Delhi HC agrees to hear PILs challenging appointment of CAG

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on July 24, 2013

The Delhi High Court today agreed to hear two separate PILs challenging the appointment of Shashi Kant Sharma as Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) and asked the Centre to file its response by August 8.

“Let them file an affidavit. As the matter requires hearing, put up on August 8,” a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice B. D. Ahmed said.

The bench was hearing two separate petitions filed by nine eminent persons, including former Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami and advocate M. L. Sharma on the issue.

The PILs allege that the Union of India has arbitrarily appointed the CAG, keeping aside all established practices provided by the Supreme Court in its judgement relating to the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner P. J. Thomas and the appointment made in the Punjab Public Service Commission.

“This person (Shashi Kant Sharma) has got the highest degree of conflict of interest than anybody else in the country, as he happens to be the key person in all the defence procurements from 2003 till the date of his appointment as CAG,” advocate Prashant Bhushan, who is appearing for the petitioners, contended.

He also said defence procurement deals are usually the subject matter of auditing by the highest accounting body and, moreover, CBI has also registered a case in relation to one such defence deal undertaken during Sharma’s tenure as Defence Secretary.

The court, which did not issue notice today on the PILs, however, agreed to hear them and sought a response from the Centre.

The petitioners also included former Chiefs of Naval Staff Admiral R. H. Tahiliani and L. Ramdas, former Deputy CAG B. P. Mathur, Kamal Kant Jaswal, Ramaswamy R. Iyer, E. A. S. Sarma, all former Secretaries of various Government Ministries, former Indian Audits and Accounts Service officer S. Krishnan and former IAS officer M. G. Devasahayam.

Published on July 24, 2013
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