient ing proviso was given or is so

operation and management, so referred within the period of

permit. the said notice:

(c) Within one month after the Provided further that no rating

receipt of the report under committee shall be constituted

Clause (b) the Provincial Go- in respect of a licensee within

vernment shall cause the rep- three years, from the date on

ort to be published in the which such a committee has rep-

official Gazette and may at reported in respect of that licen-

the same time make an order see, unless the State Governme-

in accordance therewith fixing nt declares that in its opinion

ng the licence's charges for circumstances have arisen rend-

the supply of electricity rendering the orders passed on the

with effect from such date, recommendations of the previous

not earlier than two months rating committee unfair to the

after the date of publication licensee or any of the consume-

of the report, as may be rs:

specified in the order; and (b) a rating committee under

the licensee shall forthwith clause (a) shall, --

give effect to such order:

(i) where such committee

Provided that nothing in this is to be constituted

clause shall be deemed to prevent under Sub-clause (i)

a licensee from reducing at any of that clause, be

time any charges, so fixed. constituted not later

than three months af-

ter the expiry of the

THE SIXTH SCHEDULE notice referred to in

1. The Licensee shall so adjust his the first proviso to

rates for the sale of electricity that clause:

by periodical revision that his

clear profit in any year shall (ii) where such committee is

not as far as possible exceed the to be constituted at the

amount of reasonable return: request of the licensee,

be constituted within

Provided that the licensee shall of such three months of

not be considered to have failed the date request;

so to adjust his rates if the clear

profit in any year of account has (c) a rating committee shall,

after giving the licensee a

not exceeded the amount of the re- reasonable opportunity of

reasonable return by more than thirty being heard and after taki-

per centum of the amount of the ng into consideration the

reasonable return. efficiency of operation and

management and the potentia-

II. (1) If the clear profit of a lice- lities of his undertaking,

nsee in any year of account is report to the State Government

in excess of the amount of re- ent within three months from

asonable return one-third of the date of its Constitution,

such excess, not exceeding 71/2 making recommendations with

per cent of the amount of reasonable reasons therefore, regarding

sonable return shall be at the charges for electricity

disposal of the undertaking. which the licensee may make

Of the balance of the excess, to any class or classes of

one half shall be appropriated consumers so, however, that

to a reserve which shall be the recommendations are not

called the Tariffs and dividends likely to prevent the lice-

ends Control Reserve and the nsee from earning clear pr-

remaining half shall either be ofit, sufficient when taken

proportion able rebate on the with the sums available in

amounts collected from the sale the Tariffs and Dividends

of electricity and meter rentals Control Reserve to afford

or carried forward in the accounts him a reasonable return as

accounts of the licensee for distribution defined in the Sixth schedule

distribution to the consumers in ule during his next succee-

future, in such manner as the ding three years of account:

Provincial Government may direct.

Provided that the State Gover-

(2) The Tariffs and Dividends Con- nment may, if it so deems neces-

trol Reserve shall be available necessry, extend the said period of

for disposal by the licensee three months by a further period

only to the extent by which the not exceeding three months within

clear profit is less than the which the report of the rating

reasonable return in any year committee may be submitted to it;

of account.

(d) within one month after the

(3) On the purchase of the under- receipt of the report under

taking under the terms of its Clause (c), the State Gover-

licence any balance remaining nment shall cause the report

in the Tariffs and Dividends to be published in the Offi-

Control Reserve shall be handed official Gazette, and may at the

over to the purchaser and main- same time make an order in

maintained as such Tariffs and Div- accordance therewith fixing

-dends Control Reserve. the licensee's charges for

the supply of electricity

with effect from such date,

not earlier than two months

or later than three months,

after the date of publication

of the report as1 may be

specified in the order and

the licensee shall forthwith

give effect to such order;

(e) the charges for the supply

of electricity fixed under

Clause (d) shall be in ope-

ration for such period not

exceeding three years as the

State Government may specify

in the order:

Provided that nothing in this

clause shall be deemed to prevent

a licensee from reducing at any

time any charges so fixed.

THE SIXTH SCHEDULE

I. Notwithstanding anything con-

tained in the Indian Electri-

city Act, 1910 except Sub-

section (2) of Section 9 of

1910, 22A, and the provisions

in the licence of a licensee,

the licensee shall so adjust

his (charges) for the sale of

electricity whether by enhanc-

ing or reducing them that his

clear profit in any year of

account shall not, as far as

possible, exceed the amount of

reasonable return:

Provided that such (charges)shall

not be enhanced more that once

in any year of account:

Provided further that the licen-

see shall not be deemed to

have failed so to adjust his

(charges) if the clear profit

in any year of account has

not exceeded the amount of

reasonable return by (twenty)

per centum of the amount of

reasonable return:

Provided further that the licen-

see shall not enhance the

(charges) for the supply of

electricity until after the

expiry of a notice in writing

of not less than sixty clear

days of his intention to so

enhance the (charges) given

by him to the State Governme-

nt and and to the Board :

Provided further that if the

(charges) of supply fixed in

pursuance of the recommendat-

ions of a rating committee

constituted under Section 57A

are lower than those notified

by the licensee under and in

accordance with the preceding

proviso, the licensee shall

refund to the consumers the

excess amount recovered by

him from them:

Provided also that nothing in

this Schedule shall be deemed

to prevent a licensee from

levying, with the previous

approval of the State Govt.

minimum charges for supply

of electricity for any pur-

pose.

IA. The notice referred to in

the third proviso to paragraph I shall be accompanied

by such financial and tech-

technical data in Support of the

proposed enhancement of cha-

rges as the State Government

may, by general or special

order, specify.

II. (1) If the clear profit of a

licensee in any year of

account is in excess of

the amount of reasonable

return, one-third of such

excess, not exceeding

(five per cent) of the

amount of reasonable re-

turn, shall be at the

disposal of the underta-

king. Of the balance of

the excess, one-half sh-

all be appropriated to a

reserve which shall be

called the Tariffs and

Dividends Control Reserve

and the remaining half

shall either be distrib-

uted in the form of a

proportional rebate on

the amounts collected

from the sale of elect-

ricity and meter rentals

or carried forward in the

accounts of the licensee

for distribution to the

consumers in future, in

such manner as the State

Government may direct.

(2) The Tariffs and Dividends

Control Reserve shall be

available for disposal by

the licensee only to the

extent by which the clear

profit is less than the

reasonable return in any

year of account.

(3) On the purchase of the

undertaking under the

terms of its licence any

balance remaining in the

Tariffs and Dividends

Control Reserve shall be

handed over to the purc-

purchaser and maintained as

such Tariffs and Divide-

nds Control Reserve:

Provided that where the under-

taking is purchased by the

Board or the State Government

the amount of the Reserve may

be deducted from the price

payable to the licensee.

7. From an examination of these provisions it would be seen that under the Supply Act prior to its amendment in 1956, the charges fixed by the Govt. under Section 57(2)(c) remained in force unless reduced by the licensee in the meantime till the same were altered by a subsequent order made by the Govt. after getting a fresh recommendation from the rating committee but under the law as it now stands the rate fixed by the Government under Section 57(A)(1)(d) would be in operation only for such period not exceeding three years as the State Govt. may specify in the order. Thereafter it can be enhanced by the licensee in accordance with the provisions contained in Schedule VI. It was urged on behalf of the appellants that the present Section 57(A(1)(e) can only govern the charges fixed under Section 57(A)(1)(d) and it has not impact on an order made, under the old Section 57(2)(c). According to the appellants the charges so fixed can only be modified by the Government after getting a report from the rating committee. Mr. Chagla, learned. Counsel for the appellants contended that the consumers who get power from the respondent have a vested right in the charges fixed in 1952 and that vested right cannot be considered to have been taken away by the provisions of the Amending Act. He argued that the provisions of the Amending Act are not retrospective in character nor is there any inconsistency between those provisions and the present provisions as the two operate on different fields; hence in view of Section 6 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, we must hold that the charges fixed by the Government in 1952 continue to be in operation. In this connection he relied on certain observations made by this Court in State of Punjab v. Mohar Singh 0043/1954 : 1955CriLJ254 and Deep Chand v. State of U.P. and Ors. [1959] 2 Supp. SC.R. 8 On the other hand it was contended by the learned Counsel for the respondent that the rights and liabilities of the respondents at present are exclusively regulated by the provisions of the Supply Act as it stands now; the terms of licence as they originally stood or as they stood on the coming into force of the Supply Act in 1948 are of no consequence now; they cannot be looked into for finding out the rights or duties of the licensee as at present; for that purpose we must look into those terms as modified by the provisions of the Supply Act as it is now. It was also urged on its 'behalf that there is no question of vested rights in these cases; herein we are only concerned with the procedure to be adopted in modifying the charges fixed in 1952.

8. In Mohar Singh's case 0043/1954 : 1955CriLJ254 : 1955CriLJ254 this Court laid down that the provisions of Section 6(c), (d) and (e) of the General Clauses Act, 1897 relating to the consequences of the repeal of a law are applicable not only when an Act or Regulation is repealed simpliciter but also to a case of repeal and simultaneous enactment re-enacting all the provisions of the repealed law. In the course of its judgment this Court observed that when the repeal is followed by a fresh legislation on the same subject, the Court has undoubtedly to look into the provisions of the new Act but that only for the purpose of determining whether they indicate a different intention. The line of inquiry would be, not whether the new Act keeps alive the old rights and liabilities but whether it manifests any intention to destroy them. In Deep Chand's case [1959] 2 Supp.S.C.R.8 this Court was considering the effect of repugnancy between a State Act and a Central Act. The observations made in that context, we think, have no bearing on the point in issue in this case. It is true that when an existing Statute or Regulation is repealed and the same is replaced by fresh Statute or Regulation unless the new Statute or Regulation specifically or by necessary implication affects rights created under the old law those rights must be held to continue in force even after the new Statute or Regulation comes into force. But in the cases before us there is no question of affecting any vested right. There is no dispute that the charges fixed can be altered. The controversy relates to the procedure to be adopted in altering them. That controversy does not touch any vested right. The procedure in question must necessarily be regulated by the law in force at the time of the alteration of the charges.

9. Section 57 of the Supply Act as it stands now lays down that the provisions of Schedule VI shall be deemed to be incorporated in the licence of every licensee not being a local authority, in. the case of a licence granted before the commencement of the Act from the date of the commencement of the licensee's next succeeding year of account. Admittedly the licence with which we are concerned in these cases was granted even before the Supply Act was enacted. Therefore quite clearly the licence in. question is governed by the present Section 57. Hence we have to read into that licence the provisions contained in Schedule VI. If any of the earlier provisions in the licence either as they stood when the licence was originally granted or as they stood modified as per the provisions of the Supply Act prior to its amendment in 1956 are inconsistent with the provisions of Schedule VI or Section 57(A) as they are now they must be held to be void and of no effect. In other words we must read into the licence the provisions of Schedule VI and strike out therefrom such terms as are inconsistent with those provisions and thereafter give effect to the same. For determining the rights and duties of the licensee as at present we have only to look into the terms of the licence as modified by Schedule VI. We cannot go behind them. That much is clear from the language of the Supply Act. The intention of the legislature is clear and unambiguous. Therefore there is no need to call into aid any rule of statutory construction or any legal presumption. Further no reason was advanced before us, nor can we conceive of any why those who obtained licenses prior to the amendment of Supply Act in 1956 should be in a more disadvantageous position than those who got their licenses thereafter. Correspondingly we fail to see why those who arc served by licensees who obtained their licences prior to the amendment of the Supply Act in 1956 should be placed in a better position than those served by licensees who obtained their licenses thereafter. After all, every law has some reason behind it. Section 57(A)(2)(e) was intended to meet the changing economic circumstances. The purpose behind the new provision appears to be to permit the licensees to so adjust their (SIC) to get reasonable profits. But at the same time (sic) provided to see whether any excess charges (sic) get the same refunded to the con-nave been (sic) turners.

10. The law declared by the Amending Act does not affect any right or privilege, accrued under the repealed provision. It merely prescribes as to what could or should be done in future. Therefore there is no basis for saying that it affects vested rights. For finding but the power of the licensee to alter the charges one has to look to the terms of the licence in the light of the law as it stands, the past history of that law being wholly irrelevant. If the terms of the licence, including the deemed terms permit him to unilaterally alter the charges then he has that right. If we merely look at those terms, as we think we ought to, then there is no dispute that the respondent was within its rights in enhancing the charges as admittedly it has followed the procedure prescribed by law. We also do not agree with Mr. Chagla in his contention that there is no inconsistency between the present scheme relating to the enhancement of charges vis-a-vis the scheme provided under the Supply Act prior to its amendment in 1956. The two schemes are substantially different. Under the former scheme once the Government fixes the charges the licensee cannot alter it but at present at the end of the period fixed in the Government order the licensee has a unilateral right to enhance the charges in accordance with the conditions prescribed in the VI Schedule. Therefore in view of Section 57 the provisions contained in that schedule have an over-riding effect.

11. In Amalgamated Electricity Co., Ltd. v. N.S. Bhathena and Anr. : [1964]7SCR503 this Court was called upon to consider the scope of Section 37(A) and the Schedule VI as it stands now. Therein the controversy was whether the appellant therein was entitled to levy charges more than the maximum charges prescribed in its licence issued in 1932. It may be noted that in that case the notice of enhancement of the charges was given on September 25, 1958. This Court held that the maximum stipulated in the licence no longer governed the right of the licensee to enhance the charges; his rights were exclusively governed by the provisions contained in paragraph 1 of Schedule VI of the Supply Act. It is true that in that case this Court was considering the right of the licensee under the Supply Act vis-a-vis his right under the licence granted under the Indian Electricity Act, 1910 but that difference is not material. What this Court in fact considered was the right of the licensee under the existing law to enhance the charges. Dealing with the scope of paragraph I of Schedule VI, Ayyangar, J. who spoke for the majority observed thus:

Para I of Schedule VI both as it originally stood and as amended, as seen already, empowered the licensee 'to adjust his rates, so that his clear profit (sic) year shall not, as far as possible, exceed the(sic) But one thing is clear and that is that the adjustment is unilateral and that the licensee has a statutory right to adjust his rates provided he conforms to the requirements of that paragraph viz., the rate charged does not yield a profit exceeding the amount of reasonable return. The conclusion is therefore irresistible that the maxima prescribed by the State Government which bound the licensee under the Electricity Act of 1910 no longer limited the amount which a licensee could charge after the Supply Act, 1948 came into force since the 'clear profit' and 'reasonable return' which determined the rate to be charged was to be computed on the basis of very different criteria and factors than what obtained under the Electricity Act.

12. For the reasons above, these appeals fail and they are dismissed with costs. One hearing fee.


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