SC:Interference with Meter u/S.138 of Electricity Act is Compoundable Offence

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January 29, 2018

Case name: Suresh Ganpati Halvankar v. The State of Maharashtra & ors.

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Date of Judgment: January 22, 2018

In this recent case, Two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court has categorically stated that interference or maliciously injuring meters under Section 138 of the Electricity Act is theft of electricity and hence a compoundable offence under Section 152 of the Electricity Act .

In the case, the Appellants challenged Bombay High Court’s judgment whereby the Court compounded the offence of theft of electricity under Section 135 of the Electricity Act  (theft of electricity) but refused to do so in view of Section 138 of the Electricity Act (Interference with meters or works of licensee), stating that though the said section deals with maliciously injuring electric meters, since it does not directly relate to the offence of theft it would not be covered by Section 152 of the Electricity Act (compounding of offences).

The Supreme Court Bench however, in the case took a contrary view to hold that theft of electricity is a compoundable offence. The observations made by the Bench in the case are as under:

The entire case can be accessed here.

[1] In narrow or in strict sense