Theft and Other Offences:
Electricity theft is the most problematic field in the power sector. The Electricity Act, 2003 lays stringent penalties for theft of electricity. It makes the offence culpable. There could be imprisonment of up to a period of 3 years or fine or both. The penalties are for direct theft as well as for meter tampering and for fraudulent extraction of energy.
If the consumer is making unauthorized use of electricity, the inspecting officer could provisionally assess her/him. The provisional assessment order has to be served to the consumer so as to provide an opportunity of hearing for filing objections, if any. If the assessed amount is deposited through the consumer s/he shall not be subjected to any liability or any action through any authority whatsoever.
In that case the inspecting officer detects unauthorized use of electricity, it will be presumed that such unauthorized use of electricity was continuing for a period of three months immediately preceding the date of inspection in case of domestic and agricultural service. For other category of services, the unauthorized use should be deemed to be made for a period of six months preceding the date of inspection.
Unless this charge is rebutted through the consumer concerned, the assessment under this Section will be made at a rate equal to one and a- half times the tariff rates applicable for relevant type of service.