Establishing ownership or tenancy with respect to a particular premise is a sine qua non in order to acquire an ‘electricity connection’: Jharkhand HC

Jharkhand High Court: A Division Bench comprising of D.N. Patel, ACJ. and Amitav K. Gupta, J., upheld the orders of the Jharkhand State Electricity Board wherein the grant for electricity connection was rejected.

A Letters Patent Appeal was preferred by the appellant being aggrieved by the judgment and order delivered by the said Board whereby the prayer for grant of electricity connection was rejected.

The point of question in this case was that what factors would be considered before granting a tenant the said electricity connection. They were stated as:

  • Tenancy by the applicant
  • Permission by the landlord

Though the appellant claimed to be a tenant in the premises of Durgawati Devi (landlord) he failed to establish the same. Further, the appellant pressed upon the fact that permission of the landlord was not required for grant of the electricity connection.

Hence, being unsatisfied with the contentions put forward by the appellant, the Court highlighted that permission of the landlord was not required, but a declaration which establishes the fact that the person who has applied for electricity connection was residing in the premises of the landlord, ‘authorisedly’ was a must. The Court observed that the signature, by the landlord, was not for the grant of permission but to legally show the appellant’s tenancy at the landlord’s premises. The Court concluded by emphasizing the fact that the appellant was neither an owner nor a tenant in the premises yet he claimed for the electricity connection in his name. The Court also said that the above factors need to be taken into account as absence would lead to illegal encroachment with regard to the electricity connection in the premises of any landlord. Accordingly, the writ was dismissed. [Shreekant Sharma v. Jharkhand State Electricity Board, 2017 SCC OnLine Jhar 3617, order dated 05-12-2017]

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