The Delhi High Court on Friday declined to entertain a petition claiming that power distribution companies here calculated bills during the lockdown by an “unjust and arbitrary” method.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan said the petitioner, a doctor, ought to have moved the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission, (DERC) which would be the competent body to decide how the discoms should calculate the bills. The petitioner’s counsel then sought permission to withdraw the petition and make a representation to the DERC.

The petition had contended that the discoms, BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna, were calculating the electricity consumption charges, in contravention of DERC regulations, during the months when the lockdown was imposed in the city due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Instead of calculating the electricity charges based upon the specific number of units consumed in a particular month, Respondents 2 and 3 [discoms] have equally divided the cumulative units spanning over four to five months to determine the unit consumption per month,” the plea said.

“Doing so resulted in the consumers being put in higher slabs in each month, thereby resulting in an automatic increase in their electricity bills by at least 5-15% for each month, especially during March and April,” the petition said.

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