Electricity Department Seeking Explanation Regarding Property Ownership Illegal: Observes Kerala HC
The Kerala High Court has observed that the Electricity department doesn’t have the jurisdiction to check the veracity of the property ownership.
The bench of Justice Amit Rawal made this observation in a case where the electricity department had issued a notice seeking explanation regarding the ownership of the land of the petitioner’s husband.
Justice Amit Rawal observed that “I am of the view that the said notice is wholly uncalled for and arbitrary much less illegal and without jurisdiction. Electricity department has no business to check the veracity of the ownership.”
Petitioner-woman had approached the High Court aggrieved of the notice issued by the Kerala State Electricity Board calling for an explanation to show the ownership of the property on receipt of the complaint by a person.
The petitioner submitted that since the said person is having animosity and rancour against the petitioner’s husband, who is his brother, submitted a malicious complaint to the Electricity department in respect of drawing a five hundred(500) meter wire to the borewell alleged to be used illegally.
It is contended that the Electricity department without verifying the veracity of the complaint or the file of the electric connection allotted to the petitioner, called upon the petitioner with the details of the ownership. It was further submitted that it is a private pathway in the joint possession by virtue of the deed rather the complainant has encroached the property and civil dispute is pending.
Advocate M.G. Sreejith appeared for the petitioner whereas Advocate B.Premod appeared for the electricity board.
The Court observed that the said notice is wholly uncalled for and arbitrary much less illegal and without jurisdiction.
The Court noted that once the matter is pending before the civil court, Electricity Department should be circumspect in entertaining the complaint until and unless there is gross violation of provisions of the Act.
Thus the Court quashed the impugned notice.
“The impugned notice Ext.P1 is wholly aberrative, without jurisdiction and illegal, hereby quashed. Writ petition stands allowed.”, the Court held.
Cause Title- Rasheeda v. Kerala State Electricity Board Limited & Ors.