Legal Update 8 of 2018

CASE:

THOMAS THOMAS v. TENAGA NASIONAL BHD [2017] 1 LNS 25

ISSUES:

If a property was rented to a third party and the electric meter was tampered will the registered owner of the property still be liable to pay TNB for loss of revenue due to the tampering?

BRIEF FACTS:

  • TNB carried out an inspection on its meter at the premises of Thomas and had discovered that the meter had been tampered with.
  • TNB then issued notices to Thomas to demand the loss of revenue due to the tampering of the meter.
  • Thomas refused to pay arguing that he didn’t tamper with the meter.
  • The Session Court and High Court ruled that Thomas is liable to pay.
  • Thomas then appealed against the High Court decision to the Court of Appeal.
  • The main issue contested was whether Thomas was liable even if the property was rented to someone else?

DECISION:  Appeal dismissed

  • TNB's doesn’t have to prove the identity of the person who damaged or tampered with the meter.
  • There is no requirement that TNB must first prove the registered consumer who damaged or tampered with the meter.
  • Although the premises were rented to and occupied by a third-party, Thomas could not run away from the fact that the agreement for the supply of electricity to the premises was between him and TNB and did not involve any third party.
  • It was his responsibility to pay all outstanding charges.
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