Former Chief Minister H. D Kumaraswamy finds himself in legal trouble as an FIR has been registered against him for allegedly drawing power illegally to illuminate his JP Nagar residence in Bengaluru during Diwali.
The vigilance wing of Bescom took decisive action, registering an FIR against former Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy following accusations from the Congress party. The charges, filed under section 135 of the Indian Electricity Act, highlight the severity of the alleged electricity theft, carrying potential penalties of imprisonment for up to three years or fines, or both.
In response to the accusations, Kumaraswamy defended himself, shifting the blame to a private decorator who, he claimed, had directly connected the lighting to a nearby electricity pole. Acknowledging the lapse, Kumaraswamy asserted that upon learning of the unauthorized connection, he promptly had it removed and ensured the power supply originated from the meter board of his residence.
The Congress party seized the opportunity to question Kumaraswamy’s credibility, emphasizing the irony of his earlier statements about Karnataka facing power shortages. The party condemned him for resorting to power theft while publicly advocating for improved electricity conditions in the state. The Congress expressed disappointment that a former chief minister would engage in such actions, stating, “It is tragic that such poverty has struck a former CM to steal electricity!”
The party further ridiculed Kumaraswamy, highlighting the contrast between his claims of Karnataka being in the dark and his use of illegally obtained power to illuminate his residence. The Congress questioned the need for such actions, suggesting that if Kumaraswamy faced financial stress, he could have availed of the 200 units of free power offered under the Gruha Jyothi Scheme initiated by the Congress-led government in the state.
Responding to the Congress’s allegations, Kumaraswamy admitted to the lapse and clarified the sequence of events. He explained that the private decorator had initially connected the lighting to an unauthorized power source, a situation he rectified upon his return home. Apologizing for the indiscretion, Kumaraswamy invited Bescom officials to inspect the situation and issue any necessary notices.
Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar affirmed that Bescom would take appropriate action, emphasizing the seriousness of the charges. The incident unfolded amidst Kumaraswamy’s persistent criticism of the state government regarding the power shortage, claiming that he had previously warned about the impending crisis but was not given a platform to address the issue in the legislature. In October, Kumaraswamy expressed concerns about the worsening electricity situation in the state, criticizing the government for prioritizing guarantee schemes over addressing the real problems faced by the people.