The High Court on Tuesday held that the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) was not entitled to issue any direction to the Consumer Grievances Redressal Forums, which should decide complaints independently.

Justice S. Siri Jagan made the ruling while quashing an order issued by the board directing the forums, constituted under the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (Consumer Grievances Redressal Forum and Electricity Ombudsman) Regulations, not to entertain any complaints regarding the charge of tariff. The forums were also directed to forward orders issued by them to the office of the Chief Engineer (Commercial and Tariff) and the Law Section of the board. The court observed that the very objective of a redressal forum was to hear complaints against the licensee. If the board was to issue direction to the forums as to how they should consider complaints, it was better that there should not be any forum at all. As the forums were created as an independent arbitrator between the consumer and the licensee, they should be free from influence from anybody, particularly the board.

Plea on voters’ list

Justice P.N. Ravindran on Tuesday dismissed a writ petition seeking a direction to the Deputy Collector, Kannur, to take action on the objections raised to the inclusion of certain voters in the voters list as well as on the request to include new voters before the finalisation of the electoral rolls of the Kannur Assembly constituency.

The petition was filed by Rajesh P.K., a voter in the Kannur Assembly constituency. He alleged that some voters included in the voters list were residing outside the constituency. They were included on the basis of bogus residential certificates issued by village officers. He also pointed out that the authorities had not conducted inquiry into his complaints as mandated by the electoral laws.

Petition on LPG lorries

Deputy Speaker Jose Baby on Tuesday filed a writ petition seeking a direction to the oil companies to transport liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) safely and take immediate action whenever its vehicles carrying the LPG overturned or were involved in accidents. He complained that accidents involving such lorries occurred frequently at Mannarkad, his home town. After the accidents, the oil company representatives do not take appropriate safety measures. As a result, people have to suffer. They had to go without electricity for a few days as supply has to be stop- ped near the accident spot.

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