Enactment of Electricity Act, 2003 provided clear impetus to the issues of consumer welfare. The preamble of the Electricity Act, 2003 makes a specific mention of protecting interest of consumers. In fulfillment of this objective, the Act, provided under subsection (5) of section (42) for establishment of Forum for Redressal of Grievance of the Consumers in accordance with the guidelines as may be specified by the State Commission. Further, sub-section (6) of section 42 of the Electricity Act, 2003 provided for establishment of an authority to be known as Ombudsman. Any consumer who is aggrieved by non-redressal of his grievance under sub-section (5) can make representation to the Ombudsman, for redressal of his grievance.
The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission notified the Regulations known as the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum & Electricity Ombudsman) Regulation, 2003, to provide the procedure to be followed in redressal of consumers grievances. The Commission evaluated effectiveness of the earlier Regulations based on experience so far and invited comments and suggestions from the Consumers, Consumers representatives, distribution licensees and Forums established by them and the Ombudsman. Based on comments and suggestions, the Commission made the new Regulations in the year 2006 superseding the earlier Regulations of 2003.
Grievance of the consumer is defined in the Regulations as any
fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature
and manner of performance which has been undertaken to be performed by a
Distribution Licensee in pursuance of a licence, contract, agreement or
under the Electricity Supply Code or in relation to standard of
performance of Distribution Licensees as specified by the Commission and
include inter alia (a)
safety of distribution system having potential of endangering of life or
property, and (b) grievances in respect of non compliance of any order
of the Commission or any action to be taken in pursuance thereof which
are within the jurisdiction of the Forum or Ombudsman, as the case may
be. Regulations also provide framework for regulating the procedure to
be adopted for redressal of the grievance by Internal Grievance
Redressal Cell, the Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum, and the
Appointment of Electricity Ombudsman
The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission in exercise of the powers conferred by subsection (6) of the section 42 of the Electricity Act, 2003 (36 of 2003) and chapter III of the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum & Electricity Ombudsman) Regulation, 2003, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission appointed Shri Wasudeo G. Gorde former Secretary to Government of Maharashtra to be the Ombudsman for the whole of the State of Maharashtra with headquarters at Mumbai.
Shri Gorde assumed the charge of this office on 27th December, 2004 and started functioning at the following present location with effect from 25th January, 2005.
Dr. Suresh Joshi, Former Chief Information Commissioner of Maharashtra was appointed as the Electricity Ombudsman w.e.f 20th January, 2011. Tenure of Dr. Joshi expired on 19th January, 2014.
Mr. R. D. Sankhe was thereafter appointed on 7th April, 2014 as the Electricity Ombudsman (Mumbai). Mr. Sankhe is former Secretary and Senior Legal Advisor to Government of Maharashtra, Law and Judicary Department, Mantralaya and is holding the post presently.
Address of the Office of Electricity Ombudsman (Mumbai)
Juridisdiction of the Electricity Ombudsman
Territorial Jurisdiction of the Electricity Ombudsman (Mumbai) extends to Western Maharashtra, Kokan, Mumbai and Khandesh Regions of Maharashtra State, which includes districts of Mumbai, Mumbai Sub-urban, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurga, Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Dhule, Jalgoan, Nandurbar.
Electricity Ombudsman (Nagpur)
New office of the Electricity Ombudsman (Nagpur) started functioning with effect from 1st July, 2011 and Mr. Justice Kishor Rohee, retired judge of High Court Bombay assumed the charge of Electricity Ombudsman (Nagpur).
Territorial jurisdiction of Electricity Ombudsman (Nagpur) extend to Vidharba and Marathwada Regions which includes districts of Nagpur, Wardha, Bhandara, Gondia, Gadchiroli, Chandrapur, Amravati, Akola, Washim, Yavatmal, Buldhana, Auranagabad, Jalna, Parbhani, Beed, Latur, Hingoli, Nanded, Osmanabad.
After Mr. Justice Rohee demitted office, Smt. Chitkala Zutshi, former Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department of Govt. of Maharashtra has taken over as the Electricity Ombudsman (Nagpur) w.e.f. 17th February, 2017.
Address of the office of Electricity Ombudsman (Nagpur)
Powers & Duties of the Electricity Ombudsman
To receive from consumers, the Representations against the order of the Forum and to consider such Representations and facilitate their satisfaction or settlement by agreement, through conciliation and mediation between the Distribution Licensee and Consumer or by passing an order in accordance with the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum and Electricity Ombudsman) Regulations, 2006.