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In what may lead to a fresh round of confrontation with the SP-led government in Uttar Pradesh, Governor Ram Naik has written to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi against denial of permission to CAG to audit Ghaziabad Development Authority.
Naik, who had previously confronted the Akhilesh Yadav government over issues like law and order and appointment of state Lokayukta, in separate letters to the President and the Prime Minister appraised them of UP government denying permission to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to conduct Performance Audit of Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA).
The Governor had previously written to the chief minister seeking details of the public land encroached through the state machinery and also their current market value. Sources said he had first informed the President on August 26 that he had written thrice to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav between May and July this year over GDA denying CAG permission to audit, among other things, its income and expenditure but no action was taken.
Besides speaking to Yadav, Naik in a 10-page letter on July 25 listed out constitutional provision for CAG auditing anybody that receives funds from the Consolidated Fund of India. The authority received funds from the Consolidated Fund of the State which includes additional 2 per cent stamp duty and is expending the same on the directions of the state government for infrastructure projects, development of area, roads and thus fall under audit jurisdiction.
But the state government continued to deny CAG permission to audit on ground that the 2 per cent of stamp duty does not fall within the category of Consolidated Fund of the State and that the Accountant General is not empowered to carry out the audit or bodies or authorities unless authorised by Governor. Naik, sources said, was of the opinion that no section of the CAG Act prevents it from auditing the income and expenditure of the development authorities constituted under the Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973.
He cited June 11, 1985 order of the then Governor empowering the CAG (Accountant General of UP) to audit the income and expenditure of the development authorities whose receipts from the Consolidated Fund of the State exceeds Rs 1 crore. Naik, in the letter to the President, said he had written to the Chief Minister drawing his attention to the relevant provisions of the Constitution of India and various other laws requiring him to issue directions to the officers to cooperate with the CAG audit.
But no such instructions are reported to have been issued by the state government to the concerned officers, Naik wrote, seeking guidance from Mukherjee on the matter. In the September 8 letter to Modi, Naik said he wants to personally meet him and explain the issue since it has constitutional implications.
Sources said Accountant General Vinita Mishra had in May informed the Governor that GDA and UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority had refused performance audit and transaction audit respectively on grounds of seeking legal opinion on the validity of such a scrutiny.