Theft-detection teams of the state-run electricity distribution agency Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) will now file applications in police stations for FIRs against electricity consumers found involved in power pilferage as against the earlier practice of monetary penalty.
The Electricity Act 2003 provides for such an action, DHBVN officials said.
However, the FIR would not be filed in the first case of power theft, in case the erring consumer agrees to pay the penalty without any delay.
In the event of the same person found stealing power the second time, an FIR would be lodged. Anurag Agarwal, managing director, DHBVN said that under a special campaign launched by the Nigam in Dec 2009, teams of DHBVN employees have detected 11,475 cases of theft by conducting 46,800 raids and imposed penalty amounting to Rs. 20 crore on erring consumers.
The Nigam has file 5523 applications in various police stations for filing FIRs. About 530 FIRs had been registered against those reluctant to pay the penalty.
The highest number (3518) of thefts has been detected in district Bhiwani, followed by Hisar (2944), Faridabad (1881), Gurgaon (1594), Narnaul (809) and Sirsa (613).
Agarwal said the DHBVN had constituted 142 special teams under this campaign, out of which 80 are involved in detecting power theft.
Each team has been directed to conduct at least 10 raids a day. Thus, these teams will conduct 800 raids daily to detect power theft in the area under DHBVN.
In Faridabad, teams carried out raids on 27 consumers, whose connections had been recently disconnected and each had a Rs 1 lakh pending amount, out of which 17 were caught stealing power. Here, penalty was imposed on consumers and FIRs were also lodged.
A large theft has been detected in a flour mill in Narnaul, and a penalty of Rs. 26 lakh slapped on its owner.