New Delhi: The city government today told the Delhi High Court that a CAG audit of the private discoms here is necessary as these companies discharge a “public function”. The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw by senior advocate Rajiv Dhavan, appearing for the Delhi government, who said, “Where there is a natural resource involved, CAG audit is necessary.” “This issue (case) is nothing less than a CAG audit,” he said, adding, “It is necessary to clear the air over the alleged anomalies and manipulation of their (discoms) accounts affecting power tariff in the capital.”
“Discoms are involved in distribution of power which is a public function and, hence falls under the ambit of CAG audit,” he contended. Dhavan submitted that the decision to conduct CAG audit of the three discoms — Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group firms– BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd– was taken by the Cabinet in 2011.
Earlier, he had contended that the decision to audit was taken in 2011, much before Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came to power. During the day’s hearing, he said the discoms have only adopted the argument of lack of jurisdiction and not mentioned what prejudice would be caused to them by a CAG audit. “If CAG does not have the power, then who does? Their (discoms) only opposition against CAG audit is jurisdiction,” he argued.
Dhavan said the government was not trying to stop their functioning or interfere in it but was only trying to bring them under public audit, as 49 per cent stake in the discoms was held by the Delhi government which has also infused capital in these companies.
He also alleged that the discoms have not paid the power producers from whom they purchase electricity to distribute in the national capital and argued that these were “public authority performing public functions”. The arguments, which remained inconclusive, will resume tomorrow.