A bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and V Kameswar Rao permitted the top accounting body to conduct audit of private telecom companies under Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act.

It rejected the separate petitions of Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers (AUSPI) and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) filed against the decision of Telecom tribunal TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal) on the issue in 2010.

The High Court had earlier in November 2013 reserved its order after conducting marathon hearings on the issue where it took on record submissions of the Centre, CAG and the petitioners COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) and AUSPI.

Both the associations had argued, in essence, that CAG can't audit private companies.

To achieve the purpose of audit, the operators had pointed out that they have already put in place mechanism of special audit as envisaged in the license agreement between department of telecom and the companies.

The firms had claimed they maintain accounts in line with the TRAI rules and can't be forced to furnish financials to CAG.

The CAG had vigorously staked its claim to audit the accounts and sought revenue sharing details from the telecom companies.

(Agencies)

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