Judgment of Hon’ble Appellate Tribunal for Electricity dated 27.04.2021 in Appeal No. 77 of 2018 titled Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. vs. Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission & Ors.

J. Sagar Associates (JSA) represented RattanIndia Power Limited (RattanIndia) before the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (“APTEL”) in proceedings contesting the claim by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. (MSEDCL) that change in interest rate by RBI qualifies as Change in Law.

By way of Judgment dated 27.04.2021, APTEL dismissed MSEDCL’s claim holding that change in interest rate by RBI does not amount to Change in Law. Further, APTEL held that MSEDCL is liable to pay Late Payment Surcharge as per provisions of the PPA.

One of the sectoral issues argued by us was the difficulty in enforcing orders of regulatory commissions and the Appellate Tribunal since cases were being decided on questions of law rather resulting in the consequential monetary claims. This resulted in multiple rounds of litigation since Distribution Companies disputed the claim computation. Based on our submissions and suggestions, the Appellate Tribunal was pleased to direct that Regulatory Commissions should decide matters on issues of law and fact to reduce multiplicity of proceedings and ensure faster execution of orders and judgments.

This judgment has significant sectoral impact since it will make execution and enforcement of orders easier on account of quantification of amounts. It is expected that orders of the regulatory commissions will now be in the nature of money decrees which will reduce multiplicity of proceedings arising out of disputed claims.

This judgement if implemented sincerely shall go a long way in tackling the risk of delayed payments and dispute resolution in the power sector and improve the investment climate.  

JSA Team comprised Partner – Vishrov Mukerjee and Senior Associate – Yashaswi Kant. The matter was argued by Vishrov Mukerjee.