SC declines stay on Rs 1,050 cr payment to Sasan power project

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New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to stay the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity’s order, directing seven state-run power utilities and Tata Power Distribution Company to pay Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project dues of Rs 1,050 crore.

While refusing to stay the March 31, 2016, order, an apex court bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman also issued notice to Sasan Power Project, asking for its response on the pleas that challenge both the previous tribunal order, while seeking a stay.

The seven power utility companies of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana had moved the top court challenging the tribunal order, apart from Tata Power Distribution.

The tribunal had upheld the claim of Sasan Power regarding its commercial operational date to be March 31, 2013, thereby clearing way for a claim of Rs 1,050 crore in dues from the seven State power utilities companies and the Tata company.

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The Sasan project had declared the date of commercial operation to be March 31, 2013 on the basis of a certificate from Messrs Lahmeyer International — an independent engineer.

But it was contested by the Western Regional Load Despatch Centre (WRLDC) — the apex body tasked to ensure integrated operation of the power system in the western region. The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission also did not accept the claim.

The regulator had, instead, set the date as August 16, 2013.

But after the tribunal’s order, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission had in June asked the Madhya Pradesh utility to pay its dues in three instalments. Similarly in June it had asked Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana to also pay up in four instalments.

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The matter will come up for further hearing after four weeks.



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