2G fallout: Law ministry says CAG can't question govt
The ministry of law and justice has said that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) does not have powers to challenge policy decisions taken by the government. Manoj Gairola reports.india Updated: Aug 23, 2010 22:34 IST
The ministry of law and justice has said that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) does not have powers to challenge policy decisions taken by the government.
Minister for Communications and information technology A. Raja had sought the law ministry's opinion when the department of telecommunications (DoT) found that the CAG had challenged some of its policy decisions in its "Draft Audit report on the issue of licence and allocation of 2G spectrum".
DoT maintains that issuing licences and 2G spectrum to new telecom operators on a first-come-first-served basis was a policy decision.
Citing National Telecom Policy 99 (NTP 99) and the Five Year Plan, DoT has pointed out that the government treats telecom as infrastructure sector.
The law ministry has opined that the CAG Act, 1971, does not provide the CAG powers to "question the wisdom of the policy/law makers as policy decisions may involve trial and error theory."
"CVC, CAG and other watchdogs no doubt play a significant role in any democracy but they being constitutional/statutory functionaries cannot exceed the role assigned to them under constitution/Law. Even the courts refrain to question wisdom of government in policy matters the policy decision is patently arbitrary, discriminatory or mala fide."