A court has sentenced a man to jail for a year for theft of electricity from Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (Tata Power-DDL), saying the menace of electricity theft affects consumers and causes substantial financial losses to governments, suppliers, and licensees.
The court also said the convict had to pay an amount of more than Rs 3 lakh.
Additional Sessions Judge Jitendra Singh was hearing a case against Bali Ram, who was earlier sentenced under the provision of the Electricity Act for "direct theft" of electricity at a parking lot.
According to the prosecution, Ram committed the theft from the power distributor's pole in North Delhi's Mangolpuri area and used it for charging e-rickshaws.
"The convict is sentenced to undergo simple imprisonment for one year," the court said.
"The menace of electricity theft invariably affects domestic, commercial, and industrial consumers in varied magnitudes and causes substantial financial losses to the government as well as suppliers and licensees," the court added.
It said such theft diminishes their capacity to maintain the infrastructure or invest in power generation, resulting in increased power shortages and dissatisfied consumers.
The court also said the theft of electricity not only causes a loss of revenue to governments but also results in higher tariffs for honest consumers.
It further noted that Ram was found using the stolen electricity for commercial purposes.
The court also determined Ram's civil liability of more than Rs 3.5 lakh but as the convict had deposited Rs 50,000 during the trial, the total civil liability was Rs 3,01,451.87.
The Mangolpuri police station registered an FIR against Ram in 2017.