Haryana gang involved in tempering of electronic meters busted

The vigilance wing of Haryana Power Utilities has achieved a breakthrough by apprehending a highly sophisticated gang of white collar criminals involved in tempering of electronic meters.

Chandigarh: The vigilance wing of Haryana Power Utilities has achieved a breakthrough by apprehending a highly sophisticated gang of white collar criminals involved in tempering of electronic meters.

Giving details, Dr Rajvant Pal Singh, DGP-cum-Director/ Vigilance said here today that on the basis of reliable intelligence worked out with extensive technical analysis, a special operations team was formed.

The team led by Rajeev Kumar, DSP vigilance Gurgaon and closely monitored by Dr R P Singh himself detained the gang.

The gang was headed by Govind of Sector-40 Gurgaon.

The other members of gang included Udaybhan of Baliya district (UP), at present resident of Dabua Colony, Faridabad and Manjeet Singh also from Gurgaon.

The king pin Govind had earlier floated a company in the name of M/s Hariom Carriers Limited engaged by Nigam for reading of meters from 2002 to 2007.

However, disengaged by the Nigam, he resorted to tempering of meters in the Non-Domestic Segment and Domestic Segment categories by charging amount ranging from Rs 15,000 to Rs 35,000 initially followed by monthly Rs 5000 to 10,000 per consumer depending on the quantum and mode to be used for theft of electricity/pilferage of energy.

Singh further said that the vigilance Division of HVPNL has been collecting, collating and processing information for the last one month and after thorough analysis of the same, finalised a full proof strategy and arrested gang members Govind on November 3, Udaybhan on November 5 and Manjeet on November 16.

After arresting the accused and taking them on police remand, premises of the consumers were raided as per the information provided by the accused during interrogation.

The special operation team in groups checked the premises and seized the the meters.

The raids were conducted in the posh area of DLF Phase-I, II, III, Sushant Lok Sector-14, 17 and other posh areas as well as old Gurgaon.

It is a matter of concern that well educated persons living in posh colonies had been availing their services for tempering of meters for the purpose of theft of electricity, Sing rued.

He further stated that the modus operandi of the criminals was to use sophisticated devices to change the supply from 3 phase to single phase meters through insertion of hot needles for making pin holes and then pulling down to cut off the wires to stop recording of the electricity supplied to the meters.

Secondly accused were installing fake meters on consumer premises by removing the original meter and at the time of meter reading they again install the original one.

Govind heading the gang lives in posh house in Gurgaon and has a Audi Car and is learnt to have placed an order for purchase of Jaguar Car also.

The gang used to operate with the active connivance of the meter reading staff of Haryana Ex- Servicemen League and Lineman, Junior Engineer etc., who then take their own share.

This active and passive connivance of the lower rank officials with illegal activities of gang members also reflects upon the poor supervision by the senior officers.

Investigations revealed that load 6 to 7 times the sanctioned load was being utilized illegally.

FIRs under section 135, 136, 138 and 150 of Electricity Act have been registered in 41 cases following testing of electronic meters in the labs which were kept open on holidays to enable registration of FIRs without any delay.

The amount assessed is to the tune of Rs 4 crore as of now but following further interrogation and apprehension of the other accused, the figure is likely to touch Rs 15 crore in only one district of Gurgaon.

Such type of gangs are also active in other districts, particularly in district Faridabad, Hisar, Rohtak, Rewari and Panipat.

Special teams/ squads have been formed to nab them so as to curb the menace of organized theft of electricity on a large scale in an effective manner as to send a major and effective deterrent to the erring consumers.

Dr Singh also said that strict action would also be taken against the erring consumers indulging in such activities.

It is pertinent to mention here that the meter tempering criminal gang on such a large scale has been apprehended in the State for the first time.

The erring consumers indulged in the power theft belonged to affluent families and were resident of posh colonies.

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