Short essay on the Independence of the Comptroller and Auditor-General

ADVERTISEMENTS:

Under Article 148, the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India is to be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal, just as a Judge of the Supreme Court is appointed. He can be removed from office only in like manner and on the like grounds as a Judge of the Supreme Court.

Every person appointed to be the Comptroller and Auditor-General, before he enters upon his office, has to make and subscribe before the President an oath or affirmation in a form prescribed for the purpose. His salary and other conditions of service may be determined by Parliament.

But once appointed, neither his salary nor his rights in respect of leave of absence, pension or age of retirement can be varied to his disadvantage. At present, the Comptroller and Auditor-General receive a salary of Rs. 30,000 per month, the same salary as that of a Judge of the Supreme Court.

ADVERTISEMENTS:

After retirement or resignation from office, he is not eligible for any office of profit under the Government of India or any State Government. The administrative expense of the office of the Comptroller and Auditor-General including the salaries, etc., of the office staff, are charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India.

It is also provided that the conditions of service of persons serving in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department and the administrative powers of the Comptroller and Auditor-General will be prescribed by rules made by the President after consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor-General.

Such rules, however, are subject to the provisions of the Constitution as well as any law made by Parliament in this behalf.

A comparison of these provisions with the corresponding provisions dealing with the Judges of the Supreme Court will show that they are substantially the same in scope, and that the office of the comptroller and Auditor-General, as far as its independence is concerned, has been modeled on the Supreme Court.

ADVERTISEMENTS:

As such, the Comptroller and Auditor-General can function, in the discharge of his responsibilities, as an authority established under the Constitution, whose independence is safeguarded by the express provisions of the Constitution.

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