New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Tuesday declined to order setting up of a separate police station to deal with electricity theft cases, saying it would not put an end to such crimes or change the mindset of people indulging in such activity. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said that instead of a separate police station, a dedicated investigative unit was required to probe such cases. “Establishment of a separate police station cannot reduce theft of electricity or change the mindset of people indulging in the theft. What is required is separate police staff to investigate the cases of power theft,” the court said.
The bench noted that according to the Delhi government, separate staff to investigate such crimes can be created within the District Investigation Unit (DIU) of the police. Taking note of the government’s submission, the court disposed of a plea seeking a separate police station to deal with cases of power theft as has been done in several states, including Gujarat and Maharashtra. The bench, however, told the government that such experiment in other states “be kept in mind” and if it is found successful, “it can be implemented here as well”.
In view of the facts and circumstances of the case, we see no reason to issue any direction or writ for establishment of a separate police station to deal with power theft. It is a policy decision to be taken by the respondent 1 (Delhi government),” the court said. It also said that neither the government nor the discoms appeared to be lethargic enough to allow such thefts and “their senses are not required to be awakened by court orders”. With regard to power discom, BSES Rajdhani’s submission made last year that it was willing to foot the bill of setting up a dedicated police station, the bench said the company may consider the option in future as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative.
Apart from seeking a separate police station, the petition by Raman Suri had also sought directions to the police, BSES and the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission to take steps to prevent power theft in the national capital. The petitioner had alleged that discoms shift the burden of electricity thefts to genuine customers by raising their tariff. The allegation has been denied by the discom BSES Rajdhani.[Courtesy:www.thehansindia.com]