An electricity bill scam has been unearthed in the office of the Baddi SDO where money deposited in lieu of monthly bills was allegedly embezzled by two clerks of the department while customers were issued payment receipts.

An FIR has been registered in this regard today against Jeet Ram and Sohan Lal, who were dealing customers at the cash counter of the department.

Baddi SP Gurdev Chand Sharma said an FIR had been registered and further investigations were being conducted to ascertain the facts.

Executive engineer AS Dhillon, while confirming the news, said he had placed Sohan Lal, who was a regular employee under suspension, while the Jeet Ram’s case, who was a daily wager, had been sent to the department’s secretary for further action.

Though the duo had been accepting cash payments from domestic and commercial consumers for their power bills at the cash counter, the cash was not being credited into the department’s account. Unsuspecting customers were also being issued receipts in lieu of depositing the bills.

Dhillon said he started suspecting something fishy as scores of cases came to the fore where bills had remained unpaid in the official accounts yet their electricity connections had not been disconnected for months.

The embezzlement came to the fore when officials disconnected almost 250 to 275 connections for non-payment of bills and consumers returned with receipts showing payments they had made.

Sohan Lal, however, tried to save his skin by offering Rs 1 lakh to some customers who had visited his office yesterday and he offered to repay the money today to others also.

Suspecting the scam to be in several lakhs as the bills had remained unpaid since September, Dhillon said an FIR has been registered against the duo today at Baddi. He said the embezzled amount could be in several lakhs as each customer had paid thousands per month as bills.

Article is taken from The Tribune online section

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