ELECTRICITY SUPPLY REGULATIONS
(SECTION-VII)

RECOVERY OF UNPAID DUES FROM DEFAULTING CONSUMERS

121 DISCONNECTION FOR NON PAYMENT OF ELECTRICITY CHARGES

121.1 As a commercial organization, the Board can ill-afford to allow accumulation of dues from the consumers. It is, therefore, imperative that every effort is made by the field offices to see that the consumers make the payment of their energy bills as soon as these become due for payment. Necessary steps should be taken by the staff concerned so that dues do not accumulate and the arrears do not become bad debts or time barred.,

121.2 Every consumer is expected to make the payment of his dues by the ' due date' . In case he fails to discharge the liability, his premises will be liable for disconnection under Condition No.28 of Conditions of Supply.

121.3 Procedure for Disconnection of Supply:

Following procedure should be adopted in the matter of disconnecting the premises of various categories of consumers, who fail to clear the Board's bills for electricity etc. within the period of grace:-

121.3.1 Disconnection of supply:

A 15 days notice of disconnection to the consumer in case of non-payment of dues after 'Grace Period" is printed on the bill itself. If the payment is not received before the expiry of the notice period, the premises of the consumer should be disconnected by the AE/AEE)Ops) without further notice or loss of time. However, physical disconnection of general consumers should be carried out after 21 days from Due date. However, late payment surcharge shall be levied as under:-

For all categories of consumers having a load of 100 KW and above, surcharge on late payment of electricity bills will be 5% up to 7 days after the due date and after 7 days it will be 10% per annum or part thereof(period to be reckoned from the due date) on the total amount of the bill. For consumers having connected load of less than 100 KW, Surcharge shall be payable @ 10% on the total amount of the bill in the first instance up to one year in case the electricity bill are not paid within the due date.

Interest @ 18% p.a. shall be charged after expiry of one year from the due date of the bill on gross unpaid amount including surcharge. Part of the month shall be treated as full month for this purpose and interest will be payable on monthly basis for the period of continued default @ 1 % per month.

The above system of levying surcharge shall also be applicable to temporarily and permanently disconnected consumers.

121.3.2 On the expiry of the grace period, the consumer maybe informed through a notice that if he does not make the payment within the expiry of 30/21 days, as the case may be , his connection shall be disconnected.

121.3.3 RCO fees is required to be charged from all such defaulters where the lists have been generated by the computer after 21/30 days as the case may be whether connection is disconnected physically or not and the recovery is to be affected accordingly.

121.4 Disconnection of Govt. Connection/Institutions:

Disconnection of supply to MES, Railways, Hospitals, Educational Institutions. Govt. Departments and Colonies and Consumers with connected load above 100 KW to 500 KW shall be regulated as under:-

121.4.1 On the expiry of the period of grace the AE/AEE/XEN(Ops) AAE/Incharge of sub-office should prepare a list of consumers who fail to make payment by the ' Due date' and refer the same to his Sr.XEN/ASE(AAE should send copies to his AE/AEE/XEN(Ops) also). Necessary orders of disconnection, if so decided, should normally be communicated to the AE/AEE/XEN(Ops) by the Divisional Office within 7days so as to enable the AE/AEE/XEN (Ops) to disconnect the premises immediately on the expiry of 15 days notice. Action in the matter indicated above should be taken as soon as orders of Sr.XEN/ASE(Ops) for disconnection are received.

121.4.2 Even though notice of disconnection of 15 days is printed on the energy bill itself, yet to avoid inconvenience of the public, a separate notice of 15 days in Red Colour should be issued to public utilities eg Railways, Hospitals , Water Supply Tubewells, Educational Institutions, Govt. Departments, Hospitals, Telegraph Authorities etc. Additionally the Sr. Executive Engineer should issue phonograms and DO letter to the concerned institution and also their senior officers/heads of departments. Before actual disconnection the Deputy Commissioner concerned may also be informed and also a press note issued for information of the Public. If the consumers tend to default occasionally, SAC or Additional SAC may be got deposited even from the Govt. departments to safeguard the interests of the Board. The Govt. may also be apprised of the defaults on the part of concerned department.

121.4.3 Before effecting disconnection of Street Lighting, railways, M.E.S BBMB, BSF, PSTC and Public Health tubewells for default in payment; prior approval of CE(Ops) should be obtained. Matter should also be brought to the notice of the Member(Operations).

121.5 Permission of disconnection from SE/Dy.CE:

Cases of defaulting consumers with a connected load exceeding 500 KW and Street Lighting should be referred by the AE/AEE/XEN(Ops) to Sr.Xen/ASE through a separate list immediately after they fail to make payments of the Board's dues; within grace period. In such cases, the action should be taken as per Para 121.4.2 after obtaining the orders of S.E. for disconnection. In respect of street lighting Deputy Commissioner concerned, Mayor /Chairman/ Commissioner/ Administrator of Municipal Corporation, Committee etc. should be notified. Provisions of Para 121.4.2 should be allowed.

121.6 In the references made by the AE/AEE/XEN(Ops) to his Sr.Xen/ASE(Ops) or by the Sr.Xen/ASE (Ops) to the SE or direct to the Chief Engineer as the case maybe , the consumer's load should be given and particular mention should invariably be made in detail as to the attitude of the defaulting consumer in the past in the matter of liquidation of Board's electric bills.

121.7 The Sr. Executive Engineer/ASE/Superintending Engineer should ensure that references made by the AE/AEE/XEN in this respect are dealt with promptly in his office and instructions to disconnect the consumer, if so decided, are issued to AE/AEE/XEN invariably within a week from the date of receipt of a reference from the subordinate office. However, if for genuine reasons some delay is likely, reason be recorded. The officer concerned should keep such cases under his active consideration to keep the defaulting amount under control.

121.7.1 The disconnection orders of all industrial consumers having a bill amount of more than Rs.3,000/- shall be got effected personally by the AE/AEE/XEN(Ops).

121.7.2 No disconnection of an Industrial consumer should be carried out for non-payment of electricity dues which are less than Rs.100/-

121.8 At the time of disconnection meter readings should be recorded and it should be compared at the time of reconnection so as to ensure that no energy was consumed during the period of disconnection. Simultaneously list of such disconnected consumers should be handed over at the concerned complaint centre for entry in a separate register so that complaint staff is aware of these cases and if the staff detects any unauthorized reconnection, intimation thereof is given to AE/AEE/XEN(Ops) immediately.

122. DISCONNECTION OF SUPPLY:

1. When the consumer's premises are found locked.

2. In the event of infringement of Conditions of Supply.

122.1 When premises is found locked:

If the consumer's premises is found locked by the Meter-Reader or the Bill distributor and no response is received even after serving "Access to consumer's premises' notice or pasting thereof, as provided in Reg.No.106, JE concerned should be deputed to personally verify the facts at site in the case of DS/NRS and AP connections and record certificate to that effect in the ledger. Similarly AE/AEE/XEN(Ops)/AAE Incharge Sub-Division/Sub-Office, will do so in case of Industrial/bulk Supply connections. On their report, if there are no early prospects of meter being read or Board's dues being paid in the near future, supply to the premises should be disconnected from the Tee or Pole.

122.2 Efforts to locate the consumer with the help of neighbors or the person witnessing the A&A form should continue for recovery of defaulting amount.

122.3 Powers of disconnection for infringement of COS:

The powers of various officers for disconnecting the consumers premises on account of any default other than non payment of dues or any breach of conditions of supply are the same as for non- payment of dues. However, in such cases i.e. other than non-payment of dues, a separate notice of disconnection should be delivered to the consumer in terms of conditions No.38 of Conditions of Supply. Duration of notice will be regulated by the provisions of COS or the exigencies of the situation.

123. RECOVERY OF ARREARS FROM DEFAULTING CONSUMERS:

123.1 Disconnection of supply of electric energy to a consumer who defaults in making payment of the electric bills is not an end in itself but is only the first step towards not only arresting further accumulation of arrears but even forcing him to make the payment. However, all out efforts should be made to recover the amount and such efforts should not be relaxed unless the recovery is actually affected.

123.2 Whenever the consumer does not make payment of the Board's dues or violates the Conditions of Supply, the connection should be disconnected temporarily after serving due notice where required. The connection should remain disconnected as long as default is not removed and reconnection is not sought. If reconnection is not sought within a period of one month, the connection must be permanently disconnected by removing metering equipment or if meter can not be removed then by disconnecting the service line from the Pole.

123.3 Even if the connection is not physically disconnected permanently after the expiry of one month from the date of temporary disconnection, it should be deemed to have been disconnected permanently after a period of one month, MMC shall be levied for the period of DCO and should be stopped only after PDCO is physically effected. It should, however, be ensured that PDCO is actually affected. In case meter reading can not be taken, the service cable should be removed and these facts should be mentioned in the PDCO.

123.4 The service line must not be allowed to remain idle for more than 6 months. However, where SE/Dy.CE(Ops) is satisfied that there is a definite possibility of connection being reconnected and he records the observation and forwards it to the AE/AEE/XEN, the service line and equipment be allowed to remain in position but not beyond one year. The service line even if found to exist after the expiry of 6 months of PDCO, the same is to be deemed to have been dismantled for all intents and purposes. A record of all such observation of the SE/Dy.CE should be kept by the AE./AEE/XEN and ARA/RA separately so that after the expiry of one year, the service line is got dismantled without fail.

123.5 The AE./AEE/XEN(Ops). should go on pressing(say by issuing weekly reminders to be delivered through peons or by registered post or by personal demands through bonafide representatives of the Board) the defaulting consumer for payment of the outstanding dues of the Board. If after the expiry of one month from PDCO, the consumer continues to default, the amount of the Advance Consumption Deposit should be re-appropriated towards the amount of arrears.

123.6 In the meantime, after the expiry of one month, the matter should be intimated to Sr.XEN/ASE(Ops) concerned with a detailed report indicating the action already taken or proposed to be taken. The Sr.XEN/ASE/(Ops) should at his earliest convenience write to the defaulting consumer requesting early settlement of the account. He should invariably endorse the copy of the reference to the AE./AEE/XEN(Ops). for his information so that the AE./AEE/XEN(Ops). should not issue any further written reminder to the defaulter but who at the same time should not slacken his efforts in affecting the recovery through bonafide representatives of the Board. The amount should however, be carried forward in the consumer's ledger from month to month. Interest @ 1.5% per month or a part thereof i.e. 18% per annum should be levied after one year from the due date of payment over and above 10% levied in the first instance. In case of permanently disconnected consumers defaulting amount together with surcharge/interest will be recovered as and when the consumer turns up to pay the bill.

123.7 The permanently disconnected consumers who are defaulters of PSEB may sell their premises /property without any intimation to PSEB. If this happens, the chances of recovery of defaulting amount become remote. Therefore, it is desirable that the field officers may intimate the revenue authorities like SDM/Tehsildar regarding the amount to be paid by the consumer to the Board so that if any transaction regarding sale or purchase of the property takes place, the revenue authorities may be in a position to recover the outstanding amount due to the PSEB at the time of such a sale or purchase and pass on to PSEB. Compliance of these instructions need to be monitored by Sr.field officers and in case it is noticed that the Sub divisional officers/Officials have not taken due care in informing the revenue authorities, then in that case if recovery is not possible due to sale/purchase of the premises/property, the said amount would be recoverable from the officer/official responsible for not intimating to the revenue authorities.

123.8 Litigation Cases:

123.8.1 The SR.XEN/ASE(Ops) should pursue the cases with the legal section direct for taking legal opinion, whenever required.

123.8.2 If a consumer has gone to the Court of law against payment of any energy bills raised to him the Sr.XEN/ASE(Ops) ,concerned shall engage a lawyer from the approved panel as per the delegation of powers. In case no lawyer exists on the panel of the Sr.XEN/ASE(Ops) is of the view that a lawyer from outside the panel is to be engaged, a reference should be made to the Legal Advisor for approval. The Sr.XEN/ASE(Ops) shall ensure that all legal cases pertaining to the Divn. are being properly and effectively attended to. An experienced sub ordinate should be nominated by the Sr.XEN/ASE(Ops) to assist him and also attend to the Court Cases from tie to time and particularly on the day when final arguments take place. On the conclusion of the case it should be ensured that the lawyer sends his report at the earliest to the Legal Advisor alongwith a copy of judgement together with the opinion of the lawyer as to whether an appeal/review has to be filed in case of judgement being adverse to the Board.

123.8.3 The cases where the suit for recovery of defaulting amount or for vacating the stay, if any ordered by the court, is to be filed on behalf of the Board, it should be filed within the stipulated time limit in consultation with the Legal Section. However, in case any clarification regarding sales/commercial matters is required, the specific point maybe separately referred to the Commercial Directorate for clarification or this may be discussed at personal level in Commercial Directorate but well in time. Field officers of the Board should be apprised of the law of limitation and the time limits within which a case/appeal is to be filed in the various courts. Delay on the part of the lawyer or any of the officer/official of the Board should not deprive the Board of opportunity of filing appeal in the next court.

123.8.4 It has been observed that the consumers manage to obtain stay from the Court against payment of outstanding amounts in full which often includes undisputed current energy bills/arrears. Therefore, while contesting such cases, the undisputed amount should be segregated and brought to the notice of the court on the first opportunity and all out efforts should be made to ensure that the courts do not grant stay for payment of undisputed charges. Courts should also be requested that the disposal of the case may take some time. Accordingly the consumer should be directed to pay the disputed amount provisionally in 2 or3 instalments. The court may also be informed that as per the rules of the Board, the consumer will be entitled to get 18% interest if the total or a part of the amount deposited by him is decided to be refunded on the conclusion of the case.

123.8.5 In view of the provisions of Conditions of Supply whereunder, the consumer has been provided with adequate opportunity of showing cause, right of hearing and also Right to appeal, the stay, if any, granted by the Court should be contested and got vacated even if an appeal has to be filed. As per Conditions No.48, dispute, if any has to be settled in terms of the provisions of the ibid conditions. Accordingly, a prayer should be made to the court to direct the consumer to exhaust the remedies open to him under the agreement and he should get the dispute settled in terms of the provisions of the agreement.

123.8.6 The amount debited as a result of post auditing of consumer accounts can be dealt before the consumer forums on the ground that it does not constitute deficiency in service, as well does not effect the right of Board to disconnect the supply Under Section-24 of the Indian Electricity Act-1910. The action which can not be termed to involve deficiency in service shall itself be beyond the consumer forums under the Consumer Protection Act,1986, The judgement of the Supreme Court in this respect may be taken note of while dealing with such cases. The judgement of Apex Court in this respect is reiterated below:-

"It would be clear from the provisions of Section-24 that the right to recover the charges is one part of it and right to discontinue supply of electrical energy to the consumer who neglects to pay charges is another part of it. The right to file a suit is a matter of option given to the Licensee the Electricity Board. Therefore, the mere fact that there is a right given to the Board to file the suit and intimation has been prescribed to file the suit, it does; not take away the right conferred on the Board U/s 24 to make demand for payment of the charges and on neglecting to pay the same, they have the power to discontinue the supply or cut off the supply, as the case may be, when the consumer neglects to pay the charges. The intendment appears to be that the obligations are mutual. The Board would supply electrical charges and consumer is under corresponding duty to pay the sum due towards the electricity consumer."

123.8.7 RECOVERY OF ARREARS FROM AGRICULTURE CONSUMERS-ONE TIME SETTLEMENT:-

Following concessions have been given to the farmers in depositing the arrears accumulated against them who could not deposit electricity bills of agriculture pump sets in time:-

123.8.7.1 While restoring such connections, the PSEB shall not recover any minimum charges for the period during which the tubewell connection remained disconnected. The reconnection charges shall also not be recovered,.

123.8.7.2 The penalty imposed by PSEB for late payment s are also waived off.

123.8.7.3 After restoration of tubewell connection, arrears shall be recovered in four equal monthly instalments with immediate effect.

123.9 The AE./AEE/XEN will ensure that at the time of reconnection of Seasonal Industries, the defaulting amount is got deposited before reconnection is allowed. No reconnection shall be allowed without the recovery of defaulting amount. Normally the injunction orders obtained in the Ist Instance during last seasonal period become in-fructuous where the premises were disconnected by the consumer through a specific request for availing the seasonal benefits.

123.10 Since it is now obligatory on the concerned officers to render separate bill for arrears on account of under assessment pointed out by the Audit or at the instance of Sr.XEN/ASE(Enforcement/MMTS) etc. there should not normally be any case of Court giving stay against the current energy bills. Even for the assessment made towards compensation, the courts , if properly apprised of the provisions of Condition No.42,43 & 48 will not grant stay. Rather the courts will ask the consumer to seek settlement in terms of conditions of supply.

123.11 It should be ensured that no charges whether on average or for monthly minimum charges are levied to the consumer after effecting permanent disconnection order which should be deemed to have come into being after one month from the date of temporary disconnection of supply. If any amount has already been charged to the consumer in the form of monthly minimum charges for the period beyond one month from temporary disconnection, it may be withdrawn after getting the accounts pre-audited from the concerned LA. This instruction should be meticulously followed so that defaulting amount is not unnecessarily inflated.

123.12 Authority competent to write off outstanding dues: If ultimately the outstanding amount is found to be irrecoverable either due to the failure of the legal proceedings, or the exhaustion of all efforts and it is not intended to seek any legal remedy, the case for writing off the arrears, should be framed and submitted to the competent authority as under:-

S.No.

To whom Delegated

:

Extent of Delegation

1.

Sr.XEN/ASE(Ops)

:

Rs.200/- in each case

2.

SE/DCE(OPs)

:

Rs.2,000/- in each case

3.

Circle Level Dispute Settlement Committee

:

Rs.30,000/- in each case

4.

Zonal Level Dispute Settlement Committee.

:

Beyond Rs.30,000/- and up to Rs10 lacs

5.

Member/I/C Comml. in consultation with Member F&A

:

Beyond Rs.10 lacs Cases shall be put up by the CE(Ops) alongwith recommendations of Zonal Dispute Settlement Committee

If unanimity is not reached while taking a decision in the Circle Level Dispute Settlement and Reconciliation Committee or Zonal Level Dispute Settlement and Reconciliation Committee, the majority decision will be applicable. However, the minutes to be recorded should be self speaking and views of the dissenting Member, should be indicated alongwith the operating part of the decision specifically.

123.13 Seeking good offices of the Govt.: In respect of following consumers legal preceding should not be taken until the procedure outlined below fails to yield fruitful results. Nevertheless, the outstanding amount should not be allowed to become barred by period of limitation.

123.13.1 Government Departments: So far as the question of recovery of outstanding dues from Government Departments is concerned, the matter may be referred to the Head of the Department for early liquidation of arrears simultaneously endorsing copies to the officers concerned for doing the needful immediately. If there is no tangible response from the Head of the Deptt. matter may be referred to the concerned secretary to the Govt. and then ultimately to the Chief Secretary. The Secretary Incharge power should also be kept apprised and his good offices should be availed to effect recovery.

123.13.2 Government Employees: In such cases Heads of the Offices/ Departments under whom the consumer is working should be addressed to recover the outstanding amount from the person concerned and remit the same to the Board. If the employee has been transferred to other station, is address should be found out and the Head of his new office be asked likewise. If any such defaulting consumer seeks a connection elsewhere in the state, it should not be allowed till outstanding dues are cleared.

123.13.3 Board Employees: The arrears should be recovered promptly from the employees of the Board. In case the employee has been transferred to some other station, a reference should be made to his Sr.XEN/ASE (Ops) concerned to effect recovery from the pay bills of the official/officer and remit it to the office concerned.

124. PAYMENT OF ARREARS NOT ORIGINALLY BILLED:

124.1 There may be certain cases where the consumer is billed for some of the dues relating to previous months./years or otherwise as arrears on account of under assessment/Load or Demand Surcharge pointed out by Internal Auditor/detected by the authorized officers either owing to negligence of the Board employees or due to some defect in the metering equipment or due to application of wrong tariff/multiplication factor or due to mistake in connection or other irregularities/malpractices etc. In all such cases, separate bills should be issued giving complete details of the charges levied. Such charges should not be clubbed in the current bills of the consumer.

124.2 Allowing Instalments for Supplementary Assessment: The consumer may sometimes find it difficult to make payment of such arrears in lumpsum and may make representation for allowing the payment of such arrears to be made in instalments. Such a representation must come from the consumer within the grace period i.e. within 15 days of the receipt of the bill. A notice to this effect should be incorporated on the bill itself. However, it may be clarified that the representation shall not entitle stay to the consumer from the payment of instalment(s). In fact the consumer seeking instalment should deposit not less than 25% of the billed amount so as to show his earnestness to pay the assessed amount in instalments.

124.2.1 Competency of instalments: On receipt of the above representation, the Sr.XEN/ASE(Ops) may allow the consumer to make payment of the arrears in monthly instalments up to 10. Normally, not more than 5 instalments be allowed. The Ist instalment shall start from 15th day from the date of receipt of the bill and other instalments shall be payable every month regularly failing which the premises of the consumer shall be liable for disconnection. SE/Dy.CE(Ops) may however, increase the number of installments up to 15 in extreme hardship cases.

124.2.2 No instalments for Current Assessment: The concerned officers are not competent to grant stay against payment of the current energy bills.

124.2.3 Levy of LPS for failing to make payment: The total discount/surcharge where applicable should be divided in equal instalments and in case the consumer does not make payment of instalments by the due date, the discount be forfeited/surcharge be levied in respect of that instalment only.

124.2.4 The default in payment of instalments on the part of the consumer, shall render his premises liable for disconnection.

124.3 There may also be some cases where the Board may not have rendered the current energy bills regularly in the past and the consumer is asked to make payment of the bills for more than two months in lumpsum. In such cases, the current energy bills shall be rendered separately and recovered as a regular feature. The remaining amount other than the current energy bill is to be billed separately and the payment of the same maybe allowed to be made in instalments:-

1. AE./AEE/XEN(Ops). : Up to three instalments

2. Sr.XEN/ASE(Ops) : Up to Six Instalments

3. SE./Dy.CE(Ops) : Up to Ten instalments.

The aforesaid benefit of payment in instalments is to be allowed on the express request of the consumer if the amount of arrears is heavy as compared to the normal monthly energy bills. The number of installments should be decided on the basis of merits of the case. However, the other conditions shall be the same as provided under Para 124.1.

124.3.1 The arrears bill recovered in installments shall not be subject to the levy of 10% late payment surcharge. If the consumer fails to pay the instalments in time, the surcharge shall be levied on that instalment.

124.4 In order to avoid accumulation of the defaulting amount, action should immediately be taken against the delinquent officials/officers due to whose fault the arrears accumulated especially for cases covered under Para 124.3. Quarterly statements of defaulting amount ending March, June, September and December should be prepared in the Divisional Office and submitted to SE/Dy.CE by 25th of the following month. The SEs/Dy.CE shall scrutinize all such defaulting cases and recommend to Chief Engineer(Op)/C.A for action against delinquent officers/officials besides making all out efforts of recovering of such amount.

125. THE POWERS TO WRITE OFF SURCHARGE:

125.1 The following officers are competent to waive off the recovery of amount of surcharge levied in respect of payment of energy bills provided the same is not due to the fault on the part of the consumer:-

S.No.

To whom delegated

:

Extend of Delegation

1.

Sr.XEN/ASE(Ops)

:

Rs.50/- in each case

2.

SE./DCE(Ops)

:

Rs.200/- in each case

3.

CE./DCE(Ops)

:

Rs.1,000/- in each case

4.

Member/Incharge Commercial

:

Rs.10,000/- in each case

5.

Member(Comml)in consultation with Member F&A.

:

Above Rs.10,000/- in each case.

126. POWER TO SANCTION DISMANTLEMENT OF SERVICE LINES:

126.1 Following officers are competent to sanction the dismantlement of service lines which have remained idle for 6 months or more or where connections have remained disconnected for less than six months but theft of energy is apprehended:-

SE/Dy.CE : Full Powers

Sr.XEN/ASE(Ops) : Rs.50,000/-

AE./AEE/XEN(Ops). : Rsss.25,000/-

126.2 All dismantled material should be entered in the dismantlement register CA-104 and then returned to stores.

126.3 A monthly report of such dismantlement should be sent to the next higher authority.



About Us | Feedback | Admin Login
Developed and Maintained by Phoenix IT Solutions Ltd.
©2010 PSPCL & PSTCL -All Rights Reserved