In exercise of powers conferred by section 176 of the Electricity Act, 2003 (Act 36 of 2003), the Central Government made Electricity Rules-2005.
The Police Authorities have been assigned the following duties under the said Electricity Rules, 2005. Further as per Rules 12 of Electricity Rules 2005 (regarding cognizance of offence) Police has power to investigate the complaint in respect of theft of electricity. The rule 12 of Electricity Rules 2005 regarding cognizance of offence reveals as under:-
- The police shall take cognizance of the offence punishable under the Act on a complaint in writing made to the police by the appropriate Government or the appropriate Commission or any of their officer authorized by them in this regard or a Chief Electrical Inspector or an Electrical Inspector or an authorized officer of licensee or a generating company, as the case may be.
- The police shall investigate the complaint in accordance with the general law applicable to the investigation of any complaint. For the purposes if investigation of the complaint the police shall have all the powers as available under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
- The police shall, after investigation, forward the report along with the complaint filed under sub-clause (1) to the court for trial under the Act.
- Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-clause (1),(2) and (3) above, the complaint for taking congnizance of an offence punishable under the Act may also be filed by the appropriate Government or the appropriate Commission or any of their officer authorised by them or a Chief Electrical Inspector or an Electrical Inspector or an authorized officer of licensee or a generating company, as the case may me, directly in the appropriate court.
- Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, every special court may take congnizance of an offence referred to in sections 135 to 139 of the Act without the accused being committed to it for trial.
- The cognizance of the offence under the Act shall not in any way prejudice the actions under the provisions of the Indian Penal code.