Electrical regulator shuts down licence-sharing scheme – Jafal Brothers Pty Ltd, Rohit Kumar Jafal, Tanway Engineering Pty Ltd, Sukujohn Tharakan

This announcement is for: 
Electrical contractor / worker

Two Perth companies and three individuals have been fined almost $40,000 for an electrical licence-sharing arrangement involving solar installations at 25 properties.

At Perth Magistrates Court on 11 June 2024, Jafal Brothers Pty Ltd and its director Rohit Kumar Jafal and Tanway Engineering Pty Ltd and its director Sukujohn Tharakan pleaded guilty to offences under WA’s electricity licensing regulations.

A third man previously pleaded guilty in April to related charges. He is not named due to a spent conviction.

Under the regulations, only a person authorised by an electrical contractor (EC) licence can carry on business as an EC. This includes entering into contracts, employing electrical workers (EWs) and authorising EWs to complete electrical safety certificates for electrical installing work carried out on behalf of the EC.

Prosecutors for Building and Energy told the court Mr Jafal (EW195612) was a licensed EW who carried out electrical installing work for Jafal Brothers, which traded as WA A1 Electrical but was not a licensed EC. Jafal Brothers was fined $12,500 for misrepresenting itself as an EC, which included receiving payments and issuing invoices for Mr Jafal’s electrical work.

Mr Jafal was fined $5,000 for lodging 25 unauthorised electrical safety certificates through Building and Energy’s eNotice system. This paperwork related to solar installations he carried out for Jafal Brothers in several Perth suburbs as well as Mandurah and Bunbury.

Mr Jafal lodged 23 certificates that falsely identified Tanway Engineering (EC13223) as the EC responsible for his work, even though Mr Jafal was not employed by this business. Tanway Engineering was fined $12,500 and Mr Tharakan (EW173123), the company’s sole director, was fined $5,000 for allowing Mr Jafal to lodge the improper certificates.

The third man was fined $3,500 in April for also allowing Mr Jafal to use his EC licence to lodge two electrical safety certificates when he had not employed Mr Jafal for either project.

All five defendants were ordered to pay $272.70 each in costs.

Magistrate Lynette Dias said the electrical industry must ensure compliance with the regulations because “they are in place for a reason”. Her Honour acknowledged the early guilty pleas by the accused parties and noted Mr Jafal had since obtained an EC licence.

Building and Energy inspected Mr Jafal’s work at the affected properties and is satisfied that it complies with the relevant standards.

WA’s Director of Energy Safety, Saj Abdoolakhan, said the electrical licensing system protects consumers by ensuring licence holders meet stringent requirements and take responsibility for work that is safe, compliant and effectively regulated.

“In this case, the licence borrowing arrangement misled consumers and created a false chain of responsibility that could have jeopardised safety and liability,” Mr Abdoolakhan said.

“One person was effectively carrying on an independent electrical installing business despite not holding the required electrical contractor licence. This is illegal, dangerous and an affront to honest contractors who have diligently obtained this credential.

"Two electrical contractors then allowed misuse of their details on official documents for work carried out by an entirely separate business. Electrical contractors must only execute electrical safety certificates or notices of completion for work done by their own employees.”

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Note: The 25 properties were in Armadale, Beechboro, Beeliar, Carine, Dianella, Dudley Park, Ellenbrook, High Wycombe, Koondoola, Langford, Maddington, Madora Bay, Maida Vale, Middle Swan, Midland, Nollamara, Ocean Reef, South Bunbury, Spearwood, Success, Thornlie, Wellard and Yokine.

Media contact: BEmedia@dmirs.wa.gov.au

Building and Energy
Media release
21 Jun 2024

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