The decision to carry out CAG audit of accounts of the power distribution companies in the national capital was taken in 2011, much before Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) regime, the city government told Delhi High Court.
The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw by senior advocate Rajiv Dhavan who said “it was not AAP and Arvind Kejriwal” who took the decision, rather the previous regime had already decided to order audit the three discoms by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
Appearing for Delhi government, Dhavan said the decision to conduct CAG audit of the three discoms – Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group firms –BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd– was taken by the cabinet in 2011.
He said the discoms have only taken the argument of lack of jurisdiction and not said what prejudice would be caused to them by a CAG audit.
“If CAG does not have the power, then who does? Their (discoms) only opposition against CAG audit is jurisdiction.”
Dhavan said the government was not trying to stop their functioning or interfere in it but only trying to bring them under public audit, as 49 per cent stake in the discoms was held by Delhi government which has also infused capital in these companies.
He also alleged that the discoms have not paid the power producers from whom they purchase power to distribute in the national capital, arguing that these were “public authority performing public functions”.
The senior advocate said he would place a note as well as judgements before the court in support of his contention.
The court was hearing a batch of petitions including appeals filed by three private discoms against the order of a single judge refusing to stay Delhi government’s decision to have CAG audit of their accounts.
Apart from the pleas, the bench is also hearing a PIL filed by NGO United RWAs Joint Action seeking an audit of the discoms’ accounts by CAG.
The discoms have moved the larger bench of the court against its single judge’s order of January 24, last year, refusing to stall CAG audit and asking them to “fully cooperate with the Comptroller and Auditor General in the audit process”.
On July 22, last year, TPDDL had contended in court that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had pre-decided to have CAG audit of private discoms and its government later violated statutory and constitutional provisions to fulfil the poll promise.
The three private firms came into being in 2002 when the then Delhi government decided to privatise power distribution.
Delhi discoms are a 51:49 per cent joint venture between the private companies and the Delhi government.
In their pleas, the discoms have contended that Delhi government’s decision asking CAG to audit the power companies’ accounts is “patently” illegal on several counts.