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Electricity Theft: No FIR can be lodged after settlement of dispute by electricity company; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice R. Subhash Reddy

The SC holds that a FIR cannot be lodged for electricity theft, subsequently, by the electricity company, once the matter is settled, and the award has been passed by the Lok Adalat. It was held that once the dispute in relation to recovery of outstanding amount was finally settled between the parties (appellant and BSES) amicably in   Lok   Adalat   resulting   in   passing   of   the   award dated 27.02.2015 in full and final satisfaction of the entire claim, there was neither any occasion and nor any basis to file FIR by the BSES against the appellant in respect of the cause which was subject matter of an award.

The SC { Saleem Ahmed v. State & Anr.} further held that if the BSES was so keen to file FIR against the appellant under the Electricity Act then either   they   should   not   have   settled   the   matter through Lok Adalat or while settling should have put a condition in the award reserving therein their right to file FIR notwithstanding settlement of the dispute in question. This was, however, not done. According, it was held that lodging of FIR subsequent to settlement is absolutely illegal and without any subsisting cause of action, therefore, the FIR was quashed by the SC, and the judgment of the HC refusing to quash the FIR was set aside.

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