A local court on Friday sent a three-member gang to 14-day judicial custody for their alleged involvement in organised power theft in Gurgaon’s posh residential localities. The police registered seven more FIRs in the case.
The accused may face three years imprisonment under Sections 135, 136, 138, and 150 of the electricity act. Section 179 of the IPC also prescribes three years imprisonment. The FIRs have been registered at a special police station in Gurgaon, which was set up in 2012 to investigate power theft cases.
In 2015, 500 FIRs related to power theft were registered at the police station.
Govind, the mastermind of the gang, Manjit Singh and Uday Bhan were arrested between November 3 and 16 for running one of the most sophisticated operations to steal electricity in DLF phases 1, 2, 3, Sushant Lok, South City and Sectors 14 and 17.
The gang used to tamper with electricity meters in such a way that the actual number of units consumed would not appear on the meter.
The gang’s services were used by domestic and commercial consumers. This has cost the state discom, Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (DHBVN), a loss of Rs 15 crore.
The vigilance bureau of the Haryana Power Utilities (HPU) is seeking legal opinion regarding the arrest of consumers who used the gang’s services and against whom FIRs have been registered.
Meanwhile, bureau officials said Govind belongs to an affluent family in Sirhaul village of Gurgaon. He lives in a posh house in Sector 40 and drives an Audi, which he was gifted at his wedding.
The fact that Govind was the brain behind the racket did not occur to the vigilance officials as he led a luxurious life. He recently purchased another Audi to impress his clientele.
But, rigorous surveillance operations helped the officials catch the trio red-handed.
Govind got the idea to steal electricity after his company bagged a DHBVN contract to read power meters for generating power bills between 2002 and 2007.
The discom terminated the contract and Govind decided to use his experience and tamper the meters, which became a lucrative source of income.
He roped in Singh and Bhan along with some staff members of DHBVN.
Meanwhile, deputy superintendent of vigilance Rajiv Kumar, who is investigating the case, said while the trio have been sent to judicial custody, they are also seeking legal opinion regarding the arrest of consumers against whom FIRs have been registered under the electricity act.
“We are investigating and those involved in power theft will be brought to book,” Kumar said. Although majority of consumers have paid the penalty to escape legal action, they could still be arrested depending upon the legal opinion, officials said.