Power tariffs of pvt discoms escape CAG scrutiny

Power tariff, in common parlance, has everything to do with public or retail consumers and anything impacting that will generally be construed as relating to public interest. But when the Delhi high court, on October 30, dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) by resident welfare associations while upholding the petition of power distribution companies (discoms), against an audit by theComptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). It said such an audit “for determination of tariff (rate) is not expedient in public interest”.

In 2014, the Supreme Court in Association of Unified Tele Services Providers versus Union of India case upheld a Delhi high court verdict allowing the CAG to audit private companies. The court established the CAG’s right to audit private companies under Articles 148 and 149 of the Constitution and Section 16 of the Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service Act, 1971, that govern the CAG’s functioning.

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