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HC refuses to stay govt’s order of CAG audit of discoms

In a jolt to three private discoms, the Delhi High Court on Friday refused to stay the city government’s decision asking the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India to audit their accounts.

The court also asked BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd, BSES Yamuna Power Ltd of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd to cooperate with CAG in auditing and asked the top auditor not to submit its report till it hears the discoms’ petitions on 19 March.

 ‘This court is of the view that these matters require detailed hearing. Issue notice.... However, the prayer for the stay on the audit/impugned order (of Delhi government) is declined. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India shall not submit the report (to the government) till 19 March, next date of hearing,’ Justice Manmohan said. Discoms had moved the court against the 7 January decision of AAP-led government ordering CAG audit. During the hearing, Prashant Bhushan opposed the plea of the discoms that CAG was not empowered to audit them and rather sought transfer of the pleas to a division bench which is hearing a PIL on the same issue. Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the Tata firm, said the CAG Act provides for ‘safeguard’ and deals with ‘body and authorities’, besides PSUs, which can be subjected to an audit by CAG and private firms cannot be audited by the auditor.
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