No:172                                                               Wednesday, 6th April 2005 

  Notification JSERC/54/11                                                            Chait 12,1926                
                                                                                               Wednesday, 6th April 2005


(Guidelines for Establishment of Forum for Redressal of Grievances of the Consumers and Electricity Ombudsman) Regulation, 2005

In exercise of the power conferred on it by Section 181 read with Sub-Sections (5) to (8) of Section 42 of the Electricity Act, 2003 (36 of 2003) and all other powers enabling in this behalf, the Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission, to provide for a system of redressal of consumer grievances, makes the following guidelines



1. Short title, Commencement and Interpretation

 i) These Regulations may be called the Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission
    (Guidelines for Establishment of Forum for Redressal of Grievances of the Consumers and
     Electricity Ombudsman) Regulation, 2005.

ii) These regulations shall be applicable to all distribution & retail supply Licensees in their 
    respective licensed areas. 

iii) These regulations shall extend to the State of Jharkhand.

iv) These regulations shall come into force on the date of its publication in the Jharkhand
     State Government Gazette.

2. Definition 

In these regulations, unless the context otherwise requires: -

a) “Act” means the Electricity Act, 2003;

b) “Area of supply” means the area within which a distribution Licensee is permitted by his  
    License to supply electricity;

c) “Chairperson” means the Chairperson of the Forum;

d) “Commission” means the Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission;

e) “Complainant” means

                                  i) a consumer of electricity including applicants for new connections
                                     who has a complaint against the licensee.

                                 ii) the representative of complainant, authorised in writing, supported
                                    by the affidavit on Non Judicial Stamp Paper of appropriate value,
                                    duly attested by the Oath Commissioner/ Notary Public to represent
                                    the complainant before the Forum / Ombudsman; or

                                 iii) Any Registered/ Unregistered Association of consumers where
                                  consumers have similar interest; or

                                iv) One or more consumers, where there are numerous consumers
                                   having similar  interest; or

                               v) In case of death of a consumer, his legal heirs or authorised
                                 representatives who makes the complaint;

h) “Complaint” means any grievance in writing made by a complainant that: -

                          (i) there exists defect or deficiency in electricity service provided by the
                               Distribution licensee;

                         (ii) an unfair or restrictive trade practice has been adopted by the
                              distribution licensee in providing electricity services;

                        (iii) the distribution licensee has charged a rate in excess of that fixed by the
                              Commission, for supply of electricity and related services;

                        (iv) the distribution licensee has recovered expenses, in excess of charges
                              approved by the Commission, in providing any electric line or electric
                              plant or electric meter;

                        (v) the electricity services provded by the distribution licensee, is unsafe or
                              hazardous to public life and is in contravention to the provisions of any
                              law in force;

i) “Conduct of Business Regulations” means “JSERC (Conduct of Business) Regulations, 2003” with amendments as framed and published by the Commission from time to time. 

j) “Consumer” means any person who is supplied with electricity for his own use by a distribution licensee or the Government or by any other person engaged in the business of supplying electricity to the public under the Applicable Legal Framework or any other law for the time being in force and includes any person whose premises are for the time being connected for the purpose of receiving electricity with the works of a distribution licensee, the Government or such other person, as the case may be;

k) “Consumer dispute” means a dispute where the person/licensee against whom complaint has been made, denies or disputes the allegation contained in the complaint;

l) “Distribution licensee” means a licensee authorised to operate and maintain a distribution system for supplying electricity to the consumers in his area of supply and includes a deemed licensee;

m) “defect” means any fault, imperfection or shortcoming in quality, quantity, standard of service, equipment or material which is required to be maintained by or under any law in force or under any contract, express or implied, or as is claimed by the distribution Licensee in any manner whatsoever in relation to electricity service;

n) “deficiency” means any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by or under any law in force or has been undertaken to be performed by distribution Licensee in pursuance of a contract agreement or otherwise in relation to electricity service or performance standard; violations of Electricity Supply Code, contraventions of Act, Rules or Regulations made there under with regard to consumer interest;

o) “distribution system” means the system of wires and associated facilities between the delivery points on the transmission lines or the generating station connection and the point of connection to the installation of the consumers;

p) “Electricity Ombudsman” means an authority to be appointed or designated by the Commission, under sub-section (6) of Section 42 of the Act, with whom a representation may be made by any consumer, who is aggrieved by non-redressal of his grievances by the Forum;

q) “electricity service” means electricity supply, metering, billing, disconnection and reconnection, providing electricity supply connection to the applicant, maintenance of distribution system and all other attendant sub services etc.;

r) “Forum” means ‘Forum for redressal of grievances of the consumers’ to be constituted by each distribution Licensee;

s) “Form” means form appended to these regulations;

t) “Member” means the Member of the Forum and includes the Chairperson of the Forum;

u) “Nodal Officer” means the convener designated by the distribution licensee who would coordinate with the Forum / Electricity Ombudsman:

v) “restrictive trade practice” in respect of electricity supply means a trade practice which prevents, distorts or restricts competition in some manner “deemed to be prejudicial to consumer interest”, if they raise cost unreasonably, or the prices and /or profit unreasonably, or if they lead to lowering of quality and shall include delay beyond the period agreed to by a distribution licensee in providing the electricity services ;

w) “State Government” means the State Government of Jharkhand ;

x) “Licensee” means a person who has been granted a license or is a deemed licensee under Section 14 of the Act;

y) “unfair trade practice” means a trade practice which a distribution licensee, for the purpose of promoting sale, use or supply of electricity adopts any unfair method or discriminatory or deceptive practice of making any statement, whether orally or in writing or by visible representation which falsely represents that the services are of a particular standard and / or quality made by him;

z) All other expressions used herein but not specifically defined but defined in the Act shall have the meaning assigned to them in the Act. 


15. Appointment and tenure 

(1) As per section 42 (6) of the Electricity Act 2003, the Commission shall appoint or designate an authority to be known as Electricity Ombudsman for settlement of consumer grievance concerning non-redressal of the consumer grievance by Forum established under clause 3 of this regulation under section 42(5) of the Act. As per section 42(7) of the Act, the Commission makes the following regulations regarding the time and manner in which the Ombudsman shall settle the grievance of the consumer.

(2) The Electricity Ombudsman appointed/ designated by the Commission should be an Electrical Engineer/Finance /Administrative / Legal officer with ability, integrity and standing, conversant with the working of the Electricity industry and enjoying a high reputation. The person should have a minimum of 25 years of experience in his relevant field. Experience of working of Consumers’ Grievance Redressal Cell/ Forum will be desirable. The minimum age of the person to be considered for appointment, as Electricity Ombudsman shall be 50 years. Provided that Ombudsman shall not hold the office after attaining the age of 65 years.

(4) The appointment of Electricity Ombudsman under this Clause may be made for a period not exceeding three years. Provided that the tenure of an Electricity Ombudsman, may be extended by the Commission for further period not exceeding one year at a time.

(5) The remuneration and other perquisites payable to Electricity Ombudsman will be determined and borne by the Commission.

(6) The Electricity Ombudsman shall be provided with a Secretariat. The cost of the Secretariat will be borne by the Commission.

(7) Before entering the office, the Electricity Ombudsman shall make and subscribe to an Oath of office and secrecy in the form as may be prescribed by the Commission. The Chairman of the Commission will administer the oath.

(8) The Electricity Ombudsman shall be deemed to be public servant within the meaning of Section 21 of India Penal Code.

(9) Where the Commission is satisfied that in the public interest or for the reason of incapacity of the Electricity Ombudsman, it may for reasons to be recorded in writing and by giving him one month notice or by paying one month salary in lieu there of, remove any Electricity Ombudsman from his office.

(10) The Electricity Ombudsman may relinquish his office by giving in writing to the Commission a notice of not less than one month or by paying one month’s salary in lieu there of.

(11) The Electricity Ombudsman shall not hold any office of profit during his tenure as Electricity Ombudsman.

16. Territorial jurisdiction 

The territorial limits of Electricity Ombudsman extend to entire State of Jharkhand. 

17. Location of office and temporary headquarters 

The office(s) of the Electricity Ombudsman(s) will be located at such place(s) as may be specified by the Commission. In order to expedite disposal of complaints, the Electricity Ombudsman may hold sittings at such places within his area of jurisdiction as may be considered necessary and proper by him in respect of a complaint or reference, as the case may be, before him.

18. Powers and duties of Electricity Ombudsman

The Electricity Ombudsman shall have the following powers and duties:

                                     (1) To receive the representation from consumer(s)/ Licensees who is (are)
                                           aggrieved by the order of the Forum or its non implementation except the
                                           order of the Forum, if the said order is made with the consent with the

                                     (2). The Electricity Ombudsman shall exercise general powers of
                                            superintendence and control over his office and shall be responsible for the
                                            conduct of business of his office. The budget of the Electricity Ombudsman
                                             will be included in the Commission’s budget.

                                     (3) The Electricity Ombudsman shall perform any other functions as may be
                                          specified from time to time by the Commission with regard to the consumer

19. Procedure for filing a representation 

(1) The Licensee or any consumer who is aggrieved with the order passed by Forum or non-implementation of the orders of the Forum within one month of the order of the Forum may himself or through his representative, make a representation in writing in Form – III duly signed by the complainant or his authorized representative to the electricity Ombudsman.

(2) The representation shall state clearlya) the Name(s) of the consumer(s), or the organization, postal address, telephone number and email address, if any, of the complainant.b) The consumer number, category, address of the location of the service connection, name of the local distribution licensees’ office and address, the facts giving rise to complaint supported by documents, if any and relief sought from the Electricity Ombudsman.c) The name of the Forum, date of order, decision of the Forum (a copy of the order of the Forum to be enclosed).

(3) No complaint to the Electricity Ombudsman shall lie unless:

                                      a) The complainant had before making a representation to the
                                          Electricity Ombudsman made a written representation to the Forum of the
                                          Distribution licensee named in the complaint and either the Forum had
                                          rejected the complaint or the complainant had not received any reply within
                                          a period of three months from date of filing of the grievance or the
                                          complainant is not satisfied with the orders of the Forum or the order of the
                                          Forum has not been complied with.

                                         b) The representation is made within thirty days from the date of receipt
                                              of the order of the Forum or such extended period as may be
                                              permitted by the Ombudsman not exceeding further thirty days for
                                              reasons to be recorded in writing Ombudsman; if it is satisfied that
                                              there exists sufficient cause for not filing it within that period. 

                                         c) The complaint is fresh and has not been decided by the Electricity
                                             Ombudsman in any previous proceedings.

                                         d) The complaint does not pertain to the same subject matter for which
                                              any proceedings before the Commission or any authority/court of law is
                                              pending or a decree or award or a final order has already been passed
                                              by the Commission or any competent court, and
                                          e) The complaint is not frivolous or vexatious in nature.

(4) After registering the representation of the complainant, licensee, the Ombudsman, within 7 days of registration, shall call for records relating to the representation from the concerned Forum. The concerned Forum shall send the entire records within 15 days from the date of issue of such notice, to the office of the Ombudsman.

20. Rejection of the representation

(1) The Electricity Ombudsman may reject the representation at any stage if it appears to him that the representation made is :

                    a) frivolous, vexatious, malafide; or
                    b) without any sufficient cause or;
                    c) that it is not pursued by the complainant with reasonable diligence or;
                    d) prima facie, there is no loss or damage or inconvenience caused to the

(2) The Electricity Ombudsman may reject a representation at any stage, if after consideration of the complaint and evidence produced before it, the Electricity Ombudsman is of the opinion that the complicated nature of the complaint required consideration of elaborate documentary and oral evidence and the proceedings before the Electricity Ombudsman are not appropriate for adjudication of such complaint.

(3) The decision to reject the representation shall be conveyed to the complainant by way of speaking order in writing.

(4) The representation can be withdrawn by making a petition to that effect to the Electricity Ombudsman which may allow the withdrawal with such orders as it deems necessary.

21. Powers to call information

(1) For the purpose of carrying out his duties, an Ombudsman may require the Distribution licensee named in the complaint or any of his officers or the consumer to furnish certified copies of any document relating to the subject matter of the complaint, which is or is alleged to be in its possession or further information within 15 days.
                    Provided that in the event of failure of a Distribution licensee to comply with the requisition without any sufficient cause, the Electricity Ombudsman may, if he deems fit, draw adverse inference against the Distribution licensee/consumer and proceed to settle the case on the basis of material available on record.
                   Provided that nothing in this clause shall prevent the Electricity Ombudsman from disclosing information or document furnished by a party in a complaint to other party or parties, to the extent considered by him to be reasonably required to comply with the principles of natural justice and fair play in the proceedings.

22. Settlement of complaint by agreement 

(1) As soon as it may be practicable to do, but not later than one week from the date of receipt of representation, the Electricity Ombudsman shall serve a notice to the nodal officer of the distribution licensee along with a copy of the complaint and endeavor to promote a settlement of the complaint by agreement between the complainant and the Distribution licensee named in the complaint through conciliation or mediation.

(2) For the purpose of facilitating settlement of the representation, the Electricity Ombudsman may follow such procedures, as he/she may consider appropriate. The process of mediation should be completed within 30 days from the date of issue of such notice.

(3) When a representation is reported settled through mutual agreement with both the parties in writing, the Electricity Ombudsman shall make a recommendation, in terms of the agreement. The copies of the case recommendation shall be sent to the complainant and the Distribution licensee concerned not later than 7 days from the date of recording / receipt of the mutual agreement.

(4) If a complainant accepts the recommendation of the Electricity Ombudsman, he shall send a communication in writing within 15 days from the date issue of the recommendation confirming his acceptance to Electricity Ombudsman and state clearly that the settlement reached is in full and final settlement of complaint.

(5) The Electricity Ombudsman shall send the acceptance letter received from the complainant to the Distribution licensee to comply with the terms of the recommendations immediately but not later than 21 days of the receipt of such recommendation and the Distribution licensee shall inform the Electricity Ombudsman of its compliance within 7 days of the implementation of such recommendation.

23. Hearing of the matter and award 

(1) Where the complaint is not settled by agreement under regulation 21, the Electricity Ombudsman may determine the manner, the place, the date and the time of the hearing of the matter as he considers appropriate.

(2) The Electricity Ombudsman may hear the pleadings of the parties and direct the parties to submit written statement of submission in the matter.

(3) The Electricity Ombudsman shall pass a speaking order giving reasons for his findings and award.

(4) The Electricity Ombudsman shall pass an award expeditiously preferably within a period of 90 days from the date of receipt of the complaint and send a copy of the award to the complainant, distribution licensee and JSERC within 7 days. The distribution licensee/ Complainant shall inform the Electricity Ombudsman of its compliance within 30 days of the implementation of the award. 24. Report of Electricity Ombudsman (1) The Electricity Ombudsman shall send to the Commission, by 1st May every year, a report containing a general review of the activities of his office during the preceding financial year and shall furnish such information as the commission may direct. The quarterly status report of the complaint should also be submitted in the Form –IV (2) The Commission, if it considers necessary in the public interest, may publish the report and the intimation from the Electricity Ombudsman in such consolidated form or otherwise as it deems fit. 


Our Address :
Electricity Ombudsman Jharkhand
4th Floor, Bhagirathi Complex
Karam Toli Road,
Tel:0651-2360117, Fax : 0651-2360481
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