Delhi High Court seeks response from Delhi Jal Board on BJP leader's plea for audit of accounts
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and the Delhi government on a plea seeking proper financial audit of DJB's accounts [Harish Khurana vs. Govt. of NCT of Delhi].
The plea filed by BJP leader Harish Khurana sought preparation of annual statements of DJB from 2015-21 complete with balance sheets.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh sought responses from the DJB, Controller and Auditor General (CAG) and the Delhi government.
"We are issuing notice. The Delhi Jal Board and the Delhi government are directed to file their replies. The matter will be heard on October 4," the Court said.
Advocate Samridhi Arora, appearing on behalf of Khurana, submitted that the petitioner was seeking a direction for proper maintenance of accounts and preparation of annual statements along with balance-sheets of the Delhi Jal Board from the year 2015 till date.
In addition to this, a direction from the CAG was also sought in order to audit the Board's accounts within a reasonable time.
Advocate Sanjoy Ghose, on behalf of the Delhi Jal Board, contended that the present petition was filed with ulterior, political motives and added that the concerned auditing process was already going on.
However, advocate Gaurang Kanth on behalf of the CAG submitted, that "no records have been given to us since 2015 which means that no auditing is currently ongoing."
Taking cognizance of the conflicting statements coming from the respondents, the Court issued notice and directed the parties to file their replies before next hearing which will be on October 4.
The plea has alleged that DJB along with the CAG had failed to carry out the essential functions of financial auditing as laid down in Delhi Water Board Act, CAG Act,1971 and the Constitution of India.
It also stated that provisions in the above statutes make it mandatory for financial accounts to be maintained and annual audits to be conducted in order to ensure accountability and transparency with respect to the taxpayers money.
"Present petition is seeking a writ, order or direction to maintain proper accounts and other relevant records and prepare an annual statement of accounts including the Profit and Loss account and the balance sheet , as prescribed under section 70 , The Delhi Water Board Act, 1998," the petition stated.