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Different electricity tariff can be charged from private institutions vis-a-vis state run institutions; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice Deepak Gupta & Justice Aniruddha Bose

The SC {KERALA STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD REP. BY ITS SECRETARY & ANR. v. PRINCIPAL SIR SYED INSTITUTE FOR TECHNICAL STUDIES & ANR. } holds that no error was committed in fixing higher electricity tariff for the Self-Financing Educational Institutions categorising them as commercial entities. No undue preference has been given to the State run and State aided institutions in the tariff notification. The fact that SFEIs have been clubbed together with several commercial service providers wholly unrelated to education becomes insignificant once the purpose of the SFEIs could be differentiated from the Government run and Government aided educational institutions. 

It was held that the writ petitioners’ contention is that the reason of their formation or existence is imparting education and this is so for the Government run and aided institutions also. On this basis, they argued before the SC that different tariffs could not be charged to these two sets of institutions. The SC negated the argument. It was held that though the Commission has not demonstrated through factual evidence the facilities provided by these two sets of institutions are different, it is of common knowledge, of which judicial notice can be taken, that the student profile of state run and state aided institutions is different from those of SFEIs.

Accordingly, the challenge was negated and the original writ petition was dismissed by the SC - while setting aside the judgment of the HC. 

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