The Mumbai police have informed the Bombay high court that it cracks down on individuals involved in power theft when brought to their notice.
An affidavit was filed by Ashok Jagdale, senior police inspector with the MRA Marg police station, saying that when BEST filed a complaint with them under the Electricity Act, 2003, they immediately register an offence and investigate it as per the provisions of law.
The affidavit was submitted by additional public prosecutor Aruna Kamath-Pai before the HC, which is hearing a PIL against power theft.
The PIL, filed by ex-journalist Ketan Tirodkar, alleged that during Ganesh and Navratri festivals, public mandals collect huge amounts as donations for organising celebrations and despite that, they are given heavy concessions in power usage by the state power utilities.
Since 2005, 10 cases have been registered in the MRA Marg police station alone. “In all these cases accused have been arrested and charge sheets have been filed before the magistrate,” states the affidavit.
It further adds that whenever police help is sought by the BEST to raid or inspect suspicious places, adequate police bandobast is provided.
The power distribution companies suffer distribution losses to the tune of 15 per cent overall and 50 per cent in some pockets. These are mainly due to power thefts resorted by ‘sarvajanik’ (public) mandals during festivals, the PIL alleged.
The matter will come up for hearing on January 14.