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Illegal: Kejriwal waives off power bills of defaulters and pilferers in Delhi

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's Friday announcement that people who had defaulted on power bills during his "civil disobedience" movement last year would be exempted from payment, has been described as illegal by
India TV News Desk January 11, 2014 14:53 IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's Friday announcement that people who had defaulted on power bills during his "civil disobedience" movement last year would be exempted from payment, has been described as illegal by officials.

On Friday Kejriwal announced no action would be taken against defaulters and pilferers since they were part of the movement and the amount due from them would be paid by Delhi government. Also, cases booked against people for power theft since March 23 last year would be withdrawn.

Officials said this was a complete violation of the Electricity Act.

Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission chief P Sudhakar said he would not comment on the legal aspect, saying the information the CM's office was yet to reach him.

Shakti Sinha, who was Delhi secretary for power and finance until August 2013, said Kejriwal's announcement was “illegal as per the 2003 Electricity Act”.

Says Sinha,  power tariff can be brought down only by DERC  after following a due process. "There is the DERC for redressal of complaints. And then there are courts to settle disputes,” Sinha said.

Out of nearly 45 lakh connections in Delhi  under three power distribution companies, an estimated 10,000-12,000 consumers have been defaulting on electricity dues “continuously” since March last year. Connections of those in the lowest consumption slab of 0-200 units have not been disconnected.

Kejriwal had begun his “civil disobedience movement” against “inflated” power bills by going on a fast from March 23, 2013.

“We had asked people to stop paying electricity bills if the bills did not come down, and re-connect if power connections were cut by the then government. We had assured them that all such cases would be exempted if we formed the government,” he said.

“All who stopped paying power bills during this period will be forgiven, and electricity theft cases against them will also be exempted because we assume they were part of our movement.


"People who have been habitually not paying power bills for years will not be included in this category. We will announce the final details of this project soon," said Kejriwal