HYDERABAD: The High Court has held that essential services, which are provided by the municipal corporation, can be disrupted or disconnected by it but not those provided by third parties.
A division bench comprising chief justice KJ Sengupta and justice PV Sanjay Kumar was disposing of a petition filed by NSL Renewable Power Pvt Ltd challenging a notice issued by the GHMC asking them to pay `23.42 lakh within 48 hours. If not paid, the essential services to the premises in question such as water supply, electricity and drainage will be disconnected under the GHMC Act.
The petitioner’s counsel contended that his client was not liable to pay the aforesaid amount and without giving any notice of hearing the GHMC had issued the notice. The ultimatum from the corporation to initiate recovery proceedings and disconnection of essential services was totally illegal as the electricity and water supply was not provided by the corporation.
The counsel submitted that Hyderabad Metro Water Works and Sewerage Board had been providing water and sewerage services and the Central Power Distribution Corporation the electricity service to the residents of the city. The corporation has no power to interfere with the services provided by third parties, he contended.
The GHMC counsel submitted that since the petitioner had made a representation, the corporation was ready to give the petitioner an opportunity of hearing, treating the present notice as proposed demand.
While considering the petitioner’s argument, the bench observed that the GHMC cannot disrupt essential services of the petitioner as the third parties’ rights and obligations were involved.
In the event of default on paying the tax allegedly due and payable, the other mode of recovery may be followed, it said.