Press Esc to close
Friday 31 October 2014
News updated at 10:34 PM IST
Weather
Max: 28.4°C
Min : 18°C
In Bangalore
Partially cloudy

Defence secretary made CAG; appointment raises questions

New Delhi, May 21, 2013, DHNS;
 Shashi Kant Sharma / Image courtesy PIB

Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma was on Tuesday appointed Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. He takes over from Vinod Rai, who retires on Wednesday.

Sharma, a 1976 batch Bihar cadre officer and an old hand in the Defence Ministry, will assume charge on May 23. R K Mathur, Secretary, Defence Production, is likely to become the new defence secretary.

Even before Sharma could take over, there were whispers in the corridors of power whether he would be able to maintain the standards set by Rai, who gave countless sleepless nights to the United Progressive Alliance  government by his audit reports on massive financial irregularities seen during Commonwealth Games, allocation of 2G spectrum for telecommunication operators and allotment of coal blocks.


Launching an attack on Sharma, Aam Aadmi Party leader and Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan questioned the legality of the appointment because of the “conflict of interests” as Sharma had served the Defence Ministry for over 10 years in key posts and “a major part of CAG’s job is to audit defence purchases.”

At a press conference, Bhushan said Sharma’s appointment was illegal and liable to be struck down for the conflict of interest entailed in his assignment. “Sharma worked in the Defence Ministry for 10 years when all important defence acquisitions were made. Such a long period for a bureaucrat in the same ministry is unusual. The UPA even granted him an extension after retirement. This indicates his proximity to UPA bosses.”

 Sharma held the posts of joint secretary, additional secretary, director-general (acquisition) and defence secretary. During his tenure, defence budget swelled from around Rs 25,000 crore to more than Rs 2 lakh crore as India emerged as one of the most lucrative markets for military business.

Bhushan said the government decided to appoint “pliable” people to such posts which function as constitutional watchdogs like the Election Commission, Central Vigilance Commission and the Central Information Commission.

Pradip Kumar, Sharma's predecessor in the Defence Ministry, has been appointed the CVC by the UPA government.

Bhushan alleged the CAG “is appointed” not in a transparent and arbitrary manner as “there is no formal” system—no selection committee and no eligibility criteria. The appointment of a person as the CAG through such an arbitrary and non-transparent process compromises the principle of “institutional integrity which the Supreme Court had laid down while quashing the appointment of the previous CVC who was appointed in similar circumstances.”

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A view of the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on the occasion of his birth anniversary...

A view of the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on the occasion of his birth anniversary...

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi paying tribute to former Prime Minister...

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi paying tribute to former Prime Minister...

Artists perform during a function on the occasion of birth anniversary of Sardar...

Artists perform during a function on the occasion of birth anniversary of Sardar...

Members of Thamizhar Vazhvurimai Koottamaippu during a protest against Sri Lankan court's...

Members of Thamizhar Vazhvurimai Koottamaippu during a protest against Sri Lankan court's...

Indian cricket players during their practice session at barabati stadium in Cuttack...

Indian cricket players during their practice session at barabati stadium in Cuttack...

Delhi Police band performs at India Gate near Amar Jawan Jyoti to salute Sardar...

Delhi Police band performs at India Gate near Amar Jawan Jyoti to salute Sardar...

Army soldiers patrolling after an IED was recovered in a gas cylinder near the Circuit House...

Army soldiers patrolling after an IED was recovered in a gas cylinder near the Circuit House...

Tourist take pictures from a boat as people bath in the Ganges river in Varanasi...

Tourist take pictures from a boat as people bath in the Ganges river in Varanasi...

Devendra Fadnavis being sworn-in as the new Maharashtra Chief Minister by Governor...

Devendra Fadnavis being sworn-in as the new Maharashtra Chief Minister by Governor...

A camel herder sits as he feeds his camels at the annual cattle fair in Pushkar, in the Rajasthan...

A camel herder sits as he feeds his camels at the annual cattle fair in Pushkar, in the Rajasthan...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523