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Whether prior prosecution and conviction was essential to bring a claim under s 38(3)?

S 38 ESA 1990:

(1) Where any person employed by a licensee finds upon any premises evidence which in his
opinion proves that an offence has been committed under sub section 37(1), (3) or (14), the
licensee or any person duly authorized by the licensee may, upon giving not less than twenty-
four hours notice, in such form as may be prescribed, cause the supply of electricity to be
disconnected from the said premises.

(1a) Notwithstanding any other provisions in this Act, where a police officer not below the rank
of Assistant Superintendent applies to a supply authority or a licensee for the disconnection of
the supply of electricity to any premises for a period not exceeding one calendar month under
section 21a of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 [Act 289], the supply authority of the
licensee or any person authorized by the supply authority or the licensee shall immediately
disconnect or cause the supply of electricity to be disconnected from those premises.

(2) If the supply of electricity has been disconnected under subsection(1), it shall not be
reconnected until the licensee at his discretion gives permission for reconnection:

Provided that the period of disconnection shall not exceed three months.

(2a) Notwithstanding sub section (2), if the supply of electricity has been disconnected under
subsection(1a), it shall not be reconnected without the written permission of a police officer
not below the rank of Assistant Superintendent.

(3) The licensee may require the consumer to pay him for the loss of revenue due to the offence
committed under subsections 37(1), (3) and (14) and any expenses incurred by the licensee
under this section including expenses incurred in respect of the reconnection of electricity
supply.

(4) A written statement by an employee of the licensee duly certified by the licensee or any
person authorized by the licensee specifying

(a) the amount of loss of revenue or the expenses incurred by the licensee; and

(b) the person liable for the payment hereof, shall be prima facie evidence of the
payment that has to be made by the consumer under subsection (3).
(5) The amount stated in the written statement shall, within the period specified in the
statement, be due and payable to the licensee and in default of payment such amount shall be
recoverable by civil action in a court.
Claybricks & Tiles Sdn Bhd lwn Tenaga Nasional Bhd [2007] 1 MLJ 217, MR

TNB dakwa meter elektrik di premis perayu telah diusik. Pemeriksaan TNB mendapati meter
elektrik tidak dapat berfungsi dengan baik dan perayu dikehendaki membayar
RM1,723,304.17 iaitu 30% kerugian yang dikira dari bulan Januari 2001. TNB mengeluarkan
notis pemotongan elektrik kepada perayu pada 12 Mei 2005 dan perayu diberikan tempoh
hingga 23 Mei 2005 untuk menjelaskan tuntutan tersebut, sekiranya tidak, bekalan elektrik
akan dipotong pada 24 Mei 2005. Perayu melalui saman dalam kamar memohon suatu perintah
injunksi ex parte dikeluarkan untuk menghalang responden atau wakilnya memotong bekalan
elektrik ke premis perniagaan perayu. Mahkamah Tinggi telah membenarkan permohonan
perayu dan memerintahkan ex parte injunksi dikeluarkan. Mahkamah kemudiannya telah
menetapkan permohonan tersebut dibicarakan secara inter parte. Setelah mendengar hujahan
kedua-dua pihak, Mahkamah Tinggi telah menolak permohonan perayu dan mengetepikan
perintah injunksi ex parte tersebut. Mahkamah Tinggi berpendapat tiada isu serius yang perlu
dibicarakan oleh sebab s 38(1) Akta Bekalan Elektrik 1990 memberi hak penuh interim
kepada responden untuk memotong bekalan dan perayu mempunyai remedi lain
terhadap responden sekiranya pemotongan itu adalah mala fide. Ini adalah suatu
permohonan oleh perayu untuk suatu perintah injunksi Erinford menghalang atau menyekat
responden atau wakilnya memotong bekalan elektrik kepada premis perayu sementara menanti
perbicaraan rayuan yang telah dibuat oleh perayu terhadap keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi.

Keputusan HMR:

Peruntukan s 38(1) tidak memerlukan kesalahan dibuktikan dahulu di mahkamah


sebelum tindakan memotong bekalan elektrik boleh dilakukan oleh TNB. Mahkamah
lebih cenderung untuk menerima dan bersetuju dengan tafsiran dan pandangan yang dibuat
dalam kes Tan Yeong Kim v Tenaga Nasional Berhad [2000] 8 CLJ 629, MT, bahawa S.
38(1) tidak memerlukan satu pembuktian kesalahan oleh Mahkamah sebagai pra-syarat
sebelum kuasa pemotongan dapat dilaksanakan oleh TNB sebagai pemegang lesen. Ianya
digubal sebegitu rupa untuk memberi kuasa efektif kepada TNB memberhentikan dengan
segera sebarang kesalahan yang berlaku dan tidak dibiarkan berlarutan. S. 38(1) hendaklah
dibaca secara literal dan biasa atau 'in its ordinary and literal meaning'.

Peruntukan s 38(1) adalah jelas dan terang iaitu mahkamah tidak diperlukan untuk
menentukan sama ada sesuatu kesalahan telah dilakukan sebelum tindakan di bawah
seksyen tersebut boleh diambil. Sekiranya proses pembuktian kesalahan melalui mahkamah
diperlukan ianya akan mengambil masa yang lama sebelum kuasa di bawah s 38(1) dapat
digunakan. S.38(1) telah diperuntukkan secara spesifik untuk menjaga kepentingan TNB dan
membolehkan TNB bertindak cepat dan dengan itu dapat mencegah penyalahgunaan seperti
pencurian bekalan elektrik. Jika badan perundangan berniat bahawa pembuktian kesalahan
melalui mahkamah diperlukan sebelum kuasa di bawah s 38(1) dapat digunakan, maka
peruntukan yang jelas harus dibuat mengenainya. Bagaimanapun, tiada peruntukan seperti itu
dibuat.

Perayu tidak boleh mempersoalkan kuasa yang diberikan kepada TNB berhubung pemotongan
bekalan elektrik dan juga kuasa TNB menuntut bayaran-bayaran yang dikenakan terhadap
Perayu adalah terikat dengan syarat-syarat yang terkandung di dalam kontrak bekalan bertarikh
25 Mei 1995 yang ditandatangani antara perayu dan responden di mana perayu hendaklah
mematuhi kehendak Akta dan peraturan-peraturan yang dibuat di bawahnya.

Ichi-Ban Plastic (M) Sdn Bhd v Tenaga Nasional Bhd [2014] 6 MLJ 461, MR.

To a case involving a claim for loss of revenue under s 38(3), a prior prosecution and conviction
was not a pre-requisite under s 38 of the Act. Proof of the commission should more properly
be on the lower standard of proof on a balance of probabilities, which is the accepted standard
in civil cases even where proof of a criminal act is in issue, except where fraud is alleged.

Nevertheless, there was no proper assessment of the pleadings and the evidence as led by the
High Court. Could not accept the unqualified proposition that the claim under s 38 is grounded
on unjust enrichment perse. The statutory context makes it clear that there has to be evidence
that some offence has been committed, although s 38(1) states a low threshold of proof, ie
the evidence in proof is said to be sufficient in the opinion of the person in the employment
of TNB who finds the evidence of tampering.

WRP Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd v. Tenaga Nasional Bhd [2012] 4 CLJ, FC

TNB sent out a notice and a bill which instructed the appellant to pay a sum of
RM5,485,463.87, which was undercharged as a result of meter tampering. Payment must be
made within 14 days, failing which the electricity supply would be disconnected.

S. 38 of the Act empowers the respondent to discontinue the supply of electricity based on the
subjective finding of its employee if any offence has been found committed under ss. 37(1),
37(3) or 37 (14). Despite holding the status of being the only supplier of electricity in the
country the respondent has clearly complied with all the necessary statutory requirements. It
served the appellant not only with the letter of 22 January 2010 but also the two documents,
documentations which are necessary prerequisites under the Act. In the event the respondent
was later found to have breached its obligation under the contract or its statutory obligation,
the appellant may take up action against the respondent. Hence, the appellant is not without a
remedy.