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Tuesday, September 16, 2014  

Brazenness of government in decision making appalling: CAG
GURGAON Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai, whose reports on irregularities in coal block allocations and 2G telecom spectrum had created a political storm, on Wednesday deprecated the “brazenness” with which the decisions were being taken, calling it “appalling”.

“The brazenness with which decisions were being taken is actually appalling”, he said speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meet. The CAG, however, noted that with the Right to Information (RTI) act administrative and political executive have become conscious that they “will have to be answerable.Each one of us will be held accountable, we are conscious of that,” he said adding that today everything is in the public domain.

Reacting to his remarks, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari hit back at the CAG saying if he talked about brazennes in decision-making, then questions could be raised about the time when he was in the government. “If he talks about brazenness in decision-making and if it refers to the time-period of this particular government, I think it would be worth his while to recall that he was part of the same government from 2004 to 2008. And I guess, when he talks about brazenness, that paradigm equally applies across the board to everyone who was part of the government,” Tewari said.

The CAG also sought constitutional status for agencies like Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to make them effective instruments for fighting corruption.

“If you really want some of these institutions (like CBI and CVC) to deliver, you must take a risk and take courage to make them Constitutional,” he said. The CBI and CVC are not independent authorities and that was why people write about them as “handmade of government”, he said, adding “if Lokpal is expected to function with autonomy and total independence you will have to guarantee a constitutional mandate”.

Rai said that as far as CBI is concerned, “it is not independent of executive (and) that’s why very often everybody writes that CBI has become handmade of government in power. “Look at CVC, it is an another body much feared  but still a statutory body. It is not a constitutional body,” he added.

Agencies
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