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Saturday, April 20 2024

Ex-Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy Fined Rs 68,526 for Power Theft

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Bengaluru : H D Kumaraswamy, the former chief minister of Karnataka, said on Friday that he had paid a fine of Rs 68,526 for using an unauthorized connection to get electricity for his JP Nagar home during Deepavali, but he called it “unjust and excessive”.

The president of the JD (S) state unit, however, objected to the manner in which the fine was determined and discovered errors in the FIR filed against him.

The son of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy, claimed he was the target of a political witch hunt because he spoke out against the Congress government that was in power.

In a letter to the assistant executive engineer of Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) vigilance police station, Kumaraswamy blamed the electricity contractor hired by his staff who had for testing purposes drawn a wire and connected it directly to the electric pole opposite his house.

“Immediately after coming to know the same, I informed my staff to disconnect the wire from the electric pole. I was not at home when this illumination work was being carried out or was being tested and I was in my house at Bidadi, Ramanagara District. The electrician worked on his own independently, without my knowledge,” he explained.

The FIR registered against him is flawed with defects, as the complainant, being BESCOM assistant executive engineer, has stated that he had personally seen the theft taking place but the facts were contrary to the claim, Kumaraswamy said.

He claims that after viewing the video on electronic and social media, the BESCOM engineer who filed a complaint against him explicitly told him that he had come to inspect the residential building.

“In the face of an unjust and excessive demand for payment to be made, it is my right as a consumer to voice my concern and protest against such practices,” said Kumaraswamy.

accusing the ruling party of filing a complaint against him, he stated, “I am of the opinion that this is a political witch-hunt against me for the series of tweets and press meets conducted by me in connection to mismanagement of power sources against the present government which is run by a rival party headed by my arch rivals and also the head of the states —CM/DCM, who have given statements to the electronic media that I have committed a theft of electricity.”

In addition to their media remarks, Kumaraswamy claimed that one of the officers had broken the law and made a press release without the (Electricity) Board’s approval. This demonstrates how officers were persuaded to follow their political leaders’ orders in order to damage his reputation due to an act that the electrical contractor had committed.

On November 14, Kumaraswamy was the target of accusations from the Congress that he had stolen electricity to light his home for Deepavali.

A video of a power connection being made from the electric pole to Kumaraswamy’s home was also posted by the ruling party.

“The lone honest person in the world HD Kumaraswamy’s JP Nagar residence was illuminated with decorative lights with illegal power connection directly from the electric pole. It is a tragedy that such poverty has struck a former CM to steal electricity!” the Congress wrote on the micro-blogging site ‘X’ at the time.

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