The Centre on Thursday told the Delhi high court that comptroller and auditor general of India (CAG) Shashi Kant Sharma has an "unblemished record" as a civil servant and his appointment to the post has been made as per the practice being adopted in past.
"He (CAG) is having an unblemished service record as a civil servant," attorney general GE Vahanvati, appearing for the Centre, told a bench of acting Chief Justice BD Ahmed and justice Vibhu Bakhru.
The law officer objected to the submission of Prashant Bhushan, appearing for former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami and eight other eminent citizens, that the present CAG has the "greatest degree" of conflict of interest in the country as he had been an "integral" part of defence deals during 2003 to 2013 which could be the subject matter of scrutiny in future by the top auditing body.
The bench, which has so far not issued a notice, is hearing two separate PILs filed by the former CEC and others and advocate ML Sharma on the issue.
The petitions have sought quashing of the appointment of the CAG and a direction to the Centre to frame guidelines for appointment of the top auditing officer of the country.
"Many scams and waste of public money would not have come to light without a robust CAG at the helm of affairs," Bhushan said adding "this is the most important office under the constitution."
"The present CAG suffers from the bias as he has the greatest degree of conflict of interest because of the fact that he has been integrally associated with almost all the defence procurement deals during 2003 to 2013. Moreover, he has no expertise in the field of accounting," he said.
The court has fixed the matter for hearing on the admissibility of the pleas on August 29 when Vahanvati would put forth arguments.