A west Delhi industrialist has been slapped a fine of Rs 8 crore for stealing electricity by a special court of electricity.
In what is being termed as an unprecedented judgement, the special court has also sentenced Manoj Kumar, owner of a factory that produced plastic bags, to three years of rigorous imprisonment.
This is the first time that such a heavy fine has been imposed in a case of electricity theft.
"The man has been stealing electricity regularly and has been convicted by the court for stealing 540 kilowatt of electricity. The court has also ordered the accused to pay an interest of 6% from January, 2008," said a statement issued by BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL).
Along with the fine and imprisonment, the court has also barred Kumar from getting electricity supply from any source for a period of
one year. The case of power theft dates to 2007 when BRPL teams inspected Kumar's industrial unit and discovered power theft of 540 KW.
"Though 4 electricity meters were found at the factory premises, they were found to be fake and were not installed by BSES," the statement said.
If Kumar fails to pay the fine, he will have to spend an additional 9 months in jail.
"There was indiscriminate theft of electricity by the convict as he knew that he did not have to pay for consumption charges. Such kinds of offenders should bear in mind that they will have to face serious consequences, including conviction and imprisonment," the order issued by the court stated.
"Such kinds of offenders are not entitled to any lenient view. The deterrent punishment shall be imposed to make theft of electricity as a wholly non-profitable venture," the court added.