The Delhi High Court on Friday issued a notice and sought a written response from the AAP government and the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on a plea filed by Reliance Group companies BSES Yamuna power and BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd.
The discoms sought to restrain the government from sharing the “purported” draft audit report (DAR) of the CAG or taking any action against them on the basis of the draft report, which allegedly indicted the discoms for inflating losses.
The bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw have issued a notice and taken note of the statement made by the Delhi government and the CAG — that no action will be taken on the draft report.
The bench also hinted that it was likely to pass its final orders on the main plea filed by the discoms, challenging the authority of the CAG to audit the firms, by next month. In their plea, the discoms have alleged that the CAG had “illegally” shared the draft audit report with the Delhi government and other third parties, and had “breached the terms of the interim order” issued by the high court which had barred the CAG from giving a final report without the court’s permission.
The discoms have also claimed that the “sharing” of the report was in “breach of duty of confidentiality of the audit papers.” The discoms have claimed that the “defamatory” articles published in various newspapers on the basis of the “leaked” report mentioned a “212-page draft audit report” which has not been shared with the companies. The matter will now be taken up on September 11.
Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for the Delhi government, informed the court that a “draft report” had been given to the government to seek the comments of various departments and the discoms. “We cannot take any action on the draft report,” said Krishnan.
CAG counsel Rajeev Yadav told the court that the auditor had only forwarded the report to the government to seek its comments. He added that the government would, in turn, forward the portions of the report that pertains to them, to the three discoms, to get their comments.
Yadav also placed before the court a letter sent to the Delhi government along with the report, in which CAG had sought that confidentiality of the document be maintained as the matter pertaining to audit of discoms was sub-judice.
The discoms have sought court orders for the CAG to “publish a declaration” that the DAR is “only a draft report” and restrain the CAG from sharing any other reports with third parties. The plea has also asked for the CAG to “recall all copies of the purported DAR” and directions to the government, restraining it from sharing “any and all reports”from the CAG.
The CAG, in its draft report, has allegedly said that BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL), BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd (BRPL), and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) had inflated their previously-incurred losses.