STATE OF MAHARASHTRA Vs. JITENDRASINGH BALBIRSINGH
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
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REVATI MOHITE DERE, J. -
(1.) Heard learned A.P.P for the Appellant-State.
(2.) By this appeal, the appellant-State of Maharashtra, has impugned the judgment and order dated 1 st February, 2002 passed by the learned Judicial Magistrate First Class, Khalapur in regular Criminal Case No. 151 of 1994, acquitting the respondents-accused of the offences punishable under Section 379 r/w 34 of the Indian Penal Code and under Sections 39 and 44 of the Indian Electricity Act.
(3.) A few facts as are necessary to decide the aforesaid appeal are as under :
Prakash Dattatraya Ambale, Deputy Executive Engineer, is the complainant. He has stated that he was serving as a Deputy Executive Engineer, Flying Squad, Aurangabad in Maharashtra State Electricity Board ('MSEB'). According to the complainant, it was the duty of the Flying Squad to give surprise visits to places and find out, whether there is any fraud or malpractice with regard to electricity, and take necessary action, where required. According to the complainant, as per the directions of the Director of Vigilance, Mumbai, he and his team came to Khopoli during the period from 28th May, 1994 to 31st May, 1994. He has stated that he had received information from the Director, that there was theft of electricity at Mitra Steel and Alloys Pvt. Ltd., at Atkargaon and was directed to inspect the electricity meters. He has stated that as per the directions of the Director, he and his team visited M/s. Mitra Steel Company on 28th May, 1994 and inspected the meter body, meter terminal, test terminal block and meter box seal and noted the same in the spot inspection sheet. He has stated that during the load test, it was found that KWH meter was working slowly and KWAH and RKVAH meters were stopped. He has stated that they found material like M-Seal, affixed to the tin of the meter and there was bulging and the same was accordingly mentioned in the spot inspection sheet. On 30th May, 1994, the meters were tested by the Executive Engineer of Testing Division, Pen and it was found that the KWAH meter was working slowly by 21.67% and KVAH and RKVAH meters were stopped. They also found that there were holes on all the three meter bodies. After perusing the bills, they found that the consumption of units was less and there was a difference in units in consumption of various months. According to the complainant, he found that by putting wires through these holes to the meters, M. D. was recorded less and as such noticed that the consumer had committed theft of electricity of 23 lakh units and had caused loss of approximately Rs. 41 lakhs. Accordingly, a complaint was lodged with the police on 31 st May, 1994, which was registered vide C.R. No. 51 of 1994 with the Khopoli Police Station. Thereafter, investigation was carried out, statements of witnesses were recorded, etc. and charge-sheet was filed as against the respondents-accused. ;
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