Case No. 76 of 2014. Case: Brihan Mumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (BEST) Vs Tata Power Company Limited. Competition Commision of India

Case NumberCase No. 76 of 2014
CounselFor Appellant: Abhinav Vashisht, Senior Advocate, Tavinder Sidhu, Ayushi Kiran, Advocates, Raendra Patsute, Chief Engineer (Regulatory) and Rajendra Dubal, A.G.M. (Legal)
JudgesAshok Chawla, Chairperson, S.L. Bunker, Sudhir Mital, Augustine Peter and U.C. Nahta, Members
IssueCompetition Act, 2002 - Sections 19(1)(a), 26(2), 4; Electricity Act, 2003 - Sections 14, 2(17), 33(1), 40
Judgement DateJanuary 29, 2015
CourtCompetition Commision of India


  1. The information in the present matter has been filed by Brihan Mumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (hereinafter, the 'Informant'/'BEST') under section 19(1)(a) of the Competition Act, 2002 (hereinafter, the 'Act') against M/s. Tata Power Company Limited (hereinafter, the 'Opposite Party' or 'TPC') alleging contravention of the provisions of section 4 of the Act.

  2. The facts of the case as stated in the information may be briefly noted:

    2.1. The Informant, a division of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, has been engaged in distribution of electricity in the Island city of Mumbai (the area from Colaba upto Mahim and Sion) and also providing mass public transportation in the City of Mumbai as well as its extended suburbs for the last several decades. It is stated to be a licensee for distribution of electricity within the meaning of section 2(17) read with section 14 of the Electricity Act, 2003 and the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission ('MERC') Regulation, 2007.

    2.2. The Opposite Party is a company which has been engaged in generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Mumbai region through its three integrated divisions such as TPC-Generation (hereinafter, 'TPC-G'), TPC-Transmission (hereinafter, 'TPC-T') and TPC-Distribution (hereinafter, 'TPC-D') by virtue of various licenses issued to it under Electricity Act, 2003. The Opposite Party has a wholly owned subsidiary known as Tata Power Trading Company Limited, which is an electricity trader.

    2.3. It is stated in the information that the Informant procures power from TPC-G at the receiving voltages of 110 KV, 33 KV and 22 KV under a Power Purchase Agreement ('PPA') for 932 MW. It is submitted that the power procured under PPA was regulated by Electricity Act, 2003 and guided by MERC orders. It is submitted that as per MERC's Order in Case no. 26 of 2013, the Informant was exempted from purchasing costly power from TPC-G if cheaper options are available to it. In the said order, MERC held that since 'power is available in the market at rates that are lower than the cost of generation from TPC's Unit 4 (on oil), Unit 5 (RLNG), Unit 6 (on oil and RLNG) and Unit 7 (RLNG), it will not be appropriate to burden the consumers with high cost of power purchase when cheaper power is available'.

    2.4. It is highlighted that the Informant was paying Rs. 338 crores per annum to Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd. ("MSETCL") towards transmission charges for availing power transmission services using the state transmission grid which includes the transmission network maintained by TPC under its transmission license. Furthermore, to ensure uninterrupted supply of power, the Informant was having a standby arrangement with Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. ("MSEDCL") for which Rs 109 crores per annum was paid to MSEDCL to provide power in the event of failure or outages of TPC-G generating units against the standby charges paid. Accordingly, the Informant guarded itself enough to meet the load of its consumers in regular and contingency circumstances.

    2.5. As per the information, TPC-T is the transmission company for the areas...

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