In the order, the DERC said the connection to the consumer was issued for non-domestic purposes but the same was billed by TPDDL for domestic tariff by "mistake". The company later revised the bill based on commercial tariff instead of domestic rates which was not paid by the consumer.
The company had issued a disconnection notice to the consumer for defaulting in making the payment of Rs. 57,373 on 24 November 2010. The revised demand was raised pursuant to revision of the tariff category from domestic to non-domestic.
Upset over the disconnection notice, the consumer had then approached the Consumer Grievances Redressal Forum (CGRF) which had ordered restoration of the power supply. The DERC observed that the TPDDL disconnected the supply of the complainant on 20 December 2010 in spite of the order of CGRF dated December 9, 2010, for restoration of the supply which is a violation of the regulations.
TPDDL told DERC that inadvertently the details of the order could not be uploaded in their system which resulted in issuance of disconnection order and after detection of the error the connection was restored on 22 December 2010.
The DERC observed that TPDDL cannot make excuse of its follies by not flagging the information in its system and that the action comes in the purview of violation of laid down norms.
In its order dated 27 July the DERC said the company by "framing a case of unauthorised use of electricity has made a wilful and deliberate attempt" to pass the onus on to the petitioner regarding raising of bills on wrong tariff as the respondent has failed to fill the correct information in its bills about applicable tariff.
The regulator said the TPDDL could not submit a satisfactory reply as to why it failed to claim non-domestic tariff instead of domestic tariff which is a basic requirement/information to be supplied by the company while issuing bill. "The respondent argued that it was the duty of the complainant to bring to the notice of the respondent about levying of wrong tariff.
The above submission of the respondent is also not acceptable as it cannot pass the onus of his misdeed on others," the DERC said. The regulator said any mistake made by a discom by not following the provision of Supply Code, while issuing bills, comes in the category of violation and criticised the company for taking action against the complainant for its "own misdeeds".
The Commission imposed the penalty of Rs. 25,000 on the company for violation of DERC (Guidelines for establishment of Forum for redressal of grievances of the consumers and Ombudsman) Regulations, 2003, Regulations 42, 58, 59(i) and (ii) of the Delhi Electricity Supply Code and Performance Standards Regulations, 2007 and Section 56(1) of the Electricity Act, 2003.