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Home News Power Sector News Bigger Bench to decide powers of Appellate Tribunal for Electricity

Bigger Bench to decide powers of Appellate Tribunal for Electricity

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Supreme CourtA constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will consider whether the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity has the jurisdiction to deal with the validity of regulations framed by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission. A three-judge Bench headed by Justice. Arijit Pasayat referred the issue to a larger Bench of five judges or more.

The Bench was hearing a case filed by power trading firm PTC India. The company had challenged a decision by the tribunal that it was not empowered to look into the validity of the regulations framed by the CERC. PTC had challenged CERC’s regulations that fixed trading margin in 2006. The tribunal had cited an earlier apex court judgement while expressing its inability to hear PTC’s plea against CERC.

The apex court had earlier held in the West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission case that the tribunal, which is a creature of statute, cannot question the provisions under which it functions.

“Considering the importance of the matter we feel it necessary to refer the matter to a larger Bench to consider whether the West Bengal Electricity case can have application to the cases coming under the 2003 Act (Electricity Act, 2003), where the parties go before the tribunal in terms of Section 121 of the 2003 Act.”

PTC had said that the order of the apex court in the West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission case pertained to the Electricity Regulatory Commission Act, 1998. However, the issue of power trading margin falls under the Act of 2003. There was a conceptual difference between the provisions contained in the Acts of 1998 and 2003, PTC had said. It said that Section 121 of 2003 Act gives ample powers to the tribunal to deal with the matter.

Source - Economic Times

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