Observing that deterrent punishment was required to make electricity theft a zero-tolerance zone,a city court imposed a fine of Rs 81 lakh on a man convicted of stealing electricity for commercial purposes and also sentenced him to two years in prison.
Additional Session Judge Suresh Kumar Gupta convicted Kishan Badguzar,a resident of Delhi,of power theft on the complaint of BSES Rajdhani Power Limited that he had stolen electricity worth Rs 53 lakh for commercial purposes.
Power shortage is owing to large scale power theft that leave people to sweat it out during peak summer, the judge said,adding that the rampant theft also victimised the honest consumer who was forced to pay increasing tariff rates.
Power theft also results in loss to the state exchequer. Electricity theft is not only an economic issue but also a safety one. The offenders are putting themselves as well as the lives of innocent persons at risk by connecting naked wires…, the judge said.
Kishan had been convicted on the basis of a complaint filed after a raid by a BSES team on his rented premises in Nangloi in March 2007. Officials found that he was running several pieces of machinery by tapping electricity from feeder pillar through a supply cable with the help of wires.
There was an indiscriminate use of electricity by the convict (Kishan) because he was aware that he does not have to pay consumption charges. Such people should bear in mind that they will have to face serious consequences including conviction and imprisonment, the court while imposing the sentence.