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CAG gets nods to probe both discoms and telcos

Not the least, the ‘audit issue’ seems to be gaining more momentum after lieutenant-governor Najeeb Jung, too, on Monday stressed that if the power distribution companies in Delhi did not cooperate in auditing, then their licences would be duly cancelled. However, he did not say anything on the telecom companies.

The L-G, while taking a strict stand over the issue, said, ‘The CAG will audit the accounts of these private companies to ascertain their financial position. These firms must cooperate with them otherwise their licences will be cancelled.’

While addressing the Assembly, Jung said, ‘A CAG audit of these power distribution companies will be done since their inception and government is willing to consider cancellation of the licences if they will found not co-operating with the CAG officials.’ The power distribution in Delhi was privatised on 1 July 2002.

 The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi, soon after coming to power, had ordered a CAG audit of the finances of the discoms – BSES Yamuna Power ltd, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and TATA Power distributions Ltd. All these companies have strongly opposed the CAG scrutiny of their accounts and in December 2011 they had knocked the court’s door to escape CAG audits. Since then the matter had been stayed.

Meanwhile, the Delhi high court on Monday has upheld the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal’s (TDSAT) decision and said that the CAG can audit the accounts of private telecom operators under the relevant provisions of the law. A bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and V Kameswar Rao rejected the arguments of private telecom companies and gave green signal to CAG to conduct audit of the private telecom companies under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act. The court, however, reminded the CAG to confine its auditing to ‘receipts’ of telecom firms only.
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