2-year jail, Rs 19 lakh fine on septuagenarian for power theft

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Thane, Feb 10 (PTI) The Thane district court has sentenced a 70-year-old man from powerloom town of Bhiwandi in Maharashtra to two years of rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 19 lakh in a power theft case dating to 2008.

In his order, District Judge PP Jadhav held the accused, Monuddin Mehaboob Shaikh, guilty of offences punishable under section 135 of the Electricity Act, 2003.

The section deals with theft of electricity.

The court order was passed on February 6 and made available on February 9.

Shaikh was an employee of the powerloom factory where electricity theft was detected during an inspection and had played a key role in the crime, according to the prosecution.

Additional Public Prosecutor Vivek Kadu had told the court that officials of a power distribution company had carried out the inspection of the factory in the Ajanta Compound area on March 10, 2008, when the accused was present in the premises.

During the inspection, it was observed the factory had taken direct supply of power using an underground cable. The outlet had bypassed the authorised route and joined the cable to the main supply line, the court was told.

Onan assessment,itwasfoundthatbetween May 16, 2007, and March 10, 2008, therewasa theftof94,589unitsof electricityvaluedatRs 6,32,454, Kadu had said.

The prosecution had said the offencewas very serious and sought maximumprescribedpunishmentfor the accused.

Theoffenceoftheftofelectricityispunishablewith afineofminimumthreetimesthe amountlost and three-year imprisonment.

The judge sentenced the accused to two years of rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 19 lakh on him.

According to the court order, the complainant company isto be paid Rs 12,60,000 for losses it suffered and this amount has to be drawn from the fine imposed on the accused.