Consumer issues in Electricity Sector

Q. Whether complainant who is a firm and runs a stone-crusher is a consumer under the Sec. 2 (1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act.

Complainant, being a firm having partners and doing the job of crushing of rocks through a machine cannot be taken to be self-employed and doing it for livelihood. The Consumer Protect Act, 1986 specifically only excludes persons who buy goods exclusively for the purpose of earning their livelihood, by means of self-employment. In the present matter, electricity was taken from the OP to run the machine for crushing the rocks. The firm was run to procure profit. This prima facie shows that the Complainant was undertaking a commercial activity. Hence, court hold that the Complainant is not a ‘consumer’ as per the provisions of Consumer Protection Act, 1986

Sheetla Granite Daharra Kabrai through its Partner, Shri Shiv Vihala Shivhare Mohaba v. Dakshinanchal Vidhut Vitran Nigam Ltd. Through its Executive Engineer MANU/CF/0069/2020

Q. In case of a pedestrian getting electrocuted by a loosely hanging wire, will they be considered as consumer and does this amount to deficiency in service by the electricity department?

The Opposite Parties contended that the complaint of deficiency of service cannot be maintained as there was no contract between the Complainants and them.The National Commission looked into certain cases decided by the Supreme Court and saw that the Complainant, in such conditions, is impliedly considered to be a consumer. Moreover, the strict liability principle makes it a must for the Opposite Parties to pay compensation in such cases.

Managing Director-Cum-Chairman A. P. Transco, Hyderabad Telangana and others v. Mohd. Noorullha Shareef and others MANU/CF/0241/2018

Q. Does the Consumer Forum have jurisidiction in the case of a person using electricity for commercial purpose even though he took the connection for doemstic purpose?

Since the case of the Respondent is that the electricity was being used by the Complainant for a commercial purpose, though the load was sanctioned for domestic purpose, this would be a case of the unauthorised use of electricity within the meaning of explanation under Section 126 of the Electricity Act. Therefore, the assessment made under the aforesaid provision of the Electricity Act could not have been challenged before a Consumer Forum.

Saroj Kumari v. Executive Engineer, Dakchhinachal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd. MANU/CF/0519/2020