HC rules technical experts opinion in electricity theft case

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Allahabad, Aug 6 (UNI) In the matter of tampering with the meters and theft of electricity, the Allahabad High Court today ruled that opinion of technical experts while making assessment has to be taken into account by the court.

But where such opinion is going to cause serious stigma on the conduct of the citizens, besides fiscal liability and guilty of committing an offence, such technical opinion must be backed by relevant and cogent material, the court further stated.

Giving the above ruling, a division bench comprising Justice Anjani Kumar and Justice Sudhir Agarwal were of the view that non technical and untrained consumers cannot be thrown at the vagaries of such authorities, otherwise it will wide open the victimisation of innocent people and will encourage corruption.

The judgement has been passed, while deciding a number of writ petitions filed challenging assessment orders made under Section 126 of the Electricity Act 2003 as well as demand notice on the basis of said assessment.

Quashing the impugned assessment as well as the notices the High Court has observed that the kind of notices issued to the petitioners mentions only that on 15 January, 2008 departmental officers/enforcement squad from excess load/theft of energy/other irregularity and, therefore as per UP electricity code 2005, the assessment to the following effect is made and if they want to give any objection, may file the name within seven days, failing which recovery proceeding would be initiated, the court said.


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