UP: Court sentences man to 3 years’ jail, fines him Rs 35 lakh
The order comes amid the renewed efforts by UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) to control the spiralling lines losses in the state.lucknow Updated: Jan 15, 2018 16:15 IST
In what may act as a deterrent to power theft, a Kanpur court has sentenced a man to three years’ jail and fined him Rs 35 lakh for stealing electricity about 14 years ago.
This is the maximum punishment under the Electricity Act, 2005.
The order comes amid the renewed efforts by UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) to control the spiralling lines losses in the state.
Special judge (EC Act), Kanpur Nagar, Ajay Kunar Srivastava pronounced the verdict on January 11 when accused Lalit Kumar Kapoor failed to prove his innocence.
“Though it took a long time for the judgment to come, we welcome the order as this will generate some fear among power thieves,” said Vipin Jain, superintending engineer, Hardoi.
Jain, as a young SDO, had led the raid team that detected power theft at Kapoor’s pipe factory in Dadanagar area, under Kanpur Electricity Supply Company (KESCo), on October 9, 2004.
As per the complaint filed by the KESCo, during a surprise inspection of the accused’s premises, the raid team found the seal on the energy meter tampered. It also found the factory’s contracted electricity load to be 79.7 HP against the approved load of 55 HP.
KESCo had slapped a fine of Rs 11,28,650 and compounding fee of Rs 16,00,000 on the accused.
“It is clear from the perusal of all records that the accused was running his factory on stolen electricity,” said the judge in his order, adding “accused Lalit Kumar Kapoor is awarded a three years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 35,00,000 is also imposed on him for the offence under section 135 of the Electricity Act, 2005.”
The judge said the accused would undergo an additional imprisonment of six months if he did not pay the penalty.
Under the Electricity Act the offence of power theft under section 135 is punishable with in imprisonment that can extend up to three years or with fine or with both. In this case, the court awarded both maximum imprisonment and fine that was based on the penalty determined by KESCo.
As per official records, more than 30% of electricity that UPPCL supplies in Uttar Pradesh is stolen or not paid for. The state-owned corporation is taking various steps, including proposing setting up of special electricity police stations to deal with the power theft challenge.
Kanpur is known to be notorious for power theft. The electricity divisions like Alloo Mandi, Electricity House and Zaribchauki record more than 50% technical and commercial losses in the city.
In 2014, a documentary titled ‘Katiyabazz’ was made to highlight the rampant pilferage of electricity in Kanpur.
First Published: Jan 15, 2018 16:15 IST