In The High Court At Calcutta
20-01-2012 Constitutional Writ Jurisdiction Appellate Side
W.P.No.1390(W) of 2012
Surya Alloy Industries Limited & Anr. -vs-
Damodar Valley Corporation & Ors.
Mr. Pratap Chatterjee
Mr. Shyamal Sarkar
Mr. Raja Basu Chaudhury
Mr. Partha Mukherjee
Mr. Rajkesh Gupta ...for the petitioners
Mr. Prasun Mukherjee ...for DVC
The petitioners in this WP under art.226 are questioning a disconnection notice dated January 9, 2012 (at p.68).
By an undated order (at p.48) the Government of West Bengal informed DVC about the electricity duty exemption benefit granted to the petitioners for the period from August 14, 2011 to July 22, 2012. A copy of the letter was sent to the petitioners by a memo dated December 29, 2011.
DVC supplying electricity to the petitioners raised bills for September, October and November 2011 and claimed electricity duty. The petitioners did not pay the bills on the grounds that they were entitled to the benefit of electricity duty exemption. DVC of its own accord remitted the electricity duty amounts included in the bills to the Government. From the month of December 2011 DVC stopped claiming electricity duty in its bills. Now DVC has 2
issued the disconnection notice claiming electricity duty for the months September, October and November 2011. During pendency of the WP it has issued a letter advising the petitioners to seek refund of electricity duty from the Government.
After hearing counsels for the parties, I am of the tentative opinion that DVC wrongfully issued the disconnection notice. There was no reason for it to claim electricity duty, when the Government extended the benefit of exemption to the petitioners. DVC committing mistake by remitting to the Government cannot force the petitioners to pay the amounts and then seek refund from the Government. It is for DVC to seek refund from the Government citing wrong remittance. I think the petitioners have made out a strong prima facie case for admission and interim relief.
For these reasons, I admit the WP and pass an order restraining the respondents from disconnecting supply for non-payment of electricity duty mentioned in the bills in question. This will not entitle the petitioners not to pay the other claims mentioned in the bills.
The respondents shall file opposition within five weeks as prayed for; reply, if any, shall be filed by a week thereafter. Liberty to mention the WP for final hearing. Certified xerox.
(Jayanta Kumar Biswas, J.)