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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

HC to hear discoms' plea against CAG audit Feb 14

IANS  New Delhi, February 07, 2014
First Published: 12:54 IST(7/2/2014) | Last Updated: 13:02 IST(7/2/2014)

Three power discoms moved the Delhi high court on Friday against the order of a single judge refusing to stay a Delhi government directive for a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) audit of their finances since their inception in 2002.

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A division bench of chief justice NV Ramana posted the pleas for February 14.

Justice Manmohan had January 24 had refused to stay the government's order for the audit. The discoms alleged that the audit was ordered by the government with a "predetermined mind".

The three discoms - Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd., BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna - which supply power to consumers in Delhi, alleged that the Delhi government's order was a political ploy.

Saying that audit is a serious issue, the discoms had asked the court to examine the legality of the order.

Before the single judge, they had said that the audit order was passed with "malice in law", without giving the discoms an opportunity to be heard.

The existing rules limit the audit power of the CAG to government companies, and under the Electricity Act, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung should have initiated the audit order instead of agreeing with the government's decision, the discoms said.

Meanwhile, advocate Prashant Bhushan, who appeared for the Delhi government, had argued that the government had 49 percent share in each of the three discoms.

Jung had January 1 directed the CAG to undertake the audit.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, soon after assuming office Dec 28, met CAG Shashi Kant Sharma and urged him to audit the three private firms.

He alleged that the discoms were overcharging the consumers.

On January 7, the Delhi government ordered an audit of the discoms by the CAG. The discoms then filed writ petitions before the Delhi high court.


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