KE sets up court to recover outstanding bills

KARACHI: K-Electric appears in ‘no-compromise’ mood to squeeze the neck further of its already power-hit consumers as country’s biggest vertically integrated utility has set up a court for special magistrate in its premises to recover outstanding bills under what the law experts termed controversial Section 54-A of the Electricity Act 1910.

Sources on Tuesday said that the power company is facilitating a ‘special magistrate assistant controller Grade-1’ to recover electricity charges from its users on account of arrears as land revenue under Sindh Land Revenue Act 1967.

The power utility has set up an office for the magistrate at its office – Block-A, Elander Complex, and has filed a number of applications against its consumers for the recovery of dues under Section 54-A of the Electricity Act 1910.

The magistrate office has started sending notices to the consumers, asking them to appear before it for the reply over the issue, or get ready for the arrest, attachment and sale of immoveable property for the recovery of the arrears under SLRA, 1967.

On the other hand, the law experts argued that the Section 54-A of the Electricity Act 1910 has become ‘redundant’ and KE as a private company cannot take action against any consumer under the same provision. They also said that a private power company cannot facilitate a judicial magistrate in its jurisdictions. There must be a neutral venue for the very purpose so that the both complainant and respondents can put forward their arguments conveniently and easily.

Published in Business Recorder, 11th April, 2018