CIC/SA/C/2015/000092. Case: Anil Sood Vs DERC. Central Information Commission

Case NumberCIC/SA/C/2015/000092
CounselFor Appellant: Party-in-Person and For Respondentst: Jayshree Raghuraman, Secretary
JudgesM. Sridhar Acharyulu (Madabhushi Sridhar), Information Commissioner
IssueElectricity Act, 2003 - Sections 111, 3, 42, 61, 62, 63, 64(3), 86, 86(3), 86(4); Right To Information Act, 2005 - Sections 18, 2(f), 4(1)(c), 4(1)[c]
Judgement DateMay 09, 2015
CourtCentral Information Commission


M. Sridhar Acharyulu (Madabhushi Sridhar), Information Commissioner


1. This Commission has issued the following order on 17-4-2015:

1. "The Commission admits this complaint and issues notice to the respondents and directs them to extend the date of receiving objections from the consumers to a convenient date after disclosing the information under section 4(1)[c] of the RTI Act as requested by the complainant.

2. The Commission also directs complainant to dispatch the copies of the complaint along with the enclosures to the respondents."

2. Both the parties made their submissions.

3. The complainant Mr. Anil Sood, a social activist from Chetna organization, filed RTI application on 12-2-2013 seeking information on Distribution Transformer Wise negative losses in respect of BRPL, BYPL, TPDDL for the year 2011-12. The respondent authority replied that the Commission considered Division-wise DT-wise losses in respect of BRPL, BYPL and TPDDL for 2011-12 and observed that comprehensive analysis of the losses in respect of DTs which record high losses while taking the energy supplied from the DTs will be submitted for further directions of the Commission. The Complainant says that till date the respondent authority did not analyze the DT-wise losses and informed him.

4. The complainant filed another RTI on 10-11-2014 which was replied on 23-3-2015 and 4-3-2015 regarding the capitalization of fixed assets. The complainant is questioning how the respondent authority have done the capitalization of fixed assets leading to revenue gap of Rs. 20,000 crores.

5. The Complainant has explained the urgency involved in the issue and requested for admitting the complaint immediately out of turn saying that today (17-4-15) is the last day for filing objections by the consumers. There is utmost urgency and necessity, there was no sufficient time to issue Show Cause Notice to the respondent, hence to pass an ex-parte directive to them to defer the proceedings on inviting suggestions and holding public hearing till the time the CIC hears this case. The Complainant contended before the CIC that if the DERC applies the tariff fixation without disclosing the complete information and hearing the objections it would cause irreparable loss to the consumer in the capital city of Delhi and will result in undue benefits to the DISCOMs. When the CIC questioned the complainant, why he has not filed this complaint earlier, he explained that he did not receive any response to the complaints made to the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Power), GNCTD on 6-4-2015.

6. As I found merit in the contention and urgency, I have admitted the complaint and issued notice to the respondents and directed them on 17th April 2015, to extend the date of receiving objections from the consumers to a convenient date after disclosing the information under section 4(1)[c] of the RTI Act as requested by the complainant. The case was posted on 6th May 2015.

7. The DERC approached the Delhi High Court seeking intervention, saying: The respondent No. 4 (Complainant before CIC) raised multiple (and other unintelligible) queries from the petitioner (Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission set up under the Electricity Act 2003) to regulate the electricity sector in Delhi as given in Section 86 of the said Act. Apparently, unsatisfied by the queries, respondent No. 4 (instead of going in appeal before First Appellate Authority went directly to Chief Information Commission (CIC) under Section 18 of the RTI Act, 2005. Vide impugned orders dated 17.04.2015 the CIC, inter alia, ordered the petitioner to postpone its public hearings of the tariff fixation of the Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) of Delhi. It is submitted that the CIC has no powers at all to make such orders as have the effect of impacting the functioning of another statutory body such as the petitioner. The only orders CIC could legally pass is imposition of penalty and recommendation for disciplinary action against the PIO. By directing the DERC to postpone its public hearing in the ongoing statutory annual tariff determination exercise (a quasi-judicial function), CIC has clearly exercised powers not vested in it by the law and hence liable to be quashed. The tariff fixation exercise being time bound, the present writ petition seeks intervention of the Hon'ble Court". (Text of the synopsis of WP filed by DERC).

8. The Hon'ble High Court in its order dated 30.4.2015 mentioned "both counsels i.e. counsel for the petitioner and respondent No. 4 (complainant before CIC) are agreed that they will appear before he CIC on 6.5.2015 and directed CIC to hear both parties and then pass a final order in the matter, the CIC will conclude the hearing on or before 08.05.2015,... counsel for DERC assured the court that in the meanwhile the date for public hearing will be deferred".

9. Accordingly, both parties appeared before me on 6.5.2015, I have heard both parties.

Contention of complainant

10. Besides filing a written submission, the complainant orally submitted that the Executive Summary placed by the DERC does not have the prudence check of capital assets of some DISCOMs. He claimed that prudence check was not done for the past four years. He pointed out contradictions and anomalies in DERC disclosure and that the huge revenue gap amounting to Rs. 19505 crore was not explained. Mr. Anil Sharma, Charted Accountant presented that the BSES DISCOMs...

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