The Capital’s three power distribution companies — BSES Rajdhani, BSES Yamuna and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited — on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court challenging the Arvind Kejriwal Government’s decision to get their accounts audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
The companies challenged the Government’s decision to get their accounts audited from 2002 when the task of power distribution in the Capital was transferred to them by taking it away from the Delhi Vidyut Board by the then Sheila Dikshit Government to check power thefts and transmission losses.
“Beyond the jurisdiction of CAG”
The petitioners submitted that they were beyond the jurisdiction of CAG, adding that they were ready to get their accounts scrutinised in any manner under the law applicable to them.
They further submitted that the CAG-empanelled auditors had been auditing their accounts for the past 10 years. And even the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) had done its special audit several times under provisions of the Electricity Act 2003.
These power distribution companies are joint ventures, with the government having 49 per cent stake in each and 51 per cent with them.
They claimed that they had a strong and transparent system of auditing and their accounts were audited both by unimpeachable external and internal auditors.
Their accounts were certified by their Board of Directors which had Delhi Chief Secretary, Finance Secretary and Power Secretary as its members, the petitioners submitted.
After having been certified by the Board of Directors, the audited accounts are submitted to DERC for prudence check. Noted audit companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers and CRISIL helped DERC in this task, the petitioners claimed.
“85 per cent of expenses already being audited”
They further submitted that 85 per cent of their expenses were already being audited by CAG.
They added that their total spending on purchasing power from public sector power companies were also being audited by the federal auditor at rates fixed by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission and DERC. The petitions are likely to come up for hearing in a couple of days.
"Discoms not cooperating"
The power distribution companies have not been cooperating with the Comptroller and Auditor General in auditing of their accounts as directed by the Delhi Government.
According to senior CAG official, audit of these companies had not started yet as they have refused to show books of accounts when their officials reached their offices to start work.
“The audit has not yet started. We went to the private discoms’ offices on Monday, but they refused to show us their accounts and books. The companies have refused to cooperate with us,” said the official.
The CAG had informed the Delhi Government about the “non-cooperation” by the discoms, the official said.
The CAG may ask the Delhi Government to direct the discoms to share their accounts with it.
“The audit of the discoms is not our initiative, but it was requested by the Delhi Government. The Government has to make the accounts available to us. We have brought the Government in the loop about the refusal of these companies to cooperate with us,” the officials added.
Meanwhile, a Power Department official of the State government said it will continue to push for auditing of the discoms by CAG.