Tuesday January 23, 2018
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Setback for Kejriwal govt, Delhi HC rules against CAG audit of discoms

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New Delhi: In a setback for the Arvind Kejriwal government, the Delhi High Court on Friday allowed the pleas of three city discoms challenging the government’s decision to have their accounts audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw allowed the pleas of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd., BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd. and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd., implying the official auditor of the government cannot audit their accounts.

Meanwhile, Delhi chief minister Kejriwal said his government will file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the high court’s decision and that they were committed to providing cheap electricity to the people of the national capital.

The discoms — Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL), BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd — had challenged the AAP government’s January 7, 2014, decision 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 on Friday, 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 Delhi 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.

(With inputs from agencies)

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President Kovind approves recommendation to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs

In a quick follow to EC's recommendation to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs, President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the disqualification

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20 AAP MLAs stand disqualified after President Ram Nath Kovind approved EC's recommendation. Wikimedia Commons
20 AAP MLAs stand disqualified after President Ram Nath Kovind approved EC's recommendation. Wikimedia Commons
  • President Kovind approved the EC’s recommendation to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs
  • EC had recommended the disqualification on the charges of holding ‘Office of Profit’
  • Union Law and Justice Ministry has issued a notification regarding the disqualification

President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the Election Commission’s recommendation to disqualify 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs in Delhi on charges of holding Office of Profit, an official spokesman of the Rashtrapathi Bhavan said on Sunday.

Following the approval, the Union Law and Justice Ministry issued a notification saying that the President has held that the 20 members of Delhi Legislative Assembly stand disqualified under 15 (1) (a) of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) act.

ALSO READ: EC recommends disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs

These 20 MLAs are Alka Lamba, Adarsh Shastri, Sanjeev Jha, Rajesh Gupta, Kailash Gehlot, Vijendra Garg, Praveen Kumar, Sharad Kumar, Madan Lal Khufiya, Shiv Charan Goyal, Sarita Singh, Naresh Yadav, Rajesh Rishi, Anil Kumar, Som Dutt, Avtar Singh, Sukhvir Singh Dala, Manoj Kumar, Nitin Tyagi and Jarnail Singh.

Disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs comes as a big blow for Arvind Kejriwal. Wikimedia commons
Disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs comes as a big blow for Arvind Kejriwal. Wikimedia commons

The Election Commission on Friday recommended disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries.

It gave its opinion to the President on a complaint by advocate Prashant Patel, a member of the Hindu Legal Cell, in June 2015, who petitioned then President Pranab Mukherjee alleging illegality in the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries.

ALSO READ: Can India achieve good governance without intra-party democracy?

The application by Patel said 21 AAP MLAs, including Jarnail Singh (Rajouri Garden) who resigned to contest the Punjab Assembly polls last year, were appointed Parliamentary Secretaries to Ministers in the Delhi government in violation of the Constitution. (IANS)