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Updated: July 17, 2013 12:44 IST

Challenge CAG appointment in HC, Supreme Court tells Gopalaswami

Legal Correspondent
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CAG Shashi Kant Sharma.
The Hindu CAG Shashi Kant Sharma.

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain two public interest writ petitions challenging the appointment of Shashi Kant Sharma as Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.

A Bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justices Ibrahim Kalifulla and Vikaramajit Sen asked the petitioners to approach the High Court concerned for relief.

In the first petition, the former Chief Election Commissioner, N. Gopalaswami, and eight other eminent citizens, said: “As far as the office of CAG is concerned, the government has followed no system for selection. There are no selection committee, no criteria, no transparency and no call for applications or nominations. The process is entirely arbitrary and opaque, and thus completely violative of rule of law and several judgments of this court. Also, the zone of consideration has been restricted to civil servants, a limitation not found in the Constitution.”

The petitioners said Mr. Sharma’s tenure as Defence Secretary saw the eruption of a scam in purchase of Tatra trucks for the Army. “The appointment of a person with such direct conflict of interest is also against the code of ethics of auditors. An auditor who, for whatsoever reason, cannot be, or is expected not to be, unbiased, cannot be allowed to function as an auditor, more so as India’s constitutional auditor of the public finances.”

In the second petition, advocate M.L. Sharma alleged, “None of the parliamentarians/political parties has been consulted.” Senior counsel Fali Nariman appeared for Mr. Gopalaswami and the others who included Admirals (Retd) R.H. Tahiliani and L. Ramdas, former Chiefs of Naval Staff; B.P. Mathur, former Deputy CAG; and Ramaswamy R. Iyer.

This article has been edited to incorporate the following correction:

The third paragraph of “Challenge CAG appointment in HC, Supreme Court tells Gopalaswami” (July 16, 2013) read: “In the first petition, the former Chief Election Commissioner, N. Gopalaswami, and either other eminent citizens, said: …” It should have been eight other eminent citizens. It was an editing error.

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"....asked the petitioners to approach the High Court concerned for
relief." Can anyone clarify, which High Court is the SC talking
about?

from:  arpan
Posted on: Jul 17, 2013 at 11:20 IST

As the protector of constitution the sc should have considered the petition..selection process of CAG should be transparent

from:  Manas
Posted on: Jul 15, 2013 at 17:17 IST

In a democratic country everything need to be in a transperancy manner,and CAG is also not different from this.so the need of hour is to laid a procedure for that by having an eminent panel with CJI, lokshabha speaker,opposition leader of both house, eminent persons from civilsociety.

from:  Kamran
Posted on: Jul 15, 2013 at 16:42 IST

these are substantial grounds for questioning the appointment by the
petitioners, and when the HC does find the appointment inappropriate the
case will revert back to the SC ...by the time the verdict comes out the
CAG would be ending his tenure

from:  satyender
Posted on: Jul 15, 2013 at 13:43 IST

The sole precept of Indian jurisprudence has come to be the "balance of
convenience".

from:  S. Suchindranath Aiyer
Posted on: Jul 15, 2013 at 13:33 IST

CAG is a constitutional office and our constitutional founders believed as much extent to their successor that they had not feel any necessary to provide a selection procedure to this Post. But the present scenario is totally different, every people involved in the politics and also some of our intelligentia have been thinking the current procedure is totally faulty. they fear about possibility of curruption.. the proposed procedure to select the CAG is also in some sense not feasible which may discourage the people serving in IAAS, though they are not always given in favour while selecting CAG.

from:  BrajabandhuM
Posted on: Jul 15, 2013 at 13:01 IST
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