PART – XIV
Offences And Penalties
Theft of electric lines and materials.
- Whoever, dishonestly, --
- taps, makes or causes to be made any connection with overhead,
underground or under water lines or cables, or service wires, or service
facilities of a licensee; or
- tampers a meter, installs or uses a tampered meter, current reversing
transformer, loop connection or any other device or method which interferes
with accurate or proper registration, calibration or metering of electric
current or otherwise results in a manner whereby electricity is stolen
or wasted; or
- damages or destroys an electric meter, apparatus, equipment, or
wire or causes or allows any of them to be so damaged or destroyed
as to interfere with the proper or accurate metering of electricity,
so as to abstract or consume or use electricity shall be punishable
with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with
fine or with both: Provided that in a case where the load abstracted,
consumed, or used or attempted abstraction or attempted consumption
or attempted use -
- does not exceed 10 kilowatt, the fine imposed on first conviction
shall not be less than three times the financial gain on account
of such theft of electricity and in the event of second or subsequent
conviction the fine imposed shall not be less than six times the
financial gain on account of such theft of electricity;
2 of 1974
- exceeds 10 kilowatt, the fine imposed on first conviction shall
not be less than three times the financial gain on account of such
theft of electricity and in the event of second or subsequent conviction,
the sentence shall be imprisonment for a term not less than six
months but which may extend to five years and with fine not less
than six times the financial gain on account of such theft of electricity:
Provided further that if it is proved that any artificial means
or means not authorized by the Board or licensee exist for the abstraction,
consumption or use of electricity by the consumer, it shall be presumed,
until the contrary is proved, that any abstraction, consumption
or use of electricity has been dishonestly caused by such consumer.
- Any officer authorized in this behalf by the State Government may
- enter, inspect, break open and search any place or premises in
which he has reason to believe that electricity has been, is being,
or is likely to be, used unauthorisedly;
- search, seize and remove all such devices, instruments, wires and
any other facilitator or article which has been, is being, or is likely
to be, used for unauthorized use of electricity;
- examine or seize any books of account or documents which in his
opinion shall be useful for or relevant to, any proceedings in respect
of the offence under sub-section (1) and allow the person from whose
custody such books of account or documents are seized to make copies
thereof or take extracts therefrom in his presence.
- The occupant of the place of search or any person on his behalf shall
remain present during the search and a list of all things seized in
the course of such search shall be prepared and delivered to such occupant
or person who shall sign the list: Provided that no inspection, search
and seizure of any domestic places or domestic premises shall be carried
out between sunset and sunrise except in the presence of an adult male
member occupying such premises. 2 of 1974
- The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, relating
to search and seizure shall apply, as far as may be, to searches and
seizure under this Act.
Punishment for receiving stolen property
- Whoever, dishonestly --
- cuts or removes or takes way or transfers any electric line, material
or meter from a tower, pole, any other installation or place of installation
or any other place, or site where it may be rightfully or lawfully
stored, deposited, kept, stocked, situated or located including during
transportation, without the consent of the licensee or the owner,
as the case may be, whether or not the act is done for profit or gain;
- stores, possesses or otherwise keeps in his premises, custody or
control, any electric line, material or meter without the consent
of the owner, whether or not the act is committed for profit or gain;
- loads, carries, or moves from one place to another any electric
line, material or meter without the consent of its owner, whether
or not the act is done for profit or gain,done for profit or gain,
is said to have committed an offence of theft of electric lines and
shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend
years or with fine or with both.
- If a person, having been convicted of an offence punishable under
sub-section (1) is again guilty of an offence punishable under that
subsection, he shall be punishable for the second or subsequent offence
for a term of imprisonment which shall not be less than six months but
which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine which
shall not be less than ten thousand rupees.
Whoever, dishonestly receives any stolen electric lines or materials
knowing or having reasons to believe the same to be stolen property, shall be
punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to
three years or with fine or with both.
meters or works of
or injuring works.
- (1) Whoever, -
- unauthorisedly connects any meter, indicator or apparatus with
any electric line through which electricity is supplied by a licensee
or disconnects the same from any such electric line; or
- unauthorisedly reconnects any meter, indicator or apparatus with
any electric line or other works being the property of a licensee
when the said electric line or other works has or have been cut
or disconnected; or
- lays or causes to be laid, or connects up any works for the purpose
of communicating with any other works belonging to a licensee; or
- maliciously injures any meter, indicator, or apparatus belonging
to a licensee or willfully or fraudulently alters the index of any
such meter, indicator or apparatus or prevents any such meter, indicator
or apparatus from duly registering, shall be punishable with imprisonment
for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine which may
extend to ten thousand rupees, or with both, and , in the case of
a continuing offence, with a daily fine which may extend to five
hundred rupees; and if it is proved that any means exist for making
such connection as is referred to in clause (a) or such re-connection
as is referred to in clause (b), or such communication as is referred
to in clause (c), for causing such alteration or prevention as is
referred to in clause (d), and that the meter, indicator or apparatus
is under the custody or control of the consumer, whether it is his
property or not, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved,
that such connection, reconnection, communication, alteration, prevention
or improper use, as the case may be, has been knowingly and willfully
caused by such consumer.
Whoever, negligently causes electricity to be wasted or diverted or
negligently breaks, injures, throws down or damages any material connected with
the supply of electricity, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to ten
or injuring works.
Whoever, maliciously causes electricity to be wasted or diverted, or , with
intent to cut off the supply of electricity, cuts or injures, or attempts to cut or
injure, any electric supply line or works, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees.
Extinguishing public lamps.
Whoever, maliciously extinguishes any public lamp shall be punishable
with fine which may be extend to two thousand rupees.
In case any complaint is filed before the Appropriate Commission by any
person or if that Commission is satisfied that any person has contravened any
provisions of this Act or rules or regulations made thereunder, or any direction
issued by the Commission, the Appropriate Commission may after giving such
person an opportunity of being heard in the matter, by order in writing, direct that,
without prejudice to any other penalty to which he may be liable under this Act,
such person shall pay, by way of penalty, which shall not exceed one lakh rupees
for each contravention and in case of a continuing failure with an additional
penalty which may extend to six thousand rupees for every day during which the
failure continues after contravention of the first such direction.
Factors to be
taken into account
- For the purpose of adjudging under this Act, the Appropriate Commission
shall appoint any of its Members to be an adjudicating officer for holding
an inquiry in such manner as may be prescribed by the Appropriate Government
,after giving any person concerned a reasonable opportunity of being
heard for the purpose of imposing any penalty.
- While holding an inquiry, the adjudicating officer shall have power
to summon and enforce the attendance of any person acquainted with the
facts and circumstances of the case to give evidence or produce any
document which in the opinion of the adjudicating officer, may be useful
for or relevant to the subject-matter of the inquiry, and if, on such
inquiry, he is satisfied that the person has failed to comply with the
provisions of section 29 or section 33 or section 43, he may impose
such penalty as he thinks fit in accordance with the provisions of any
of those sections.
While adjudicating the quantum of penalty under section 29 or section 33
or section 43, the adjudicating officer shall have due regard to the following
Civil court not to have jurisdiction
- the amount of disproportionate gain or unfair advantage, wherever
quantifiable, made as a result of the default;
- the repetitive nature of the default.
No civil court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in
respect of any matter which an assessing officer referred to in section 126 or an
appellate authority referred to in section 127 or the adjudicating officer appointed
under this Act is empowered by or under this Act to determine and no injunction
shall be granted by any court or other authority in respect of any action taken or to
be taken in pursuance of any power conferred by or under this Act.
of orders or
Whoever, fails to comply with any order or direction given under this Act,
within such time as may be specified in the said order or direction or contravenes
or attempts or abets the contravention of any of the provisions of this Act or any
rules or regulations made thereunder, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a
term which may extend to three months or with fine, which may extend to one
lakh rupees, or with both in respect of each offence and in the case of a continuing
failure, with an additional fine which may extend to five thousand rupees for every
day during which the failure continues after conviction of the first such offence.
Penalties not to
The penalties imposed under this Act shall be in addition to, and not in
derogation of, any liability in respect of payment of compensation or, in the case
of a licensee, the revocation of his licence which the offender may have incurred.
works belong to
The provisions of this Act shall, so far as they are applicable, be deemed
to apply also when the acts made punishable thereunder are committed in the case
of electricity supplied by or of works belonging to the Appropriate Government.
- Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company,
every person who at the time the offence was committed was in charge
of and was responsible to the company for the conduct of the business
of the company, as well as the company shall be deemed to be guilty
of having committed the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded
against and punished accordingly: Provided that nothing contained in
this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment
if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or
that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of
- Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence
under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that
the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of or
is attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager,
secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary
or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of having committed
such offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished
Explanation. - For the purpose of this section,-
- "company" means a body corporate and includes a firm or other association
of individuals; and
- "director", in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.
45 of 1860.
- Whoever abets an offence punishable under this Act, shall, notwithstanding
anything contained in the Indian Penal Code, be punished with the punishment
provided for the offence.
- Without prejudice to any penalty or fine which may be imposed or
prosecution proceeding which may be initiated under Act or any other
law for the time being in force, if any officer or other employee of
the Board or the licensee enters intro or acquiesces in any agreement
to do, abstains from doing, permits, conceals or connives at any act
or thing whereby any theft of electricity is committed, he shall be
punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years,
or with fine, or with both.
No court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under this Act
except upon a complaint in writing made by Appropriate Government or
Appropriate Commission or any of their officer authorized by them or a Chief
Electrical Inspector or an Electrical Inspector or licensee or the generating
company, as the case may be, for this purpose.
Compounding of offences.
2 of 1974.
- Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure
1973, the Appropriate Government or any officer authorized by it in
this behalf may accept from any consumer or person who committed or
who is reasonably suspected of having committed an offence of theft
of electricity punishable under this Act, a sum of money by way of compounding
of the offence as specified in the Table below:
|Nature of Service
||Rate at which the sum of money for
Compounding to be collected per
Kilowatt(KW)/Horse Power(HP) or part
thereof for Low Tension (LT) supply and
per Kilo Volt Ampere(KVA) of contracted
demand for High Tension (HT)
|1. Industrial Service
2. Commercial Service
3. Agricultural Service
4. Other Services
|twenty thousand rupees;
ten thousand rupees;
two thousand rupees;
four thousand rupees:
Provided that the Appropriate Government may, by notification in the
Official Gazette, amend the rates specified in the Table above.
- On payment of the sum of money in accordance with sub-section (1),
any person in custody in connection with that offence shall be set at
liberty and no proceedings shall be instituted or continued against
such consumer or person in any criminal court.
- The acceptance of the sum of money for compounding an offence in
accordance with sub-section (1) by the Appropriate Government or an
officer authorised in this behalf empowered in this behalf shall be
deemed to amount to an acquittal within the meaning of section 300 of
the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
- The Compounding of an offence under sub-section (1) shall be allowed
only once for any person or consumer.