NEPRA proposes increases in fines for those found in violation of NEPRA rules; Seeks indemnity for itself against prosecution on ‘decisions made in good faith’
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has sought ten amendments in its act, one of which deals with indemnity from any suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings for anything done in good faith.
According to the amendments, NEPRA has proposed to amend the Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power Act, 1997. The new act will be called the Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Act, 2015.
NEPRA has sought insertion of Section 9-A in the 1997 Act. In the said Act, after section 9, the following new sub-section shall be added as Section 9-A; “9-A. Indemnity- No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the chairman, members, staff, experts, consultants, advisors and other employees of the Authority for anything done in good faith or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act or any administered legislation or any rule or regulation made thereunder.”
In the said Act, in the section 40, the existing section shall be renamed as sub section 1 and the word, “on” appearing after the words, “Authority’s determinations”, and before the words, “decisions by tribunals”, shall be substituted by the word, “or” and following new sub section as sub section 2 shall be added; “Whoever fails to comply with Authority’s determination, decisions, orders, applicable documents and directions issued in exercise of its powers, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to Rs 100,000,000 and in the case of a continuing failure, with an additional fine which may extend to Rs 500,000 for every day during which the failure continues after imposition of initial fine”.
An informed source said that NEPRA has proposed the amendments to further safeguard its regulatory ambit. The need was felt after public display of annoyance by the government functionaries in public gatherings and media. The fine has been increased to curb defiance of potential new players in the sector. The amendments were floated on December 15 and comments of the stakeholders were sought within next 30 days.