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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Petition calls for audit of Jal Board accounts, HC seeks response from Delhi govt, DJB and CAG

The petition said that Section 70 of the Delhi Water Board Act makes it mandatory for DJB to maintain these records in such form as may be prescribed by the government in consultation with CAG

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 24, 2021 10:32:51 pm
File image of a water tap. (Express photo by Jaipal Singh)

The Delhi High Court Tuesday asked the Delhi government, Delhi Jal Board (DJB), and Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to respond to a petition alleging that the DJB since 2015 has failed to maintain proper accounts and prepare an annual statement of accounts including a profit and loss account and balance sheet.

The division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan granted time to authorities for filing of response to the petition by Delhi BJP leader Harish Khurana, and listed the case for hearing on October 4.

Besides seeking a direction for maintaining proper accounts and preparing an annual statement, Khurana, in the petition filed through advocate Samridhi Arora, also prayed for auditing of the accounts of DJB by the CAG within a reasonable time.

Senior Advocate Sanjoy Ghose, representing the DJB, told the court that the petition has been filed by a person with political affiliation and he has made no representation to the DJB about the issue. Advocate Gaurang Kanth, appearing for the CAG, submitted that the records have not been submitted to it since 2015.

Khurana in the petition argued that Section 70 of the Delhi Water Board Act makes it mandatory for DJB to maintain these records in such form as may be prescribed by the government in consultation with CAG. The records have to be annually audited by the CAG, the plea added.

Citing recent RTI responses from DJB, Khurana in the petition told the court that the balance sheet for the year 2015-16 and onwards is under preparation.

“Despite a substantial amount being invested in, or advanced to the respondents by the Government of NCT Delhi, no financial audit of the DJB has been carried out in a period of six years. This omission has hindered the provision for financial discipline, transparency, accountability, and legitimacy which form the pillars of good governance,” he has contended.

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