Minister’s picture on power bills: CEO of discom booked for breach of codehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/ministers-picture-on-power-bills-ceo-of-discom-booked-for-breach-of-code/

Minister’s picture on power bills: CEO of discom booked for breach of code

Delhi Election Commission has found power discom BSES guilty of violating the model code of conduct by circulating electricity bills with pictures of Power Minister Haroon Yusuf.

Delhi Election Commission has found power discom BSES guilty of violating the model code of conduct by circulating electricity bills with pictures of Power Minister Haroon Yusuf. Police have registered an FIR against the CEO of BSES (Yamuna) for cognisable offences under the IPC,Press and Registration of Books Act and Representation of People Act.

“I have been informed that the district election officer (east) has lodged an FIR against the CEO of BSES (Yamuna) for violation of the model code of conduct. Law will take its own course,” Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev told Newsline.

Election officials said it is mandatory for the police to order arrests against all FIRs under cognisable offences for violation of the model code,“but all offences are bailable”. The model code came into force on October 5,ahead of the December 4 Assembly elections. Till Sunday,the Delhi election office had registered 5,772 FIRs for code violation,of which 351 were for cognisable offences.

The district election office of East Delhi had issued a showcause notice to BSES on October 28,demanding an explanation for why action should not be taken against the power discom. The contentious electricity bills sent by the discom were issued on October 14 by BSES,and carry pictures of Power Minister Haroon Yusuf laying the foundation stone for a 66/11-KV grid of the BRPL in Meethapur,South Delhi on September 16. It also shows MP Ramesh Kumar and MLA Ram Singh Netaji.

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“Before the code of conduct came into force,we had asked all PSUs,Central government and state government offices to remove pictures of politicians along with any other content regarding their activities,” Dev said.

The BSES had later clarified that the information was printed long before the model code of conduct was implemented. A statement issued by the discom said,“BSES electricity bills are routinely accompanied by Synergy,a newsletter that keeps customers informed about the latest developments taking place in the company,including those related to network upgradation,customer initiatives and efforts to ensure reliable and uninterrupted supply of electricity. The Synergy in question was printed — and even the events mentioned took place — long before the model code of conduct was announced in Delhi. We strictly adhere to the guidelines.”

After scrutinising the bills and taking into account the fact that the BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL) is a joint venture with the Delhi government with 49 per cent government share,the BSES has now been booked under Section 171 (h) (illegal payments in connection with an election) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant),of the Indian Penal Code.

BYPL CEO Ramesh Narayan has also been booked under Section 3 of the Press and Registration of Books Act,as well as Section 127 (A) of the Representation of People Act. Sources said the police could soon arrest Narayan.