ISLAMABAD - To discourage and control electricity pilferage, the Federal Cabinet on Wednesday approved the draft of Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2012 and Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2012, declared power theft as non-bailable offence and enhanced the penalties and imprisonment.
The Bill was submitted by the Ministry of Water and Power to the Cabinet and the basic purpose was to make the present legal mechanism regarding power theft more effective and strict to control power stealing.
As per the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2012, approved by the Cabinet enumerates offences of abstraction or tampering with transmission system with penalty of rigorous imprisonment up to three years and fine upto ten million rupees, for abstraction or tempering with distribution auxiliary two years imprisonment and fine up to three million rupees provided for.
The offences against interference, improper use or tampering with electric meters by domestic consumers will entail punishment of up to one year or fine which may extend to one million rupees or both.
Similarly, interference, improper use or tampering etc. with electric meter by industrial or commercial or agricultural consumers will be punishable with imprisonment up to years or fine up to six million rupees or both.
Moreover, offences for damaging or destroying the transmission lines, distribution lines or electric meters have been specified with punishment of up to seven years imprisonment and with fine which shall not be less than three million rupees.
It may be mentioned here that in the present legal mechanism, there were minor penalties and imprisonment for power theft cases but in the new Bill, power thieves would be punishable with rigorous imprisonment with heavy fines in order to discourage the power theft.