Thane, Mar 28 (PTI) A Thane court has sentenced a 45-year-old businessman, running three engineering units in the Mumbra township here, to two years of rigorous imprisonment each in three cases of power theft.

Additional Sessions Judge P P Jadhav awarded Raju Shirwadkar two years jail term each in three different orders, pertaining to three cases of power theft filed against the accused.

The court imposed a fine of Rs 15.3 lakh, stipulating that Rs 10.18 lakh out of it be paid to the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB).

Additional Public Prosecutor Vivek G Kadu told the court that Shirwadkar ran three engineering units at Uttarshiv in Mumbra.

The MSEB officials conducted surprise checks at the three units on December 5, 2005 and found that the electricity meters installed there had been tampered, the prosecutor said.

After checking the meters, the officials ascertained that there was a theft of electricity worth Rs 10.16 lakh in the three units.

Shirwadkar was tried for offences punishable under various provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003.

The accused told the court that he was the only earning member in his family, and that his aged mother and physically challenged sister were dependent on him.

Therefore, he urged the court not to imprison him, but rather punish him with a fine double the theft amount.

The judge observed that considering all the facts and evidence on record, it was clear that the accused had tampered the meters and was remote controlling the circuits installed inside them.

The power theft was detected in all the three engineering units, where inspections were conducted on the same day, the court noted.

In all the three cases, the accused is held guilty and certainly, there is a huge theft of power, the judge observed.

Considering all these facts, this is not a case for imposing the fine only, he said.

The accused deserves to be punished with a sentence of imprisonment and fine, the judge said in his order on March 23.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.