BENGALURU: “Occupancy Certificate has to be obtained by the developer/builder from the BBMP. However, insisting individual flat owners to produce Occupancy Certificate as a condition for obtaining the power connection would be per se illegal. They may be the consumers or applicants, and not have any access or right to obtain such occupancy certificates from the municipal bodies like Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike,” said Karnataka High Court.
Justice Dr Vineet Kothari passed the order while dismissing a petition filed by BBMP. The BBMP Commissioner had challenged the order dated April 9, 2015 passed by Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) that power distribution companies could not insist on the consumers to prove their occupation of the premises by providing the ‘Occupancy Certificate’.
The KERC passed this order on receiving a complaint by Vidyuth Grahakara Hitarakshana Vedike, a consumer association, and Karnataka State Licensed Electrical Contractors Association.
During the hearing, the BBMP counsel brought to the notice of the court that the Urban Development Department (UDD) had issued the order stating that the BWSSB and KTPCL authorities should not provide new water supply and electricity supply without Occupancy Certificate/No Objection Certificate from the Bangalore Development Authority/BBMP. If water and electricity connections are provided without No Objection/Occupancy certificate from BWSSB or through KPTCL, action will be initiated against the Executive Engineer concerned, it added.
The UDD ordered the Commissioners of BBMP and BDA to issue Occupancy Certificates only to those buildings which do not violate the KMC Act.On hearing this, Justice Kothari said that the court was satisfied that the conditions of supply regulations do not require the Occupancy Certificate to be issued by respective municipal bodies.
The KERC is the sole authority and it has rightly held in the impugned order that the proof of ownership and occupation of the premises in question can be proved by any consumer or applicant seeking the power connection in the manner stipulated in the Conditions of Supply (CoS), read with Section 43 of the Electricity Act, 2003, the judge said.
“In absence of any amendment of the relevant bye-laws or CoS, the state government should not have asked the distribution companies to insist on the ‘Occupancy Certificate’ by consumers in a multi-storey building, where the Occupancy Certificate has to be obtained by the developer/builder,” the judge said.