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Draft of Electricity Bill 2000 Part - 7

OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

Theft of Electricity

104. (1) Whoever -

(a) taps, makes or causes to be made any connection with overhead, underground or under water lies or cables, service drops or other service wires, or service facilities of an Authorised Person;

(b) tampers, installs, or uses a tampered meter, jumper, current reversing transformer, shorting or shunting device, loop connection or any other device which interferes with accurate or proper registration, caliberation or metering of electric current or otherwise results in a manner whereby electricity is stolen or wasted;

(c) damages, changes or destroys an electric meter, apparatus, equipment, or wire or causes or allows any of them to be so changed; damaged or destroyed as to interfere with the proper or accurate metering of electric current; or

(d) knowingly uses or receives benefit of electric supply obtained through any of the acts mentioned in clauses (a), (b) or (c) above.

Is said to have committed theft of electricity

(2) Whoever commits theft of electricity, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or both, and if it is proved that any artificial means or means not authorisd by an Authorised Person exist for abstraction, consumption or use of electricity by such person, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that theft of electricity has been caused by such person.

(3) A person, having been convicted of an offence punishable under sub-section (2) and being again guilty of an offence punishable under that sub-section, 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.

Theft of electric lines and materials

105. (1) Whoever -

(a) cuts, saws, slices, separates, splits, severs, smelts or removes 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, inventoried, situated or located, without the consent of the owner, whether or not the act is done for profit or gain;

(b) takes, carries away or removes or transfers any electric line, material or meter from a tower or pole, or any other installation or place of installation or any place on site where it may be rightfully or lawfully stored, deposited, kept, stocked, inventories, situated or located, without the consent of the owner, whether or not the act is done for profit or gain;

(c) 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 done for profit or gain; or

(d) loads, carries, ships 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.

is said to have committed theft of electric lines and materials, and shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine or both.

(2) A person, having been convicted of an offence punishable under sub-section (1) and being again guilty of an offence punishable under that sub-section, 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.

Interference with meters or works of Authorised Person

106. (1) Whoever (a) Unauthorisedly connects any meter, indicator or apparatus with any electric line through which electricity is supplied by an Authorised Person or disconnects the same from such electric line;

(b) Unauthorisedly reconnects any meter, indicator or apparatus with any electric line or works being the property of an Authorised Person when the said electric line or other works has or have been cut or disconnected;

(c) Lays or causes to be laid, connects up any works for the purpose of communicating with any other works belonging to an Authorised Person;

(d) Maliciously injures any meter, indicator, or apparatus belonging to the Authorised Person or wilfully or fraudulently allows the index of any such meter, indicator or apparatus or prevents any such meter, indicator or apparatus from duly registering, or

(e) improperly uses the electricity of an Authorised Person.

Is said to have interfered with meters or works

(2) Whoever interferes with meters or works shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with a fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees, or with both; and if it is proved that any artificial means exist for making such connection as is referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (1) or such reconnection as is referred to in clause (b) of sub-section (1) or such communication as is referred to in clause (c) of sub-section (1) or for causing such alternation or prevention as is referred to in clause (d) of sub-section (1) or for facilitating such improper use as is referred to in clause (e) of sub-section (1), and that the meter, indicator or apparatus is under the custody or control of such person, 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 wilfully caused by such person.

(3) A person, having been convicted of an offence punishable under sub-section (2) and being again guilty of an offence punishable under that sub-section, 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 b liable to fine which shall not be less than ten thousand rupees.

Negligently wasting electricity or injuring works

107. whoever maliciously or negligently causes energy 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 imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees, or with both.

Extinguishing public lamps

108. Whosoever maliciously extinguishes any public lamp shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both.

Punishment for non-compliance of orders or directions under the Act

109. 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 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with fine, which may extend to rupees one lakh, 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 affect other liabilities

110. The penalties imposed under this Part shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, any liability in respect of disconnection, action taken or compensation, charge, surcharge or penalty which may be awarded or imposed by the Competent Commission or otherwise.

Compensation to Authorised Person

111. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 357 the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) to the contrary, any court trying an offence under this Part may order that such portion of the fine recovered from the offender, as it deems proper, may be paid to the affected Authorisd Person, if any.

Penalty for making of false statement etc.

112. Whoever while giving any information or making any application under or for the purpose of any provision of this Act or of any Rule or Regulation made under this Act, gives any information which he knows to be false or intentionally omits any material particular, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees.

Penalty for impersonation as Electrical Inspector or Employee

113. Whoever enters or attempts to enter any premises by falsely pretending to be -

(a) an Electrical Inspector; or

(b) an agent or employee of an Authorised Person

shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees or with both.

Penalty where work belongs to Government or local authority

114. The provisions of this Part, insofar as they are applicable, shall also be applicable when the act made punishable thereunder is committed in the case of electricity supplied by, or the electrical plant, electric line, works or material belonging to the Union Government, any State Government or local authority.

Offences by Companies

115. (1) 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 such offence.

(2) 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 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 accordingly.

Explanation - For the purpose of this section

(a) company" means a body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals, and

(b) "director" in relation to a firm means a partner in the firm.

Attempt and Abetment

116. Whosoever attempts to commit or abets an offence punishable under this Part shall, notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Penal Code, (1860) (45 of 1860), be punished with the penalty provided for the offence.

Power to try summarily

117. Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974)

(a) any Chief Judicial Magistrate;

(b) any metropolitan Magistrate; or

(c) any Magistrate specially empowered in this behalf by the High Court under section 260 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 74).

May, if h thinks fit, try in a summary way all or any of the offences made punishable under this Act, the abetment of any such offences or an attempt to commit any of such offences.

Provided that any offence committed subsequent to earlier conviction for similar offence where the second or subsequent commission of such offence entails enhanced punishment, shall not be tried in a summary manner.

(2) When, in the course of a summary trial it appears to the Magistrate, that the nature of the case is such that it is undesirable to try it summarily, the Magistrate shall recall any witness who may have been examined and proceed to re-hear in the manner other than provided for summary trials.

Compounding of offences

118. (1) Any offence under this Pat may, on an application made to the State Commission by the person accused of having committed such offence, by compounded within one hundred and eighty days from the date on which such person has been charged of the offence by a court competent to conduct his trial.

Provided that where the offence relates to any property, electricity or entitlement of any Authorised Person, the application for compounding bears an endorsement signed by such Authorised Person to the effect that he has no objection to such offence being compounded.

(2) The State Commission shall consider and pass orders on an application made under this section, in accordance with the procedure to be specified in this behalf, and may impose a compounding fee not exceeding a sum equal to five times the fair market value of the electricity or materials involved in the offence, and where the quantum or value of such electricity or materials, as the case may be, can not be reasonable determined, then a compounding fee not exceeding five hundred thousand rupees.

Provided that no offence shall be compounded if the accused is, by reason of a previous conviction, liable either to enhanced punishment or to a punishment of different kind for such offence.

(3) Where an offence has been compounded under this section and the compounding fee has been paid, no further proceedings shall be continued against the person committing such offence, in respect of the offence so compounded.

Civil Penalties

Penalties

119. If any person contravenes or attempts to contravene or abets the contravention of any provision of this Act, or any Rule or Regulation thereunder, or any condition subject to which an authorisation is issued by the Competent Commission, he shall, except as otherwise provided in this Act and upon summary inquiry and adjudication by the Competent Commission, be liable to a penalty upto twice the fair market value of the electricity involved in such contravention where such amount is quantifiable, or upto five hundred thousand rupees where the amount is not quantifiable, and where such contravention is a continuing one, further penalty which may extend to twenty-five thousand rupees for every day after the first day during which the contravention continues.

Civil prison for default in payment of penalties

120. (1) Subject to the provisions of section 126, if any person fails to make full payment of the penalty imposed on him under this Act within a period of ninety days from the date on which the notice for payment of such penalty is served on him, he shall be liable to civil imprisonment under this Section.

(2) No order for the arrest and detention in civil prison of a defaulter shall be made unless the Competent Commission has issued and served a notice upon the defaulter calling upon him to appear before him on the date specified in the notice and to show cause why he should not be committed to the civil prison, and unless the Commission, for reasons in writing, is satisfied -

(a) that the defaulter, with the object or effect of obstructing the recovery of penalty, has after the issue of notice by the Commission, dishonestly transferred, concealed, or removed any part of his property; or

(b) that the defaulter has, or has had since the issuing of notice by the Commission, the means to pay the arrears or some substantial part thereof and refuses or neglects or has refused or neglected to pay the same.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), a warrant for the arrest of the defaulter may be issued by the Commission if the Commission is satisfied, by affidavit or otherwise, that with the object or effect of delaying the execution of the certificate the defaulter is likely to abscond or leave the local limits of the jurisdiction of the commission.

(4) here appearance is not made pursuant to a notice issued and served under sub-section (1), the Commission may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defaulter.

(5) Every person arrested in pursuance of a warrant of arrest under this section shall be brought before the Commission issuing the warrant as soon as practicable and in any event within twenty-four hours of his arrest (exclusive of the time required for the journey).

Provided that, if the defaulter pays the amount entered in the warrant of arrest as due and the costs of the arrest to the officer arresting him, such officer shall at once release him.

(6) When a defaulter appears before the Commission pursuant to a notice to show cause or is brought before the Commission under this section, the Commission shall give the defaulter an opportunity showing cause why he should not be committed to the civil prison.

(7) Pending the conclusion of the inquiry, the Commission my, in his discretion, order the defaulter to be detained in the custody of such officer as the Commission may think fit or release him on his furnishing the security to the satisfaction of the Commission for his appearance as and when required.

(8) upon the conclusion of the inquiry, the Commission may make an order for the detention of the defaulter in the civil prison and shall in that event cause him to be arrested if he is not already under arrest.

Provided that in order to give a defaulter an opportunity of satisfying the arrears, he Commission may, before making the order of detention, leave he defaulter in the custody of the officer arresting him or of any other officer for a specified period not exceeding fifteen days, or release him on his furnishing security to the satisfaction of the Commission for his appearance at the expiration of the specified period if the arrears are not satisfied.

(9)When the Commission does not make an order of detention under sub-section (9), it shall, if the defaulter is under arrest, direct his release.

(10) Every person detained in the civil prison in execution of the certificate may be so detained -

(a) where the certificate is for a demand of an amount exceeding rupees one lakh, upto one year, and

(b) in any other case, upto three months.

Provided that he shall be released from such detention on the amount mentioned in the warrant for his detention being paid to the officer-in-charge of the civil prison.

(11) A defaulter released from detention under this section shall not, merely by reason of his release, be discharged from his liability for the arrears, but he shall no be liable to be arrested under the certificate in execution of which he was detained in the civil prison.

(12) A detention order may be executed at any place in India in the manner provided for the execution of warrant of arrest under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).


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