SC agrees to hear PIL challenging appointment of Shashi Kant Sharma as CAG

Shashi Kant SharmaShashi Kant Sharma, who replaced Vinod Rai, has been sworn in as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India by President today.

The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a PIL challenging appointment of Shashi Kant Sharma as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

A Bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra, however, said there is no urgency in taking up the matter during vacation and posted the case for hearing in July.

Sharma was today sworn in as CAG by President Pranab Mukherjee.

The 61-year-old 1976-batch Bihar cadre IAS officer replaced Vinod Rai, who demitted office yesterday after a five-and-a-half year eventful tenure.

Challenging the appointment, advocate M L Sharma, who filed the PIL, said Sharma had in the last 10 years held several sensitive positions in the defence ministry that dealt with significant procurements and appointing him as CAG would mean a conflict of interest.

"He cannot be appointed an auditor to audit his own accounts report, work and performance during his previous tenure. Various multi-billion defence deals, including the Chopper scam, are pending for auditing before the CAG. Therefore, Sharma cannot be appointed as CAG to audit his own deal in any manner," the petition said.

"The government action is mala fide, arbitrary and under concocted scheme to justify their financial manipulation and scheme which are pending before the CAG for auditing. Impugned appointment is liable to be scrutinised by this court in the interest of justice," the petition said.

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