In less than a week of Arvind Kejriwal and other members of India Against Corruption (IAC) launching their fight against "inflated electricity bills", the first two "beneficiaries" are already feeling the heat.
Power discoms have lodged FIRs against Meera Devi of Bawana and Bana Ram of Tigri Khanpur for allowing "illegal restoration of their electricity connection to take place". Their electricity connections had been cut because of non-payment of bills. But Kejriwal and his associates restored them over the weekend.
The discoms have charged the two with illegally restoring power supply, breaking electrical apparatus, not taking adequate safety measures and interfering and meddling with power networks.
Meera, resident of a JJ colony, has deposited her bill - Rs. 3,580 - and had her connection legally restored. Bana, a labourer, is yet to arrange for Rs. 15,000 he needs to pay. His connection, restored by Kejriwal, has been cut again by the discom.
And IAC does not have any immediate plan to provide relief to such consumers. Manish Sisodia said, "We're working on a strategy. See, we did it in full media glare. Action should be taken against us."
Kejriwal has sent a letter to the Narela police station - under whose jurisdiction Meera Devi's house falls - and said since he restored the connection, action should be taken against him. Sisodia went to the Neb Sarai police station - where the case against Bana Ram has been lodged - and conveyed the same thing.
Asked why action was not taken against Kejriwal or IAC, discom officials said, "It was a matter between the discoms and the consumers."
Meera deposited the bill after a case was lodged against her by Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL). "I had to sell off my TV to pay the bill," she said.
Ajey Maharaj of TPDDL said, "We lodged a complaint under section 138 of the Electricity Act, 2003 and Section 36 of the Indian Electricity Rules, 1956. Now that she has paid the bill, her connection has been restored."
In the second case, BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) lodged a case against Bana Ram. Kejriwal had restored his power connection on Saturday. "I have to pay Rs. 15,000. Last time, I got a bill of R10,000 which I had paid by taking a loan," he said.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Vijay Goel also claimed that he was ready to go to jail "in his fight against inflated power bills in the Capital". He said the DERC lodged an FIR against him at the behest of chief minister Sheila Dikshit. The case was lodged against him after the BJP protest at DERC office on Monday.