Probe ordered to find out if Delhi represented in High Court
The counsels representing Delhi government’s petition in the Delhi high court seeking its direction to carry out CAG audit of discoms will face inquiry on their presentation on the case. Delhi power minister Satyendar Jain on Monday ordered an inquiry to ascertain the representation by Delhi administration on the case.
Inquiry will be conducted by Rahul Mehra, a senior Standing Counsel of the Delhi government in High Court, a senior Delhi government official said. “The report of the inquiry will be submitted before the government within one week,” the official said.
While admitting the plea of power discoms challenging the audit of their books by the government auditor, the Delhi high court had noted that the city government’s counsels were not present in the previous hearings of the case.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government said it was effectively represented by senior counsel Rajiv Dhawan in the two hearings since February 14 this year—when it returned to power after winning the Assembly polls.
It may be recalled that during its 49-day government in 2014, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had ordered the CAG audit of power discoms. Assuming power in second term on February 2015, the Kejriwal government appointed Rajeev Dhawan, senior advocate to represent the case before the court.
The move came a couple of days after the Delhi high court had cancelled the AAP government’s decision to get the accounts of three private power distribution companies audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
A Bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Indlaw in its observation had also said: “Neither the senior counsel who addressed arguments for the Delhi government nor any of the counsels briefing him were present on any of the earlier dates of hearing, when the other counsels had addressed arguments.”
In its order of October 30 the Bench had said: “We have allowed the petitions of the discoms,” clarifying that “the entire audit process carried out so far as well as the draft report of the CAG would be ‘non-est’ and would have no bearing anymore.”
Jain said: “Observations of the Delhi HC has raised serious questions on whether the case was represented properly during the one year of President’s rule from February 15, 2014, to February 13, 2015.”