The Centre for Public Interest Litigation and Common Cause on Wednesday filed a petition in the Delhi High Court, alleging that top Indian power companies were inflating import costs of power equipment. They have asked for an inquiry by a Special Investigation Team into the “over-invoicing running into thousands of crores”.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the petitioners, said the cost of power equipment and fuel was being shown at 400% higher than the actual price. The petitioners alleged power companies were doing this to siphon off money to promoter companies registered in tax havens abroad. The matter has been listed for hearing on September 20.
The Centre for Public Interest Litigation and Common Cause said the over-invoicing was reported by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. They added that the agency found most of these over-invoicing instances were reported from the power sector, and that the impact would be felt by millions of consumers who may have to end up paying higher tariffs.
The DRI is currently investigating a dozen firms, including companies of the Adani Group, Essar Group and Reliance ADAG Group, for alleged over-valuation of Indonesian coal imports and power equipment imports between 2011 and 2015.