New Delhi, Jan 25: The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to examine a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the procedure for the appointment of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
A bench, headed over by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud, issued notice and called for the response of the Union Ministries of Law and Justice and Finance in the matter.
The PIL seeks directions from the apex court to ensure a fair, transparent, and independent appointment process for the CAG as outlined in Article 148 of the Constitution.
"The Constitution mandates the President of India to appoint the CAG under his hand and seal. Although the selection method is not specified, it must adhere to constitutional, non-arbitrary principles," said the plea filed through advocate Mudit Gupta.
It said that the current procedure involves the Cabinet Secretariat shortlisting names "without established criteria" for the Prime Minister's consideration, from which the Prime Minister sends one name to the President.
"However, this process, where the President approves a single name proposed by the Prime Minister, contradicts the Constitution's intent for the CAG's independence....The current procedure for appointment of CAG appears to lack independence, raising concerns about absolute control and allegiance to the Executive," the PIL added.
Further, it said that the founding fathers of the Constitution underscored the paramount importance of the CAG's independence from both the executive and the legislature, and their intent was to establish the CAG as a vigilant overseer, preventing any unauthorised government spending.
The Comptroller and Auditor General serves as a constitutional auditor, overseeing government expenditures and monitoring revenue collection.