TNB Ordered To Pay RM30,000 To Man Falsely Accused Of Stealing Electricity

The man's lawyer claimed the case had caused deep emotional distress.
With the current hot season making everyone reach for the air-conditioner remote control, some may be tempted to resort to illegal means to reduce the cost of their electricity bill.

In an ironic twist, a man was awarded RM30,000 by Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) after he was falsely accused by the utility company of tampering with its electricity meters.

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Tnb ordered to pay rm30,000 to man falsely accused of stealing electricity
Photo via Malay Mail

TNB to pay RM30,000 for electricity theft accusation

Free Malaysia Today reported that factory worker Eazrie Hafizie Aris was sued by TNB for RM26,811.75 for allegedly tampering with its electricity meters.

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However, the claim was dismissed by the Klang magistrates court judge Nur Atikah Zakaria on Apr 28, who ordered the utility company to instead pay Eazrie Hafizie RM30,000.

This amount comprised of RM20,000 in damages for distress, RM5,000 as aggravated damages and RM5,000 in exemplary damages.
Tnb ordered to pay rm30,000 to man falsely accused of stealing electricity
For illustration purposes only. Photo via Pexels

TNB was also required to pay another RM5,000 in court costs.

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‘Accusation caused great mental distress’

Speaking to the English portal, Eazrie Hafizie’s lawyer Esmael Shah Shahrudin said the lawsuit filed by TNB had left devastating mental repercussions.

My client never opened any account with TNB. The allegations have caused him to suffer from a major depressive disorder and distress until today.

Tnb meter
For illustration purposes only. Photo via WeirdKaya

“Although my client filed six police reports against them over the claim, TNB still insisted on hauling him to court for electricity tampering,” he said.

Esmael also slammed the company for failing to carry out a proper check on its customer relations system, adding that this was a first for TNB to be countersued for negligence and emotional distress.

TNB to challenge court ruling

Following the ruling, TNB released a statement saying that it will be mounting a challenge against the court ruling requiring it to pay Eazrie Hafizie RM30,000 in damages.

Tnb ordered to pay rm30,000 to man falsely accused of stealing electricity
Photo via Malay Mail

According to the utility company, it said that it “had grounds to file an appeal to the Klang High Court at the nearest time possible”.

It added that it had the right to claim damages as outlined under Section 38 (3) of the Electricity Supply Act 1990 based on findings of tampering with its metering equipment which were in line with existing guidelines and procedures.

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What is electricity tampering?

As the name suggests, electricity tampering refers to the act of removing of a meter, severing of a meter seal, opening of a meter base, altering an entrance cable in any manner, or self-reconnection which isn’t done by an authorised personnel.

According to TNB’s website, those found guilty will be charged under the Electricity Supply Act 1990, which carries a hefty fine and jail sentence as follows:

Tnb's penalties for electricity theft
Screenshot via TNB

What do you think of the incident? Let us know in the comments!

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Back in 2022, a man was charged a whopping RM140,000 for his water bill, much to his shock:

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