CAG should be given more powers: Justice Suresh
Ahmedabad: Justice Hosbet Suresh, the retired Bombay High Court Judge, has advocated for giving more power to all the constitutional and statutory bodies like CAG and inquiry commissions.
"Statutory bodies like CAG and Commissions should have more than recommendatory powers, their recommendations should be made binding for Governments and these institutions should also have powers to take penal actions against defaulting governments or its departments," said Justice Suresh while addressing media here on Sunday.
He was here today on an invitation from PUCL (People's Union for Civil Liberties), Gujarat, to release a book 'Gujarat CAG report: A public hearing of discussion', a compilation of opinions and suggestions expressed by more than 150 activists during a public hearing held in the month of June, on the state CAG report.
"The way governments are treating CAG reports for past so many years, it has become imperative to give more teeth to these constitutional and statutory bodies," he said.
He also emphasised that the different commissions set up either by state or central governments should submit their report within a set time frame and their recommendations should also be made binding on the governments.
"We have examples of Justice Srikrishna and Justice MS Liberhan commissions. And in Gujarat, Justice Nanavati commission has not submitted its final report even after 10 years of its probe," he said.
He also took a dig at the Modi government on neglecting CAG report, which he termed as a critical organ of the democracy.
"It is very unfortunate that Modi government tabled 2011-12 CAG report on the very last day of the budget session of the Assembly and it made sure that no discussion should take place on it," he said.
He said that people outside Gujarat "have a very wrong impression" that Modi government has done a commendable job with widespread development.
"It is a myth which CAG exposed and hence the government intentionally avoided a debate on it on the floor of the House, which is essential in democracy," he added.
Justice Suresh was part of an independent fact finding committee, under the chairmanship of Justice Krishna Iyer and People's Tribunal on 2002 Gujarat Riots.
"We will be submitting a memorandum to the President with our demand to give more powers to CAG and other constitutional and statutory bodies," said Gautam Thakar, the general secretary, PUCL Gujarat chapter.