Published On : Mon, Apr 10th, 2017

HC notice to MADC, MSEDCL for contempt of court

Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court
In a significant development Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has issued notice of contempt of court to MADC Ltd through its Vice Chairman Vishwas Patil (IAS), M/s Abhijeet MADC Nagpur Energy Pvt Ltd through its Director Shri Abhijeet Jaiswal, M/s MSEDCL through its Chairman Shri Sanjeev Kumar (IAS) in Contempt Petition No:-58/2017 for violating the orders of “status quo” granted by High Court in First Appeal No:-778/2015 filed by M/s Kloud Data Labs Pvt. Ltd. Nagpur {a software company in MIHAN}

It is the case of the petitioner M/s Kloud Data Pvt. Ltd that on the invitation of the state government of Maharashtra it has entered with an agreement with MADC and obtained an office space in Central Building MIHAN from 22-12-2010. The software company was operating from MIHAN and was supplying software to foreign companies in USA.

MADC promised “uninterrupted power supply” @ Rs.2.97/ per unit to all the consumers in MIHAN due to its agreement with ABHIJEET GROUP. The MADC has signed the “Concession Agreement” with “ABHIJEET GROUP” on 07-11-2007 in which it was agreed that the ABHIJEET GROUP will supply power @ Rs.2.97/ per unit to all the consumers in MIHAN.

It may be noted that the ABHIJEET GROUP has failed in its commitment to supply the uninterrupted supply to the industries in MIHAN. According to the petitioner MADC was involved in illegal trading of electricity as it has without proper tariff order supplied the power to the consumers to MIHAN after buying it from MSEDCL.

It is the contention of the petitioner company that the MADC has made commitment in its submissions made on affidavit in earlier contempt petition no:-97/2014, that as per the “concession agreement” parties agreed to keep the tariff out of regulatory purview and it was necessary to provide power @ Rs.2.97/ to the consumers in MIHAN. The petitioner company has alleged that MADC has acted in its breach of this affidavit and therefore has committed contempt of court. The companies in MIHAN are paying higher tariff than it was specified in “concession agreement”

The petitioner company was arbitrarily billed by MADC to the tune of Rs.14 Lakhs during the period of MAY 2011 till JANUARY 2013 and therefore the company filed civil suit no:-548/2013 against the arbitrary billing @ Rs.13/ per unit challenging the demand of money. The Civil Court granted status quo on 26-07-2013. It may be noted that the said civil suit was dismissed on 30-04-2015 for want of jurisdiction u/o 7- rule 11 of CPC 1908. The petitioner filed first appeal u/s 96 of CPC challenging the order of Civil Court and got the “status quo” from the Hon’ble High Court on 30-10-2015. But it is alleged that the MADC has in spite of the said status quo raised several bills with the disputed amount and also issued “disconnection notice” u/s 56 of EA 2003 on 24-10-2016.

It is the contention of the petitioner that MADC has violated the orders of High Court as well as breached its own submission that tariff is regulated by clause 14.1. of “concession agreement” and power is to be supplied @ Rs.2.97/ to industries in MIHAN. The petitioner alleged that the action of sending “disconnection notice” on 24-10-2016 thereby threatening the consumer amounts to contempt of court on the backdrop of the specific status quo granted by the High Court.

The High Court has issued the notice before admission in this contempt petition, returnable on 21-04-2017. Adv. Tushar Mandlekar argued for the petitioner company M/s Kloud Data Labs Pvt Ltd. {a software company in MIHAN}