No CAG audit of Delhi power companies, rules HC

Delhi govt to move supreme court, Discoms claim that they are not government units

GN Bureau | October 30, 2015



The Delhi High Court today cancelled the AAP government's decision to get the accounts of three private power distribution companies audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

"We have allowed the petitions of the discoms," a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice RS Endlaw said while clarifying that the entire audit process carried out so far as well as the draft report of the CAG would be "non-est" and would have no bearing any more.

The discoms -- Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL), BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd - had challenged the AAP government's January 7, 2014, decision ordering a CAG audit of their accounts and an order of a single judge, who had refused to stall the CAG audit.

Meanwhile, the AAP government will move the Supreme Court against the order.  Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal today said that the HC order is a “temporary setback” for the people of the national capital and he is “committed” to provide cheap electricity to people.

“Delhi HC order is a temporary setback for the people of Delhi. Delhi government will soon file an appeal in SC. “I am committed to providing cheap electricity to people of Delhi. Our fight will continue (sic),” Kejriwal said in a series of his tweets.

Giving a major relief to the three electricity distribution companies in the city, the court on Friday allowed their pleas challenging the AAP government’s decision to get an audit conducted by the CAG.

The discoms had alleged that provisions of section 20 of the CAG act and the principles of natural justice had been violated as they has not been given preliminary hearing.

Tata Power Delhi distribution Ltd, BSES Yamuna Power and BSES Rajdhani Ltd had challenged the Delhi government’s decision to ask for a CAG audit of the discoms, on the grounds that they were not government entities and private companies were beyond the jurisdiction of the CAG.

The Delhi government had told the court that a CAG audit of the private discoms in Delhi was necessary as these companies discharged "public function". The discoms are a 51:49 per cent joint venture between the private companies and the Delhi government.

The government had said it was not trying to stop their (discoms') functioning or interfere in it but was only trying to bring them under public audit, as 49 per cent stake in the discoms was held by the Delhi government which has also infused capital in these companies.

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