India court says government can audit telecoms firms

A man speaks on a mobile phone at a marketplace in New Delhi June 18, 2013 Several telecoms firms are being investigated in connection with the alleged mis-selling of telecoms licences

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The Delhi High Court has ruled that government auditors can audit the accounts of private telecoms firms.

The telecoms companies had argued that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) could not investigate private entities.

The CAG is investigating several firms in connection with the alleged mis-selling of telecoms licences.

The scandal has dented the image of the government and cost the country about $40bn (£24.5bn), says the CAG.

In 2010, the auditors had demanded to see the revenue details of telecoms companies to assess whether they had under-reported their revenues.

The auditors said since the firms were in a revenue sharing arrangement with the government, they could be audited by the state.

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