The 26 August, 2010
No. PSERC/Secy/Regu. 52 – In exercise of powers conferred by sub-section (5) and (6) of Section 42 read with Section 181 of the Electricity Act, 2003 (36 of 2003) and all other powers enabling the Commission in this behalf, the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission hereby makes the following Regulations to amend the “Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (Forum and Ombudsman) Regulations, 2005” namely ;
1. Short Title and Commencement :
(1) These Regulations shall be called the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (Forum and Ombudsman) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2010.
(2) These Regulations shall come into force on the date of their publication in the official gazette of the State.
2. In Reg. 3 of the main Regulations, the following sub-clause (3) (iii) shall be added and for the existing sub-clause (3) (iii), the following shall be substituted and it will be re-numbered as sub-clause (3) (iv) :-
(3) (iii) For appointment of the Chairperson and a Member, the Licensee will send a panel of three persons in each case with a proven record of integrity who have to their credit atleast two years service before superannuation. The Commission will select one person from the panel for appointment as Chairperson or Member of the Forum as the case may be.
(iv) One Member shall be nominated by the Commission who is atleast 45 years of age and a Post Graduate. Preference would be given to :-
a) association with a NGO ;
b) knowledge of the Power Sector ; and
c) familiarity with consumer affairs and arbitration matters.
3. In Reg. 3 of the main Regulations, sub paras c) and f) below re-numbered sub-clause (3) (iv) shall be substituted by the following :-
c) He will be paid such remuneration as may be fixed by the Commission at the time of selection. In addition, he will be entitled to all office facilities and TA/DA as admissible to Grade-I officers of the State Government. The expenditure on this account will be borne by the Licensee.
f) The nominated Member will hold office for a maximum period of three years, subject to overall age limit of 65 years.
4. In Reg. 3 of the main Regulations, for clause (4), following shall be substituted :-
(4) The Chairperson and Member of the Forum will hold office ordinarily for a period of two years from the date of appointment/ nomination to the Forum.
Provided that no Member of the Forum shall hold such an office after retirement from the service of the Licensee.
5. In Reg. 3 of the main Regulations, for clause (11), following shall be substituted:-
(11) The Forum shall ordinarily hold
its sittings at its headquarters. Subject to availability of workload, sittings
may also be held at
6. In Reg. 6 of the main Regulations, for clause (5), following shall be substituted:-
(5) The Forum may receive complaints through e-mail and also during its sittings at places other than its headquarters subject to fulfillment of such requirements as the Forum may consider appropriate.
7. In Reg. 7 of the main Regulations, for clauses (5) and (7), following shall be substituted :-
(5) In addition to the record of the concerned Dispute Settlement Committee(s), the Forum may call for further information or record from the Licensee or the complainant that it considers relevant for examination and disposal of the grievance and the parties will be under obligation to provide such information or record as the Forum may call for. The concerned party will send the same to the Forum within 10 days of receipt of its requisition. Where a party fails to provide such information, document or record and the Forum is satisfied that the party in possession of the record is withholding it deliberately, it may drawn an adverse inference.
(7) The decisions of the Forum will be recorded duly supported by reasons. The Order of the Forum will be communicated to the complainant, Licensee and the concerned Dispute Settlement Committee in writing within 7 days of the passing of the Order.
The Licensee will comply with the Order of the Forum within 30 days from the date of its receipt.
In case of non-compliance of the Order of the Forum or that of a Dispute Settlement Committee, the aggrieved consumer may approach the Ombudsman who will provide the consumer as well as the Licensee an opportunity of being heard. A report will, thereafter, be sent to the Commission within 30 days from the date of such hearing.
On consideration of the report of the Ombudsman, the Commission will take further action as it may deem fit including that under Section 142 of the Act.
8. In Reg. 13 of the main Regulations, for clauses (2) and (4), following shall be substituted :-
(2) The appointment of the Ombudsman shall be for a period of three years which may be extended by the Commission upto a maximum of five years.
(4) The Ombudsman shall be paid remuneration as may be determined by the Commission at the time of selection.
9. In Reg. 16 of the main Regulations, for clause (2), following shall be substituted :-
(2) The Ombudsman shall prepare an annual budget and the Commission will approve and intimate the same to the Licensee. The Ombudsman will exercise powers of expenditure within the budget so approved.
The Commission will, however, arrange to pay these expenses to the Ombudsman through a separate head of account and, in turn, recover the same from the Licensee(s). The share of the expenditure to be borne by each Licensee will be decided by the Commission.
10. In Reg. 19 of the main Regulations, clause (1) shall be substituted by the following and a new sub-clause (1 A) shall be added therein :-
(1) The Ombudsman shall, within seven days of registration of a representation, call for the relevant record from the concerned Forum which will forward such record within seven days from the date of receipt of notice from the Ombudsman.
(1A) The Ombudsman may, at the same time, also call for a written statement/parawise comments of the Licensee on the representation. The Licensee will furnish the written statement/parawise comments within fifteen days from the date of receipt of such letter. Any other document required and called for by the Ombudsman will also be furnished by the Licensee/ consumer within the stipulated period.
In case the Licensee fails to furnish the written statement/parawise comments within the stipulated period, the Ombudsman may impose costs as are considered reasonable and sufficient. The concerned consumer may also be liable for similar action in the event of failure to furnish any additional document called for by the Ombudsman.
11. In Reg. 19 of the main Regulations, clause (5) shall be substituted, new clause (6) shall be added and the existing clause (6) shall be substituted and re-numbered as clause (7). Accordingly, clauses (5), (6) and (7) shall read as under:-
(5) The Ombudsman will pass an award as early as possible but in any case, within three months from the date of receipt of a representation. Where there is delay in disposal of a representation, the Ombudsman will record reasons for such delay. Copies of the Ombudsman’s award/Order will be sent to the parties and the Forum.
(6) The Licensee will comply with the award/Order within 30 days of the date of receipt. Non-compliance of the award/ Order within the stipulated period may be brought to the notice of the Ombudsman by the consumer. The Ombudsman will provide the consumer as well as the Licensee an opportunity of being heard and send a report to the Commission within 30 days of the date of such hearing. On consideration of the report of the Ombudsman, the Commission will take further action including that under Section 142 of the Act as it may deem fit.
(7) The Ombudsman may evolve a procedure conforming to the principles of fair play and justice for efficient discharge of its functions. The Ombudsman will also follow the guidelines, if any, given by the Commission from time to time regarding the procedure to be adopted for handling consumer complaints.
By Order of the Commission
Secretary to the Commission