Three discom employees take 1.5 lakh for replacing meter, booked for graft

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Gurgaon: Three employees of the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) have been booked for cheating and corruption after they allegedly took around Rs 1.5 lakh from a South City-1 resident for changing electricity meters and adjusting outstanding bills.
A departmental investigation found junior engineer Harjinder Singh, lineman Pawan Kumar and clerk Ajit Kumar guilty of the charges. The discom then filed a complaint at Sector 40 police station, following which an FIR was filed against them under sections 409 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 468 (forgery for cheating), 471 (use of a forged document) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and relevant sections of Prevention of Corruption Act on Tuesday.
In June 2010, Praveen Mahram, a resident of South City-1, approached DHBVN for replacing his damaged electricity meter. Pawan, who was directed to look into the matter, informed him about electricity bills he was yet to pay, and asked him to contact Harjinder for replacement of the meter. Harjinder asked for Rs 50,000 to replace the meter and adjust the dues.
“When I asked him why Rs 50,000 was needed, he told me that it is for the sub-divisional officer, junior engineer and other employees of the department,” Praveen said, adding that he paid the amount and after a few days his meter was replaced.
In November, he received electricity bill with outstanding payment of Rs 1.93 lakh. He immediately contacted Pawan. After a few days, he asked to give a cheque of Rs 60,000 and make cash payment of Rs 35,000 to Ajit and assured that the bill would be adjusted in the next few days. He was then issued a fresh power connection.
Later, Praveen again received an outstanding bill of Rs 1.93 lakh, following which he complained to the discom. DHBVN started a department inquiry in May 2017. It found out that the junior engineer and other employees took a bribe from Praveen and in place of replacing the old meter, issued a fresh connection despite unpaid bills and issued a new connection in his name on the basis of forged documents. The discom then approached police with a complaint.

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