Court questions Delhi power firms on audit of accounts (Lead)

August 24th, 2011 - 7:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the capital’s private power distribution companies (discoms) BSES Rajdhani, BSES Yamuna and NDPL to respond to a petition that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) should be directed to audit their accounts.

The division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued the notices to the discoms and asked them to file their affidavits within six weeks.

Petitioner United RWAs Joint Action (URJA) alleged that the Delhi government had come under the discoms’ pressure and intervened in the functioning of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC).

“Are the discoms amenable to be audited by the CAG?” asked the bench, seeking the power distribution companies’ response.

Appearing for the discoms, senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Sandeep Sethi said that after the privatisation of the power distribution the companies’ accounts could not be audited by the CAG.

Petitioner’s counsel Pyoli Swatija opposed them, arguing that even after privatisation, the city government held 49 percent stake in the companies. It could not be said that they were out of the CAG’s purview.

The DERC filed an affidavit and informed the court that it did not examine the accounts of the discoms while fixing the power tariff every fiscal year.

The petition said that under the pressure of discoms, the state government intervened in the functioning of the DERC which failed to fix the tariff for the year 2011-12.

The petitioner also sought a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the case.

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