Special Correspondent

Tamil Nadu Electricity Board files affidavit in High Court

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board has submitted before the Madras High Court that it has decided not to provide power supply for any lavish or decorative lighting at private functions, except religious festivals organised in public places of worship.

The board has stated this in its affidavit to a contempt petition filed by one S.A.N.Vasigaran, in which Electricity Minister N.Veeraswami has been cited as a respondent.

A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice A.K.Ganguly and Justice F.M.Ibrahim Kalifulla, on Friday treated as closed the contempt petition.

Following a PIL petition, the court, in September, gave directions, which included that if there was a policy of the TNEB in conservation of electricity, that policy should be strictly followed. If there was no such policy, a comprehensive one should be evolved immediately giving broad guidelines as to how attempts should be made in each household for conserving electricity.

In the contempt petition, Mr.Vasigaran said the board did not follow the court’s directions.

In the affidavit, the board detailed the steps it had taken. It submitted that the guidelines on energy conservation had been given wide publicity. Apart from the guidelines was the decision with regard to power supply for any lavish or decorative lighting for private functions. The board submitted that the guidelines relating to private functions would also apply to public meetings by political parties. The Bench directed that the guidelines should be strictly followed with regard to public meetings by political parties.

Additional Advocate-General P.S.Raman submitted that the condition relating to insertion of penal clause in the guidelines had been complied with by the board; but the same could not be implemented in view of an interdict issued by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission. The board had applied to the Commission for a review of the direction.

Considering these facts, the Bench said it could not conclude that the board had committed any contempt. The board had taken necessary steps. The court said it expected that the steps were really followed and there was willing public cooperation so that the measures were effectively implemented to tide over the present power shortage.