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Court awards 1-yr jail to 2 men, imposes fine of Rs 20L on each

New Delhi: Electricity theft has spread like cancer and reached frightening proportions, a Delhi court has said while awarding one year jail to two men for stealing power to charge e-rickshaws.

Additional Sessions Judge Devendra Kumar Sharma said at present about 12 percent loss due to electricity theft was reported and if converted into revenues, it would amount to crores of rupees.

The court convicted Rakesh (46), a social worker, and Hafiz (38), an auto driver, for illegally using electricity through tapping with the help of illegal wires to the tune of 9.6 KW.

It also imposed a fine of Rs 20.08 lakh each on both the convicts and suspended their jail terms till August 5 to enable them to appeal against their sentence and furnish a bail bond of Rs 10,000 and a surety of like amount.

"Initially the persons in authority were found involved in electricity theft. But over a period of time, the privilege of these elite class got extended to their kith and kin. Now it has spread like cancer and the mass theft of power has reached frightening proportions to say the least. As of today about 12 percent distribution loss/loss due to electricity theft is reported and if it is converted into the revenue it is in crores," it said in a recent order.

The court also directed the two convicts to pay over Rs 13 lakh as civil liability. "It is clearly proved beyond any doubt by the complainant from the cogent evidence that...there was direct theft of electricity as no meter was found installed at the inspected premises and there was direct theft of electricity using supply illegally through illegal wire connected from BSES feeder pillar which was open through red colour aluminum wires in the extensions and further 13 boards with three pin plug were found fixed.

"Further the said direct supply was being used for non domestic purposes, that is, e- rickshaw charging," it said.

According to the complaint, an inspection was carried out by officials of the BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) at DSIDC Park at Trilokpuri in east Delhi on October 23, 2017, wherein Hafiz and Rakesh were found directly stealing electricity through tapping. Twelve e-rickshaws were found being charged by the supply.

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