New Delhi: Discoms are "haughty" and "revel in harassing customers," the Delhi State Consumer Commission has held, while dismissing BSES Yamuna`s plea against an order directing it to refund excess power charges it had "coerced" a lady doctor into paying for alleged theft of electricity.
"Electricity department is a welfare department and is supposed to provide necessary facilities without disruption, but functioning of the appellant/opposite party (BSES Yamuna) shows that they have scant regard for welfare of the society and their attitude is that of being hot-headed and haughty and they seem to revel in harassing customers.
"It is high time they change their attitude and realise that they are supposed to provide hassle-free service. The case in hand provides an example of such attitude," a bench presided by Justice Barkat Ali Zaidi said.
The bench confirmed the order of the district consumer forum, which had absolved the complainant Nirmala Joseph of theft charges and held that the discom had coerced her into paying Rs 4,12,116 as power consumption and theft charges.
The district forum had directed the discom to revise her power consumption bills and after deducting the correct charges from the amount of Rs 4,12,116, to refund the rest along with compensation of Rs 25,000.
This order was challenged by the discom, whose plea was rejected by the commission.
The commission observed "there is no theft involved in this case. The meter was taken away by the electricity authorities (discom) and they have not alleged that it was tampered with. After the meter had been removed by the electricity authorities, a direct connection was provided to the respondent.
"The charges of direct connection were determined and paid by the complainant. Bills were submitted by electricity department on various dates for which there is no justification. The district consumer forum has detailed all those demands and bills and has rightly concluded the demands and bills were not justified and the district consumer forum was therefore justified in ordering reimbursement."
The bench also rejected the discom`s contention that there was a settlement with the complainant, saying there was no documentary evidence about it.