The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and the Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited to settle their dispute over payment of power bills for streetlights within three months.
A Division Bench of Justice Darmar Murugesan and Justice V.K. Jain passed the order on a public interest litigation by advocate Arpit Bhargava challenging the decision of the power distribution company to stop power supply to 45,000 streetlights in six localities under the NDMC jurisdiction due to non-payment of power dues. The petitioner had approached the Court for a direction to the power distribution company for restoration of supply to the streetlights, arguing that the plunging of six localities into darkness was violation of the affected people’s fundamental right to safety. However, the distribution company had restored the power connection following part payment of dues by the civic body before the matter was taken up for consideration.
The Bench later disposed of the petition with the direction to the civic body and the distribution company to resolve the disputes within three months.
By stopping power supply on such a large scale, the distribution company had not only put public safety in danger but its action was also in violation of the fundamental right.