The Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case Om Parkash v. Balkar Singh and Others observed and has reiterated that electricity is an integral part of right to life as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The single judge bench headed by Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul was hearing the plea filed by one Om Parkash, a tenant-shopkeeper whose electricity supply was being disconnected by his landlord, Balkar Singh.
The respondent-landlord supply was alleging that the lease agreement between the two had already expired and that the petitioner was an illegal occupant. However, the occupation of the aforesaid premises also happened to be subject matter of a pending suit which has been filed by the landlord against the petitioner for possession of the suit property along with the recovering of mesne profits. It has been stated by the court wherein directing the authorities to restore the electricity connection.
The court observed that it cannot be over-emphasized that electricity being a basic necessity, is an integral part of right to life as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Thus, The petitioner cannot be deprived of electricity, as long as he is in possession of the suit property. Earlier, the petitioner approached the Civil Judge (Junior Division), Jagadhri, Yamuna Nagar for restoration of electricity connection in his shop. The court dismissed his plea and aggrieved with the same an appeal was filed before the Additional District Judge, Yamuna Nagar was also dismissed, prompting him to file the present appeal. It has been argued by the petitioner that the petitioner could not be deprived of electricity, since he was in possession of the suit property and since electricity was a basic amenity. Further, he contended that the respondent disconnected the electricity connection with an ulterior motive of forcing him to vacate the suit property.
However, it has been argued by the respondent that as per the rent agreement the lease in favour of the petitioner stood and that he had no right to continue being in possession of the premises. As the respondent had even terminated the tenancy vide a legal notice, the petitioner who being an illegal occupant, had no right to claim restoration of electricity connection.
It has also been noted by the High Court that although a suit was instituted by the respondent for possession of his property, thus, the petitioner could not be deprived of electricity in the interim period until final adjudication of the case. Accordingly, the Court allowed the revision petition, wherein ordering the restoration of electricity. The electricity connection needs to be restored of the suit property be restored subject to payment of requisite charges by the petitioner, if any, till the final decision is taken of the suit filed by him. Further, the court clarified that the petitioner shall continue to pay the electricity charges regularly.