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Check electricity bill before buying a house in resale, important decision of SC for home buyers

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House Bills: If you are buying a house in resale, then you need to know this decision of the Supreme Court. Before buying a house, it must be known whether the electricity bill of that flat or house is outstanding or not. The Supreme Court has said that the outstanding electricity bill of the previous owner of the property can be recovered from the new buyer. A bench headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said that under the 2003 Act, it is proper to recover dues before resuming power supply to a premises.

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The country’s top court was hearing several petitions questioning whether the outstanding electricity bill of the former owner can be recovered from the current owner. The power utilities argued that the obligation to supply electricity under section 43 of the 2003 Act was not met. If the previous owner’s bill is outstanding, the new connection may be denied until the previous owner clears the outstanding bill amount.

In contrast, the auctioneers argued that Section 43 obliges distribution licensees to supply electricity in all cases. It was argued that the Electricity Act, 1910 and the Electricity Act, 1948 do not empower the Electricity Board to recover arrears of electricity bill from the new owner or occupier of such premises to the last owner and the electricity bill is paid . Can be supplied only to the person to whom electricity is supplied.

Under section 43, the onus is on the owner or occupier of the premises to supply electricity. The 2003 Act maintains a relationship between the consumer and the premises. Under this section 43, when electricity is supplied, the owner or occupier becomes a consumer only in respect of that particular premises. For which electricity has been demanded. The apex court, in its May 19 verdict, decided 19 cases, which were pending for two decades.