The Gujarat High Court has issued notices to the state government and the power distribution company in the state- Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Limited (PGVCL), in a batch of petitions seeking waiver of fixed electricity charges for the lockdown period.
The petitions have been filed by KB Ispat Pvt. Ltd. and ten other companies, stating that the benefit of waiver of fixed electricity charges for the month April, which was provided vide order dated March 27, 2020, should be extended to the entire duration of the lockdown, including the month of May.
"The said aspect is of utmost relevance since the lock down came to be extended repeatedly by the Central Government as well as the State of Gujarat," the Petitioner-company states.
Inter alia, it has required more time for payment of the bill for actual consumption and have prayed that electricity duty, which is up to the tune of 15% on total of fix and energy charges, be waived off.
KB Ispat Ltd, through Advocates Abhishek Mehta & Param Shah, has stated that relaxation from payment of fixed electricity charges in the month of April was given to "mitigate and provide some breathing time" for the industries and it is submitted that "The very same situation still exists with no change in the present economic scenario which was prevalent in the month of March, April or May, 2020. In such circumstances there is clear legitimate expectation on the part of the petitioner which ought to be met with by the respondents in a benevolent manner if they expect the industries to survive the onslaught of economic crisis and recession."
The Petitioner has stated that their operations are shut till date due to non-availability of labour and raw material. In such circumstances, it has contended that the inaction of the Respondents in extending the said benefits is illegal, arbitrary, and violative of Article 14 and 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution.
The matter will be heard by the High Court tomorrow, i.e. on June 30, 2020.
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