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Dhaka Saturday,  Jun 15, 2024

Summit Power Not Eligible To Get Its Claim From BREB : SC

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has ruled that Summit Power Limited, a leading energy supply company, is not eligible to get the amount that has been demanding by it from the Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) as an additional cost of energy production.

The amount is about Tk 11 billion including interest, according to the lawyers of the BREB. However, Summit Power’s lawyer could not confirm the amount of the claim.

A five-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique delivered the verdict after allowing three appeal petitions filed by the Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) against a High Court verdict.

The apex court also ruled that the company has to sell electricity to the BREB at the price set by the government.

Lawyers Fida M Kamal, Murad Reza, Mehedi Hassan Chowdhury and Shaik Mohammad Zakir Hossain appeared in the court hearing on behalf of the BREB, while lawyers Probir Neogi, Tanjib ul Alam, Mustafizur Rahman Khan and Karishma Jahan represented the Summit Power Limited.

Later lawyer Zakir Hossain said, “Summit Power Limited signed an agreement with the BREB in 2000 under which it contracted to sell electricity to three unit of the BREB in Dhaka, Cumilla and Narsingdi. The agreement was supplemented later. Tariff was fixed as BST minus Tk 0.03 per unit.

Due to the increase of the BST level, Summit Power Limited demanded additional production cost from the BREB later. However, the Ministry of Energy instructed the BREB not to give the payment of additional costing. In this circumstance the Summit Power Limited filed a case with the Arbitration Tribunal of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) demanding its claim.”

The Arbitrational Tribunal of the BERC announced its verdict on August 11 in 2015 and directed the BREB to give payment to the Summit Power as per the agreement. The BREB then filed a petition with the tribunal seeking review of the verdict, however, the petition was rejected on November 17 in 2015.

The BREB finally moved the High Court and filed a writ petition challenging the legality of the Arbitrational Tribunal’s verdict. Upon hearing the writ petition the High Court rejected the writ petitions on August 17 in 2017. Consequently the order of the Arbitral tribunal was upheld.

Challenging the High Court verdict the BREB filed appeal petitions with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. After hearing the appeal petitions the apex court allowed the appeal on Thursday (March 9 in 2023).

Lawyer Zakir Hossain said, “The Summit Power Limited is generating electricity using the gas supplied by the government. Even they are generating electricity with all other facilities of the government. So they are not entitled to get the payment of increased rate.”

“In the Arbitrational Tribunal Summit Power’s claim was about Tk 3.5 billion. Now this amount is about Tk 11 billion including interest,” said the lawyer.

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