HC clears power distribution franchisee with a rider

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Nagpur, Feb 13 (UNI) The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court has cleared the appointment of Crompton Greaves Limited (CGL) as the franchisee of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) for distribution of power in parts of the city.

However, the court has imposed a rider that some aspects of the agreement be examined further by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC).

A Division Bench consisting Justices Dilip Sinha and Justice Vasanti Naik declined to set aside CGL's appointment as the franchisee in three divisions of Nagpur city, made by the MSEDCL for a period of 15 years.

The bench held that the MSEDCL had the powers to appoint such franchisee and the interests of consumers had been incorporated in the agreement between the CGL and the MSEDCL, and vacated the interim stay that it had granted on October 26 last on the appointment.

However, the court found several discrepancies in the revenue projections in the distribution franchisee agreement (DFA), and has, therefore, asked the MERC for an in-depth examination of these issues.

Giving its ruling on a PIL filed by Citizens Forum, a local organisation, citizen Anil Wadpalliwar and local journalist Rahul Pande along with two connected petitions, the court noted that due to contradictory interpretation of the data submitted by the petitioners and respondents, it was referring the revenue projections, discounting factor, recovery from high-tension (HT) and low-tension (LT) consumers and change in base year, to MERC.

UNI AB RN DS1603

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