New Delhi, Aug 21 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Friday declined to entertain a PIL alleging that power distribution companies (discoms) here calculated bills for the lockdown months by an "unjust and arbitrary" method and suggested to the petitioner to first approach the electricity regulator, DERC.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, right at the commencement of the hearing, said the petitioner -- a doctor -- ought to have moved the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) which would be the competent body to decide how the discoms should calculate the bills.
In view of the observation by the bench, the petitioner's counsel, advocate Tushar Mahajan, sought permission to withdraw the petition and make a representation to the DERC.
The court allowed the petitioner -- Vijay Mahajan -- to withdraw the plea and move a representation before the DERC.
The bench said that as and when such a representation is made by the petitioner, it shall be decided in accordance with the law, rules, regulations and government policy applicable to the case.
With the direction, the court disposed of the petition, filed through advocates Mahajan, Sharan Mehta, Hardik Rupal, Rohan Yadav and Satyam Aneja.
The petition had contended that the discoms, BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna, were calculating the electricity consumption charges, in contravention of DERC regulations, for the months when lockdown was imposed in the city.
"Instead of calculating the electricity charges based upon the specific number of units consumed in a particular month, respondent 2 and 3 (discoms) have equally divided the cumulative units spanning over 4 to 5 months to determine the unit consumption per month. "Doing so resulted in the consumers being put in higher slabs in each month thereby resulting in an automatic increase in their electricity bills by at least 5-15 per cent for each month especially during March and April.,"the petition had said.
It had also challenged the discoms' decision to demand the entire charges for the 4-5 months in one go without providing consumers the option of making payments in installments.