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HC decision only a temporary setback, will move SC: Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi :  The AAP government will move the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court order today quashing its decision to get the accounts of three private power distribution companies audited by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said that the HC order is a “temporary setback” for the people of the national capital and he is “committed” to provide cheap electricity to people.

“Delhi HC order is a temporary setback for the people of Delhi. Delhi government will soon file an appeal in SC.

“I am committed to providing cheap electricity to people of Delhi. Our fight will continue (sic),” Kejriwal said in a series of his tweets.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court quashed the AAP government’s decision to get the accounts of three private power distribution companies audited by the CAG.

“We have allowed the petitions of the discoms,” a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw said while clarifying that the entire audit process carries out so far as well as the draft report of the CAG would be “non-est” and would have no bearing any more.

A senior government official said that on April 17, 2014, Supreme Court had made it clear that wherever public money or resources are involved, CAG audit is “required”.

CAG is a constitutional institution under Art 148 of the Constitution of India. Once it accepts reference for an audit, it must be respected, the official said.

The discoms — Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL), BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd — had challenged the AAP government’s decision on January 7, 2014, of ordering a CAG audit of their accounts.

The discoms had also challenged an order of a single judge of the High Court, who had refused to stall the CAG audit.

The single judge, in his January 24, 2014 order, had also asked the discoms to “fully cooperate with CAG in the audit process”.

While allowing the discoms’ pleas today, the court dismissed a PIL filed by NGO United RWAs Joint Action (URJA) which had sought an audit of the discoms’ accounts by CAG.

Earlier, the city government had told the court that a CAG audit of the private discoms here was necessary as these companies discharged “public function”.

The discoms are a 51:49 per cent joint venture between the private companies and the Delhi government.

The government had said it was not trying to stop their (discoms) 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.

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