You are on page 1of 9


The Central Electricity Authority of India (CEA) is a statutory organization constituted under section 3(1) of Electricity Supply Act 1948, which has been superseded by section 70(1) of the Electricity. The CEA advises the government on matters relating to the National Electricity Policy and formulates short-term and perspective plans for the development of electricity systems. It is to exercise such functions and perform such duties as are assigned to it under this Act. The Central Electricity Authority, established under section 3 of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 and functioning as such immediately before the appointed date, shall be the Central Electricity

Under the Electricity Act 2003, CEA prescribes the standards on matters such as construction of electrical plants, electric lines and connectivity to the grid, installation and operation of meters and safety and grid standards. The CEA is also responsible for concurrence of hydro power development schemes of central, state and private sectors taking into consideration the factors which will result in efficient development of the river and its tributaries for power generation, consistent with the requirement of drinking water, irrigation, navigation and flood control. The CEA plays a lead role in promoting the integrated operations of the regional power grids and the evolution of a national grid. The eastern, western and north-eastern grids have been integrated and are operating in a synchronous mode. The eastern grid is connected to the northern as well as southern grid through HVDC back to back links. The western grid is also connected to the northern and southern grid through similar arrangements. The CEA facilitates exchange of power within the country from surplus to deficit regions and with neighboring countries for mutual benefits. The CEA advises central government, state governments and regulatory commissions on all technical matters relating to generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. It also advises state governments, licensees or generating companies on matters which enable them to operate and maintain the electricity system under their ownership or control in an improved manner. Authority for the purposes of this Act and the Chairperson , Members, Secretary and other officers and employees thereof shall be deemed to have been appointed under this Act and they shall continue to hold office on the same terms and conditions on which they were appointed under the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948. The Authority shall consist of not more than fourteen Members (including its Chairperson) of whom not more than eight shall be full-time Members to be appointed by the Central Government. The Central Government may appoint any person, eligible to be appointed as

Member of the Authority, as the Chairperson of the Authority, or, designate one of the full time Members as the Chairperson of the Authority. The Members of the Authority shall be appointed from amongst persons of ability, integrity and standing who have knowledge of, and adequate experience and capacity in, dealing with problems relating to engineering, finance, commerce, economics or industrial matters, and at least one Member shall be appointed from each of the following categories, namely:a. engineering with specialization in design, construction, operation and maintenance of generating stations; b. engineering with specialization in transmission and supply of electricity; c. applied research in the field of electricity; (d) applied economics, accounting, commerce or finance. The Chairperson and all the Members of the Authority shall hold office during the pleasure of the Central Government. The Chairperson shall be the Chief Executive of the Authority. The headquarters of the Authority shall be at Delhi. The Authority shall meet at the head office or any other place at such time as the Chairperson may direct, and shall observe such rules of procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings (including the quorum at its meetings) as it may specify. The Chairperson, or if he is unable to attend a meeting of the Authority, any other Member nominated by the Chairperson in this behalf and in the absence of such nomination or where there is no Chairperson, any Member chosen by the Members present from among themselves shall preside at the meeting. All questions which come up before any meeting of the Authority shall be decided by a majority of votes of the Members present and voting, and in the event of an equality of votes, the Chairperson or the person presiding shall have the right to exercise a second or casting vote. All orders and decisions of the Authority shall be authenticated by the Secretary or any other officer of the Authority duly authorized by the Chairperson in this behalf. No act or proceedings of the Authority shall be questioned or shall be invalidated merely on the ground of existence of any vacancy in, or any defect in, the constitution of, the Authority. The Chairperson of the Authority and other full time Members shall receive such salary and allowances as may be determined by the Central Government and other Members shall receive such allowances and fees for attending the meetings of the Authority, as the Central Government may prescribe. The other terms and conditions of service of the Chairperson and Members of the Authority including, subject to the provisions of sub-section (6), their terms of office shall be such as the Central Government may prescribe.

The Central Electricity Authority is a key institution in promoting and assisting the timely completion of the schemes for improving and augmenting the electricity system. The Power System Project Monitoring Division which acts as a facilitator in expediting construction of the transmission schemes and renders valuable help to the Utilities in solving their problems like technical, financial and arranging various clearances like forest clearance from MOE&F etc.. The site visits by the officers of the Power System Project Monitoring Division and the Review Meetings held in the Central Electricity Authority with the Utility representatives provide an excellent ground for inter-action to identify bottlenecks and identify action required to ensure completion of schemes as per targets.


The Authority may appoint a Secretary and such other officers and employees as it considers necessary for the performance of its functions under this Act and on such terms as to salary, remuneration, fee, allowance, pension, leave and gratuity, as the authority may in consultation with the Central Government, fix: Provided that the appointment of the Secretary shall be subject to the approval of the Central Government. No Member of the Authority shall have any share or interest, whether in his own name or otherwise, in any company or other body corporate or an association of persons (whether incorporated or not), or a firm engaged in the business of generation, transmission, distribution and trading of electricity or fuel for the generation thereof or in the manufacture of electrical equipment.


The Authority shall perform such functions and duties as the Central Government may prescribe or direct, and in particular to a. advise the Central Government on the matters relating to the national electricity policy, formulate short-term and perspective plans for development of the electricity system and coordinate the activities of the planning agencies for the optimal utilization of resources to sub serve the interests of the national economy and to provide reliable and affordable electricity for all consumers; b. specify the technical standards for construction of electrical plants, electric lines and connectivity to the grid; c. specify the safety requirements for construction, operation and maintenance of electrical plants and electric lines;

d. specify the Grid Standards for operation and maintenance of transmission lines; e. specify the conditions for installation of meters for transmission and supply of electricity; f. promote and assist in the timely completion of schemes and projects for improving and augmenting the electricity system; g. promote measures for advancing the skill of persons engaged in the electricity industry; h. advise the Central Government on any matter on which its advice is sought or make recommendation to that Government on any matter if, in the opinion of the Authority, the recommendation would help in improving the generation, transmission, trading, distribution and utilization of electricity; i. collect and record the data concerning the generation, transmission, trading, distribution and utilization of electricity and carry out studies relating to cost, efficiency, competitiveness and such like matters; j. make public from time to time information secured under this Act, and provide for the publication of reports and investigations; k. promote research in matters affecting the generation, transmission, distribution and trading of electricity; l. carry out, or cause to be carried out , any investigation for the purposes of generating or transmitting or distributing electricity; m. advise any State Government, licensees or the generating companies on such matters which shall enable them to operate and maintain the electricity system under their ownership or control in an improved manner and where necessary, in co-ordination with any other Government, licensee or the generating company owning or having the control of another electricity system; n. advise the Appropriate Government and the Appropriate Commission on all technical matters relating to generation, transmission and distribution of electricity ;and o. Discharge such other functions as may be provided under this Act.

CASE STUDY Suomoto vs North Delhi Power Ltd. & Bses & Ors. ... on 31 May, 2011
Facts of the Case The factual background of the case is as under:- The present case had been taken up by the l\/lRTPC suomoto on the basis of a news report/article published in the newspaper namely Hindustan Times dated 08.04.2008. 2.2 According to the above referred news article in

'Hindustan Times', the Six Member Electricity Consumer Advocate Committee (ECAC) noted that most meters, installed in Delhi by the three Electricity Distribution Companies namely North Delhi Powers Ltd ("NDPL"), BSES Yamuna Power Limited ("BSES Yamuna") and BSES Rajdhani Power Limited ("BSES Rajdhani"), (collectively referred to as the 'Opposite Parties' or 'Discoms'), tested by Bangalore's Central Power Research Institute ("CPRl") under the aegis of Public Grievance Cell, Department of Power- Government of Delhi ("PG Cell") were found to be running fast. The margin of error was 2.5%, much more than the acceptable 0.5%. The l\/IRTPC was of the view that the running of the Electronic Power meters faster than . the permissible limit was unjustified and imposed additional cost on the consumer and amounted to restrictive trade practice as defined under Section 2 (o) of the l\/lRTP Act. The l\/lRTPC after taking suomoto cognizance of the aforesaid news report, vide its order dated 24.06.2008 directed the Director General of Investigation and Registration, l\/lRTPC ("DGlR") to investigate the matter and submit preliminary investigation report. 2.4 The DGIR initiated the investigation against the above mentioned three electricity distribution companies and issued probe letters them seeking their comments on the allegations leveled against them in and also asked the Opposite Parties. NDPL and BSES Rajdhani filed their replies before the DGIR on 19.07.2008 and 21.07.2008 respectively. BSES Yamuna did not file any response to the notice of the DGIR.In the aforesaid reply, it was contended by the NDPL that the news article, on the basis of which the investigation was initiated, was contrary to the facts. NDPL submitted that after the publication of the aforesaid news item, the Government of NCT of Delhi (Department of Power) and Public Grievance Cell had issued a clarification on the aforesaid news item stating that the news item in the newspaper is "contrary to the facts and deliberations made in meeting of ECAC held on 29.03.2008." The impression that Government agrees that most of the power meters in Delhi are running fast was misleading. It was also submitted by the NDPL to the DGlRlthat earlier also the li/IRTPC had issued notices against it on 12.08.2005 and 30.09.2005 on the basis of some newspaper reports, seeking diverse and general information, which were duly replied by NDPL. The above notices were also challenged by it in the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi vide WP(C) No. 23449/2005. In the aforesaid writ petition, IVIRTPC had given an undertaking to withdraw the impugned notices with liberty to seek information only on specific complaints of the consumers. Acting on such undertaking, NDPL withdrew that writ petition. NDPL further submitted that the issue of fastness of meters is no longer res integra in view of the judgment of Hon'ble Supreme Court in Suresh lindal vs. BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd. (2008) 1 SCC 341 and the l\/IRTPC can only entertain specific complaints of individual consumers. lt was also submitted that the notice issued by_ the DGIR was against the spirit of the order of Hon'ble Suprem,e,Court and contrary to the stand taken by the l\/IRTPC before the Hon'ble High court.

The DG in its investigation report has pointed out that the only issue for investigation in this case is fastness and accuracy of electric meters. The DG reported that the similar issue has already been dealt, in detail, in investigation report submitted in Case No. 6 of 2009. As per DG report, the issue in the instant case has emanated before NIRTPC from the press report published in the Newspaper 'Hindustan Times' dated 0804.2008. The informant in Case No. 6 of 2009 has also made the same news item the basis for filing the information. The issue in the instant case is similar to the issue already investigated by the DG in Case No. 6 of 2009. As per the report of the DG, the investigation conducted by the DG in Case No. 6 of 2009 has covered the allegation alleged in the instant case and the allegation leveled were found valid and true in the investigation by the DG. DG has also observed that investigating the same allegation which has already been established against the same parties i.e., NDPL, BSES Yamuna and BSES Rajdhani would mean re-investigating the charges which have already been held to have been established. The DG has concluded in its report that the decision taken in Case N0. 6 of 2009 by the Commission has direct bearing on the issue which was the subject matter of investigation with the office of DGIR, IVIRTPC in the present case. The DG has requested in his report that the issue involved in the instant case may be considered in the light of the decision in Case No. 6 of 2009. ln view of the above discussion, the Commission is of the considered view that since the issue involved in the instant case is same as has already been disposed off by the Commission vide its detailed order in case no. 6 of 2009, the ratio propounded in the case no. 6 of 2009 is the facts and allegations of the present case. Therefore, on the basis no. 6 of 2009, the Commission does not it `v. find any violation of either Section 3 or Section 4 of the Act by the Discoms and conclusions drawn by the DG in case no. 06 of 2009 cannot be accepted. ln view of the above findings the matter relating to this information is disposed off accordingly and the proceedings are closed forthwith.

Suresh Jindal vs Bses Rajdhani Power Ltd. on 14 December, 2005

The nature around us is colourful and diverse. It is but natural that man saw, studied and unravelled nature and its laws. The great physicists Dr. R.P. Feynman gave a wonderful description of what is 'understanding the nature'. Suppose we do not know the rules of chess but are allowed to watch the moves of the players. After some time we make out some of the rules. With the knowledge of these rules we may try to understand why a player played a particular move. However, this may be a very difficult task. Even if we know all the rules of chess, it is not so simple to understand all the implications of a game in a given situation and predict the correct move. Knowing the basic rule is, however, the minimum requirement if any progress is to be made.

By partially watching a game we may guess at a wrong rule. The experienced player may make use of a rule for the first time and the observer of the game may get surprised. Because of the new move some of the rules guessed at may prove to be wrong and the observer will frame new rules. Physics goes the same way. Events in nature are like the moves of a chess game. We guess the basic rules according to which the events take place. We may come across new events which do not follow the rules guessed earlier. Therefore, we declare the old rules inapplicable or wrong and discover new rules. Nature operates with its own rules. No one has the authority to frame the rules of nature. We only discover the rules that are operating in nature. A new phenomenon can be observed any day and if existing rules are not able to explain the phenomenon, no one will hesitate to change these rules. Before a rule is accepted as explaining a phenomenon, we try and replicate the phenomenon under controlled conditions in a laboratory. This is experimentation. While experimenting several errors can enter into the result. Errors may be due to faulty equipment, carelessness of the experimenter or random causes. The first two types of errors can be removed after detecting their cause but the random error would always remain. No specific cause can be assigned to such errors. Random errors are thus inherent in any experimentation. Since life must go on and random errors would always be there in any experimentation; the unknown harmonics would not deter us from accepting technological revolution. Of the many discoveries which have revolutionised the world, discovery of the wheel and electricity find primacy. It is difficult to think of the world without electricity. It has become a basic necessity. The electoral slogan of Roti, Kapda Aur Makan stands replaced by the slogan Bijli, Pani Aur Sadak. Unfortunately, the primacy of electricity in the social life was not backed up with prudent economic policies. The magnitude of the problem can be gauzed from the fact that in the report submitted to the Government of India on 11.5.2001 by the expert group on settlement of the State Electricity Board Dues, para 3 of the report noted that dues of the State Electricity Board have accumulated to Rs. 41,473/- crores. Rehabilitation Scheme proposed was: (a) 50% of the interest be waived. (It was noted that out of a liability of Rs. 41,473/- crores, interest liability alone was Rs. 15,476/- crores). (b) Remaining outstanding debt be securities through bonds issued by the respective State Governments. (c) Reforms be introduced in the power sector pertaining to distribution, metering and revenue realization. It was noted that cash crunch faced by the State Electricity Boards was mainly due to faulty tariff structure and distribution losses. This had a spin off effect. Diminishing revenue resulted in hardly any upgradation in the distribution system which became theft prone and prone to other distribution losses. The Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme (APDRP) was conceived. Since electricity is a concurrent list subject vide Entry 33 of the List III of the VIIth

Schedule to the Constitution of India, at the Chief Ministers Conference held in March,2001 power sector reforms were discussed for ensuring rapid growth of the economy and for preserving the financial health of State Electricity Boards. APDRP was a result of the decisions taken at the Chief Minsters Conference. Provided that (a) the Government shall be entitled to issue all policy directives and undertake overall planning and coordination as specified in Section 12 of this Act and to this extent the powers and functions of the Delhi Vidyut Board as per the provisions of the Indian Electricity Act, 1910 (Central Act 9 of 1910) and the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 (Central Act 54 of 1948) or rules there under shall vest in the Govt. and the Government shall coordinate and deal with the Central Government and the Central Electricity Authority. (b) in respect of such matters as the Commission directs in terms of a general or special order, or in the regulations or in the license, as the case may be, the generating company or companies, the licensees or other body corporate as may be designated by the Commission shall discharge the functions of the Board under the Indian Electricity Act, 1910 (Central Act 9 of 1910) and the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 (Central Act 54 of 1948) to the extent directed by the Commission or specified in licenses. As far as the petitioner is concerned, learned counsel for the petitioner has not been able to show that the electronic meter replaced was not as per ISI specifications. The meter was tested twice and was found to be in order. CPRI, an independent agency also checked the meter and found it to be correct. In the teeth of intrinsic evidence, external aid being past consumption is of no use and cannot be used to determine the correctness of the electronic meter. Relief as prayed that the respondent be directed to re- install an electro-mechanical meter cannot be granted. The writ petition accordingly stands disposed of answering the four questions framed as aforesaid. Relief is declined to the petitioner. However, directions are issued to the respondent No. 1 to notify all consumers in whose premises electronic meters have been installed to check their wiring and ensure that no two connections have a common neutral. For future, before replacing the existing electro-mechanical meter with an electronic meter, wiring of the consumer would be checked and if it is noted that there is inter-mixing of the neutral wire, a weeks notice before replacing the meter be given to the consumer to have the deficiency removed. Before parting would like to place on record a note of appreciation fort the valuable assistance rendered by Shri Laliet Kumar, Advocate for the petitioner and Shri Amit Kapur, Advocate for respondent No. 1. No costs.

Impact of multiple licenses: No concern for other licensees in the same area and No demarcation of areas, Grant of license for 25 years, Transmission (constitution of RLDC and SLDC), Impact of open access, No provision for pending appeals, Only recommendatory anti-theft laws, Only recommendation of the constitution of special courts, Consumer interests only protected for name-sake. Suggestion involved is that Improve health of utilities to benefit the consumers, Establishment of level playing field with respect open access concept, Commission to re-hear pending appeals, Demarcation of areas with respect to multiple licenses, Stringent enforcement of Anti-theft laws, Constitution of Special Courts and Fix license on contract basis

BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary Sources

A R Ramanathan: Independence of Regulators under Electricity Bill, Economic and Political Weekly, Nov 3, 2001. Braithwait: Demand Response is important but lets not oversell (or over price) it, The Electricity Journal, June 2003. Book on Electricity Law, P.L.Malik. Book on Regulatory Law Professional Practice guide, Anne Marie Mooney.

Secondary Sources
1. www. 2. www. 3.

Related Interests