The North Delhi Power Ltd (NDPL) has been fined Rs one lakh by a district consumer forum here for resorting to unfair trade practice by raising unjustified bills and harassing its customers by misusing its monopoly in power supply.
The forum also directed the joint venture firm of the Tata group and the city’s government,incorporated for power supply in the north and north west areas of the city,to pay its consumer Rs 20,000 for harassing her by raising demands of dues of some other premises against her and depriving her of electricity for more than 100 days.
“It (NDPL) is responsible for adopting unfair trade practice by raising dues on the premises of the complainant of some other premises,arbitrarily and unjustifiably,without verifying their records,” said a bench presided by President Rakesh Kapoor.
The bench,also comprising S C Jain and Prem Lata as member,held that “the NDPL had been deficient in providing services to the complainant”.
The forum passed the order on a July 2008 plea by Nimmi Devi,a North Delhi resident,seeking directions to the discom to immediately provide a new electricity connection at her home and to cancel the unjustified and illegal demand of Rs 2,260 for it.
She contended she and her husband had time and again told the NDPL officials that they had raised dues of other premises on them,yet the NDPL officials did not restore their power connection.
She also contended that NDPL deprived her of the power connection for 126 days from the date of application without any cogent reasons.
The forum observed that the discom “unnecessarily” harassed the complainant by “raising unjustified demands of dues without verifying their records”.
“This reflects the authoritarian attitude of NDPL towards their consumers”,the forum noted.
In its written reply,the discom had submitted that there was no delay in providing a connection to the complainant.
It also admitted that some dues were raised against property of complainant but on representation by her they realised their mistake and rectified it.
The forum directed the discom to deposit the fine of Rs one lakh with the Consumer Welfare Fund maintained with the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.