SC dismisses Adani Power's plea for late payment surcharge from Rajasthan govt firm

Adani Power Rajasthan was seeking over Rs 1,300 crore as late payment surcharge from the government-owned Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam

Supreme Court of India (photo: National Herald archives)
Supreme Court of India (photo: National Herald archives)


The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea by Adani Power Rajasthan Ltd (APRL) seeking over Rs 1,300 crore as late payment surcharge from the Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd (JVVNL), a Rajasthan government-owned power distribution firm.

Imposing Rs 50,000 as cost on APRL, a bench comprising justices Aniruddha Bose and P.V. Sanjay Kumar ruled that filing of a miscellaneous application was not the proper legal recourse to late payment surcharge (LPS) by the Adani firm.

"Relief of this nature (claiming LPS) cannot be asked in a miscellaneous application which was described in the course of the hearing as an application for clarification," the bench said.

The cost of Rs 50,000 imposed on APRL will be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee, Justice Bose said while reading out the operative portion of the judgement.

The detailed judgement is awaited. On 24 January, the top court had reserved its judgement on the matter.

JVVNL, represented by senior advocate Dushyant Dave, had vehemently opposed the plea of Adani Power seeking over Rs 1,300 crore as LPS from the state distribution company.

The Adani firm's plea before the bench was in news after the apex court had pulled up its registry for not listing the case for unspecified reasons despite a judicial order to post it.

"The court proposes and the registry disposes. This cannot be done in the high courts. When registry defies court orders, should it not be viewed seriously? You should pass a judicial order," Dave had submitted, prompting the bench to direct the registry to put up the case before it on 24 January 2024.

The Adani firm was seeking modification of a three-judge bench verdict delivered on 30 August 2020 on the plea of JVVNL through a miscellaneous application which is filed in pending cases.

The top court, in its 2020 verdict, had upheld the orders of the Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity, observing that the Adani firm was entitled to compensatory tariff but not to LPS as claimed.

The Adani firm has sought payment of Rs 1376.35 crore as the LPS "outstanding" since 30 June 2022 in terms of the power purchase agreement. JVVNL has opposed the plea, saying it was filed in a case already decided by the top court in 2020.

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