New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday said it will hold on October 18 the final hearing on a plea by the Delhi government and the national auditor seeking CAG audit of discoms.
Tata Power Delhi Distribution, one of the discoms, too has challenged the Delhi High Court’s judgment junking the Arvind Kejriwal government’s decision to ask CAG to audit discoms’ balance sheets.
Justices J. Chelameswar and Abhey Manohar Sapre gave four weeks to the Delhi government and CAG to file their response to Tata’s plea and two weeks to Tatas to file their rejoinder.
The Tata Power Delhi Distribution had moved the top court contesting some of the adverse observations against the discoms in the 2015 Delhi High Court ruling.
The Kejriwal government had moved the top court challenging the high court order quashing the government’s decision asking CAG to audit the accounts of the three discoms – Tata Power Delhi Distribution, BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna.
The Delhi government has urged the apex court to step in and permit the official auditor to continue to examine discoms’ accounts.
The High Court ruling has also been challenged by the Comptroller and Auditor General, besides an umbrella of resident welfare associations.
The CAG has taken a position that under the Constitution, the official auditor carries the mandate to examine the accounts of the companies where transactions involve government or where the government receivable are involved.
The High Court order came on the pleas of the three discoms challenging the Delhi government’s January 2014 order to get the CAG to audit their accounts.
The High Court said on October 30: “The Delhi government, instead of strengthening the DERC, we are constrained to observe, has undertaken a misguided exercise by issuing a direction to the CAG to audit the accounts of the discoms when the report of such audit would not have any sanctity in law for achieving the desired result.
“We are unable to decipher anything, which DERC cannot and which CAG can unearth. DERC is neither found to be helpless nor dependent on the balance sheet filed by the discoms.”
Audit of the discoms under the prevalent legal regime cannot serve the object of bringing down power tariff, “even if were to find that the allegations (of inflating their previous losses) against the discoms to be true”, it had said.