The Supreme Court came down heavily on the attempt to evade execution of court order by the Respondent.

In the matter of Civil Appellate Jurisdiction between Nabha Power Limited (Appellant) and the Respondent, proceedings under the Electricity Act, 2003 led to a series of legal actions, ultimately reaching the present Court.

The Court issued a judgment related to washing coal and transportation costs. The judgment determined that the Appellant was entitled to the washing cost of coal, transportation from the mine site to the project site, and other associated costs based on the Gross Calorific Value of the coal.

The Respondent initially filed a Motion for Application (M.A.) in response to this judgment, but it was rejected. The Appellant was not paid, and they filed a Contempt Petition. The Court ordered payment within eight weeks.

Despite this, the Respondent filed another petition seeking a review of the original judgment. The Appellant continued to press for payment, leading to contempt proceedings. The Court upheld its previous judgment in 2019 and directed the Respondent to pay.

In 2020, the Respondent issued a Notice of Dispute regarding coal quality. In 2021, the Second Contempt Petition was decided, finding the Respondent guilty of contempt and ordering payment in two installments.

In July 2021, the Respondent filed a petition before the Regulatory Commission, seeking various directions. The Appellant raised objections to the petition’s maintainability, which were overruled.

The Court clarified that the matter arising from the 2017 judgment was considered closed and that the Respondent could not bring up “all future disputes.” The dispute could only pertain to post-2021 issues.

The Respondent’s petition raised concerns about the quality of coal and costs, which had been previously addressed. The Court found that the petition sought to unsettle the 2017 judgment’s effect.

The Court noted that the dispute was essentially about compliance with the 2017 judgment, and the Respondent’s petition was an attempt to evade its obligations under that judgment.

The Court allowed the appeals and set aside the impugned order.

By aor.sanjivnarang@gmail.com

Sanjiv Narang Adv. is an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India. His qualifications include an LLB from University of Delhi and a Masters degree in Personnel Management from Panjab University,Chandigarh.In his more than 3 decades of experience, he has practiced law at the District, High Court and Supreme Court levels.He also has more than a decade of experience in the field of Management. He is the author of two books namely Laws for Women in India and Innovation, Why What and How.