The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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State suit on power subsidy order

The state government on Wednesday filed a petition in Calcutta High Court against the Electricity Regulatory Commission (ERC), challenging its verdict to withdraw the cross-subsidy in power tariff. Advocate Shaktinath Mukherjee has been appointed by the state to fight the case.

Following the ERC order, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had announced that the government would file a case against the “anti-people” judgment. “The government is taking the matter very seriously, as the common people of the state will be inconvenienced if the order is carried out,” said advocate-general Balai Ray on Wednesday.

The lawyers, however, declined to divulge details of the case and said the chief minister would keep the press posted about this “sensitive matter”.

The ERC, in its order, had declared that uniform tariff would be slapped on each and every subscriber and the government had no right to supply electricity to the general consumers at a subsidised rate, by selling power to industrial units at higher rates. The CPM-led state government had protested the verdict of the commission, on the grounds that it would “affect the agriculture sector”, with the poor farmers being the worst hit.

The state, in its petition, has sought an order declaring the ERC judgment “ultra vires” to the Constitution. The matter will come up for hearing soon, said a high court source.

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