The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) has asked the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission's (CERC) to hear and decide afresh the issue of commercial operation date (COD) of Reliance Power’s 4,000 MW Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) in Madhya Pradesh.

Allowing Reliance Power’s appeal against CERC’s order, APTEL, while setting aside the impugned order, directed it to decide the matter afresh including the issue of maintainability raised by Sasan Power Ltd (SPL) without being influenced by its earlier findings. SPL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Power implementing the Sasan UMPP.

“The order is set aside and the matter is remanded back to the CERC to decide the issues afresh after hearing of the appellant and other concerned parties,” APTEL said in its August 12 order.

Reliance Power, through SPL, had filed an appeal with APTEL on the grounds that CERC's order is violative of principles of natural justice and is not tenable in law. In its earlier order, CERC had set aside the certificate issued by Independent Engineer's (IE) for the declaration of COD of Sasan’s first 660 MW unit based on a petition filed by the Western Region Load Dispatch Centre (WRLDC).

“We find that the CERC has decided the issue on merits without giving an opportunity of being heard to the appellant (Reliance Power) on the merits of the case and without deciding the issue of maintainability raised by the appellant. We do not understand why the CERC decided the matter on merits hurriedly at the admission stage itself without deciding the issue on maintainability raised by the appellant and without hearing the appellant and the procurers of power on merits of the case. We deem it fit to remand the matter to the CERC to reconsider the issue afresh and decide the same after hearing the appellant and other concerned parties without being influenced by its earlier findings,’’ it said.

The Sasan UMPP was commissioned on March 30, 2013.