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Making efforts to ensure audit of balance sheets in interest of transparency: DJB to HC

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) Monday told the Delhi High Court that it was making every effort to ensure that all final statements and balance sheets are duly prepared and audited in the interest of transparency and compliance with the law.

The DJB, while responding to a plea seeking direction to Comptroller and Auditor General to audit the accounts of DJB whose financial audit has allegedly not been carried out for last six years, termed the petition to be politically motivated and said the allegations levelled are false, frivolous and vexatious.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has also told the high court that there is no negligence on its part as accounts were not provided for auditing.

The CAG has said that it made several correspondences for seeking accounts for audit from DJB and the Delhi government but as accounts were not made available for audit, the audit could not be accomplished.

On making available the accounts of DJB, the answering respondent undertakes to conclude the audit of Delhi Jal Board as expeditiously as possible, it said.

DJB and CAG were responding to the petition by Delhi BJP leader Harish Khurana, seeking direction to DJB to maintain proper accounts and other relevant records and prepare an annual statement of the profit and loss with proper balance sheets from 2015 onwards as prescribed under the law and to direct CAG to conduct an audit of the board.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh listed the matter for further hearing on November 29.

In its reply to the petition, DJB said all its accounts are being maintained presently on a double-entry system of book-keeping and all accounts are regularly maintained in accordance with the provisions of the Delhi Water Board Act and other relevant laws.

Respondent no. 2 (DJB) is making every effort despite various constraints to ensure that all accounts are expeditiously audited by Respondent no. 3 (CAG), it said.

It added that it would be incorrect to state that no accounts were maintained or no audits were conducted in the past six years and that the petition was filed with oblique motives and was not maintainable and liable to be dismissed with costs.

The petition, through advocate Samridhi Arora, said that in response to the RTIs of May 11, May 24, and July 22 this year, it has been clearly stated that the copy of the balance sheet for the year 2015-16 and onward is under preparation.

The plea said since the authorities have failed to perform the functions laid down under the law, the petitioner was approaching the court with the petition.

It is mandatory to maintain financial accounts and conduct an annual audit of the accounts, in order to ascertain effective functioning of the state and local bodies. Maintaining financial accounts and conducting an annual audit of the accounts, help to secure accountability, transparency of the state and local bodies functioning towards the general public, the plea said.

Source : PTI

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