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HC directs discoms to cooperate with CAG in audit

Last Updated: Monday, March 24, 2014 - 19:56

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Monday directed three discoms of Tata Power and Reliance ADAG to comply with its single judge's order and fully cooperate with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in the audit process.

"The distribution companies shall cooperate fully with the CAG," a bench of Acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice S Mridul said.

The court also did not grant any interim relief to the discoms -- Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group firms, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd -- and said, "You comply with the orders."

It passed the order while listing for May 1 the appeals of the discoms against the single judge's order and a PIL filed by an NGO seeking CAG audit of their accounts.

The court directed the discoms to complete the pleadings, filing of affidavits and counter affidavits, before May 1 in their respective appeals.

The discoms have moved the larger bench of the court against its single judge's January 24 order refusing to stall the CAG audit of the discoms and asking them to cooperate with the top auditor by furnishing the details sought.

The single judge had, however, said that the report of the audit will not be released without the court's permission.

During the proceedings, the discoms contended that since the Delhi government had ordered a CAG audit, the plea of the NGO, United RWAs Joint Action (URJA), has become infructuous.

They also said that they have sought complete stay of the CAG audit as ordered by the Delhi government and affirmed by the single judge of the high court.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, opposed the discoms contention, saying since they challenged the order of the CAG audit, the plea of the NGO is not infructuous.

He also said that a DERC audit of a discom had revealed huge amount of fudging of accounts and the NGO had also sought action against those involved.

The CAG on its part reiterated its grievance that the discoms were not cooperating with it. This contention was opposed by the discoms.

Besides seeking a CAG audit into the accounts of the discoms, the NGO has also sought a CBI or an independent probe into alleged irregularities committed by the discoms.

The PIL has said the then state government had given in to pressure from the companies which sought a hike in tariff by faking losses and failed to fix the tariff for 2010-11.

The three private firms had come into being in 2002 when the then Delhi government decided to privatise power distribution.

Delhi discoms are a 51:49 percent joint venture between the private companies and the Delhi government.

Meanwhile, BSES, in a statement, expressed surprise at the stand taken by CAG and claimed that it has already provided more than 10,000 pages of documents to the auditing body.

"We are again surprised at the stand taken by CAG counsel before the High Court of Delhi, as the audit process is going on smoothly. We reiterate that BSES discoms are having cordial and regular meetings with the auditors and there is a continuous flow of information to them. No such concerns have been expressed before us in these meetings," it said.

BSES said, "We have been and will continue to cooperate in the audit process. We have already submitted complete information on around 110 queries spread over more than 10,000 pages of documents to the CAG. Auditors have also been provided viewing rights on our entire data base."

First Published: Monday, March 24, 2014 - 19:56
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