Pointing out that the avowed aim of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India was to make the executive accountable, CAG Vinod Rai on Friday said his office was looking into the VVIP AgustaWestland chopper contract.

“Our office is auditing the contract,” said Mr. Rai, “I do not know at what stage the auditing has progressed and cannot give an exact time frame…but the report would be placed soon,” he said in an address here on the need for government accountability in building a vibrant democracy.

Accountability in the present age had assumed critical proportions, Mr. Rai said.

The perception among the populace was that the political class sorely lacked elements of ethics and integrity. The myth of a silent majority was being steadily debunked.

“This has been especially proven by urban movements in recent times. Hitherto the perception among the politicos was generally of an apathetic, educated upper and middle class [people] who seldom ventured out to cast their votes. But now, the era of a discerning class of citizens is here to say,” Mr. Rai said, commenting that the minority who had the mandate often behaved like typical bullies.

Noting the force of vertical accountability on the political class, Mr. Rai commended the role of pressure groups like citizen groups and the mass media, especially in cases like the appointment of the CVC, reopening of the Jessica Lal murder case and ensuring justice in the Ruchika Girhotra case.

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