Is information regarding power theft by political parties a secret?
An application was filed with the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get the details of political parties found to be guilty of illegally drawing power from the public lines while organizing roadside meetings.
As the board didn’t provide any reply to the applicant, he filed second appeal with the appellate authority. After the second appeal, the public information officer (PIO) declined to provide the sought information citing Section 8(1)(g) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes; of the RTI Act which bars the disclosure of information that could endanger the safety of any person or affect the investigation.
Experts estimate that on an average, a public meeting of a political consumes around 100kW of electricity and it has been alleged that the electricity board is trying to protect the political parties by denying information. However, it has been mentioned in media reports that majority of power thefts in the state are caused by political parties, slums and some industries.