CAG exit conference cannot be deferred: HC
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw directed BSES Yamuna and BSES Rajdhani to participate in the exit conference, to be held from October 12 to 14, with whatever information is available with them.
The court also directed the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to consider in the conference the issues raised by the two Reliance Infra-backed <g data-gr-id="38">discoms</g> in their application seeking postponement and stay of the discussion.
An ‘exit conference’ is a discussion between parties and the CAG before the official auditor <g data-gr-id="33">finalises</g> its draft report.
The court also directed the <g data-gr-id="40">discoms</g> to file their response to the draft report of CAG by October 8 and said the final outcome of the conference should be made known to it on next date of hearing on October 15.
“You participate in the Exit Conference and see what they (CAG) provide to you, including what you have raised in your application. If you still feel aggrieved, your application is pending before us, we will hear it,” the bench said.
The two <g data-gr-id="39">discoms</g> had sought postponement and stay of the conference till they were provided with the detailed breakup of the alleged loss of over Rs 2,200 crore computed against them by CAG and given a reasonable time to respond to it.
In its draft audit report, CAG had reportedly said BSES Yamuna, BSES <g data-gr-id="52">Rajdhani</g> and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd had inflated their previously-incurred losses.
The report is also stated to have claimed that the <g data-gr-id="43">discoms</g> manipulated consumer figures, bought costly power, inflated costs and suppressed revenue, favouring their group companies.
The <g data-gr-id="47">discoms</g> had contended in their application that they will not be able to respond to the draft report’s findings during the exit conference if they are not given a break-up of the alleged loss computed against them.
At the start of the hearing, the court asked CAG why the conference cannot be postponed by another two weeks from its scheduled date and be held in November.
CAG, while opposing the plea of the <g data-gr-id="37">discoms</g>, told the court that even after the exit conference, three more steps have to be undertaken before a final report is formulated.
It said the formulation of the final report would take another four-five weeks from the exit conference and contended that there was no need to postpone or injunct the process at this stage.
The <g data-gr-id="45">discoms</g>’ applications were moved in the main petition filed by them along with Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd, against AAP government’s decision to get their accounts audited by the CAG, in which the high court had reserved its judgment on March 4.