High Court of Madras
Case Law Search
STATE, by Public Prosecutor v. Subramania Nadar - Criminal Appeal No.82 of 1995  RD-TN 440 (5 July 2002)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE A.K. RAJAN
Criminal Appeal No.82 of 1995
STATE, by Public Prosecutor,
Madras. .. Appellant vs.
Subramania Nadar .. Respondent This Criminal Appeal is filed against the judgment dated 20.9.1993 in C.C.No.390 of 1991, passed by the Judicial Magistrate, Nanguneri, as stated therein.
For Appellant : Mr. O.Srinath,
Additional Public Prosecutor.
For Respondent : Mr. S.John Sundarlal Suresh
for M/s. P.Peppin Fernando.
:J U D G M E N T
This appeal is against acquittal.
2. The case of the prosecution is that the respondent was having service connection No.379 in the village Kasturirengapuram. It was disconnected on 9.4.1990 for non-payment of consumption charges. It was not re-connected. But when it was inspected on 1.4.1991 by the officers of the Electricity Board, it was found that connection was given illegally. Therefore, prosecution was launched against the respondent.
2. The trial Court after going through the evidence on record acquitted this respondent of all the charges. Against that, the present appeal has been filed by the State.
3. P.W.1 has clearly stated that Service Connection No.379 was disconnected on 9.4.1990. Thereafter, the Electricity Board did not give re-connection. On 1.4.1991, when the service connection was inspected, it was found that the connection was illegally re-connected. P.W.2 also corroborates the evidence of P.W.1. Exs.P.3 and P.4 prove the fact of disconnection on 9.4.1990. In Ex.P.4, it is further stated that in so far as the Service Connection No.379 is concerned, even the cut-out was removed. From Ex.P.2, Inspection Report, it is seen that service connection was found effected to the motor. But the trial Court acquitted the accused on the ground that the authorities did not follow the procedures laid down under Section 24(1) of the Indian Electricity Act; secondly, the prosecution has not proved that electricity connection was given without the knowledge of the Electricity Board; thirdly, the photographs taken were not marked as evidence and finally, there is evidence for the conclusion that the accused filed civil suit against the department and for that reason, this case was foisted.
4. But these reasons given by the Magistrate are not acceptable. Section 24(1) of the Act does not refer to the inspection that is made. As per the Electricity Act, while inspecting, it is not necessary to give seven days' notice. Therefore, inspection can be done by the authorities by giving of notice on the spot. So, the first reason given by the Magistrate is not legal. The second reason is that there is no evidence to prove that the re-connection was given without the knowledge of the Electricity Board. This reason also is not unsustainable, because there is no possibility of re-connection except by the order by the authorities. The very fact that there is reconnection, it proves it was given without the authority or knowledge of the Electricity Board. The next reason that the photographs were not marked, does not go to the root of the matter. If there is other evidence to prove the case of the prosecution, the non-marking of the photographs is not fatal to the case. The next finding is, this is a case foisted for the reason that the respondent filed a civil suit against the department. There is no evidence to show that any specific suggestion put to P.W.2, was denied by him. Therefore, none of the reasons given by the Magistrate are legally unsustainable.
5. The point that has to be proved in this case is that, whether the re-connection was legal or not. From Exs.P.3 and P.4, it is clear that re-connection was given after which it was disconnected on 9 .4.1990. Only by the Electricity Board, re-connection can be given. There is no such order of re-connection. But from the evidence of P.Ws.1 and 2, it is proved that the Service Connection No.379 was disconnected to the lower tension wire on the date of inspection on 1.4.1 991. It was therefore, only illegal connection. Therefore, it directly attracts the provisions of the Electricity Act. The Electricity supply which was disconnected by the authorities cannot be reconnected by the consumer himself.
6. Therefore, the respondent is liable to be convicted for violation of Sections 39(1) and 44(aa) of the Act. Hence, the charge against the accused is proved beyond reasonable doubt. The charge under Sections 39(1) and 44-aa is proved. Regarding sentence, considering the fact that the accused is an agriculturist, the service connection is to the motor pumpset-5 H.P., and considering the fact that the electricity supply has been given freely to the agriculturist right from 1991 onwards, this Court is of the view that if a fine of Rs.2,000/-(Rupees two thousand only) is imposed on the respondent/accused that will meet the ends of justice. Accordingly, a fine of Rs.2,000/-( Rupees two thousand only) is imposed on the respondent/accused. Time for payment, within four weeks from the date of receipt of this order.
7. Criminal Appeal is disposed of accordingly. 5-7-2002.
Web Site: Yes.
1. The Judicial Magistrate,
through the Chief Judicial Magistrate,
2. The Public Prosecutor,
High Court, Chennai.
A.K. RAJAN, J.
C.A.82 of 1995
Double Click on any word for its dictionary meaning or to get reference material on it.