The Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court comprising Justices Mrs. Sunita Agarwal and Vipin Chandra Dixit were hearing a Review Application filed by the Auction Purchaser. HC Bench held that the auction purchaser was responsible for settling the outstanding electricity dues of the previous owner, citing the explicit provisions of the Electricity Supply Code, and dismissing the contention that the purchaser should be exempted from such liability.
The present review petition seeks a recall or review of a judgment and order passed by the High Court on 30.09.2022. The petitioner had initially approached the High Court through a Special Leave Petition (Civil) and was granted permission to withdraw the petition with the liberty to file a review.
The main issue raised in the review application is whether the petitioner, as an auction purchaser, can be held liable for the electricity dues of the previous owner/occupier of the property. The High Court had previously held that the auction purchaser is liable for the outstanding electricity dues based on the provisions of Clause 4.3 of the U.P. Electricity Supply Code, 2005.
The review applicant argued that an error has been made in the interpretation of Clause 4.3 and that the provision does not impose liability on the auction purchaser for the outstanding dues. The applicant also relied on previous judgments and provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003 to support their argument. The High Court examined the relevant provisions and auction notice and concluded that the auction purchaser had an obligation to inquire about any outstanding dues or encumbrances related to the property.
The High Court upheld the liability of the auction purchaser to pay outstanding electricity dues of the previous owner based on the specific provisions of the Electricity Supply Code and rejected the argument that such liability should not be imposed on the purchaser.
The High Court also noted that the auction sale was conducted on an "as is where is" basis, absolving the Recovery Officer of liabilities. Based on these findings, the High Court upheld its previous judgment and dismisses the review application.