In a major respite to Sector-22 based eatery owner Tehal Singh and his wife, Subh Lata, additional district and sessions judge Arun Kumar Singhal, designated as special court to hear cases of electricity theft, has acquitted them as the couple had already paid losses, and prosecution failed to prove allegations of theft and cheating against them.
“Wrongful loss, if a ny caused to the electricity department, has already been compounded by the couple. So the commission of offence of cheating by the accused is not proved,” the court stated while acquitting the couple on Wednesday.
The court, taking into consideration the statement of Jasvinder Singh, sub-divisional officer (SDO), electricity operation, sub-division number 9, Sector 43, Chandigarh, said the accused had deposited Rs 67,160 as compounding fee under the provisions of Section 152 of the Electricity Act, 2003, and now nothing was due against them.
Thus, as per the provisions of the Act, once the compounding fee was paid, no proceeding would be continued against the consumer in any criminal court, thereby they are acquitted of allegations of kundi connection, it added.
The couple, claiming false implication, had denied having committed any theft of electricity, while submitting before the court that they had already paid off amount of loss assessed by the electricity department.
Police failed to prove the allegations of theft and cheating.
The prosecution failed to examine two material witnesses Inderpal and Naresh Pal, with whom cheating was committed as the police failed to trace them.
Though one tenant, Chander Sen, in his statement said he used to pay Rs100 towards electricity charges in lump sum and was not paying for the actual electricity consumed, the court held, “Even if it is presumed that he was inducted as a tenant by Subh Lata and that he paid ` 100 towards electricity charges besides rent, then still there is no averment in his testimony that he was deceived by Subh Lata fraudulently or dishonestly.”
UT police had booked Tehal Singh and his wife on December 10, 2007, on complaint of Rakesh Kumar, junior engineer, Sub Division Number 9, Sector 43, Chandigarh. In his complaint to the police, Kumar had submitted that on December 10, 2007, he visited Colony Number 5, Adarsh Model School, and found that there was no electricity meter at the site.
The school was converted into 36 jhuggies and the supply of electricity to those jhuggies was being made through kundi connection.
The owner of those illegal jhuggies was Shubh Lata alias Shobh Lata, wife of Tehal Singh, upon which, FIR was registered.