Comptroller‌ ‌And‌ ‌Auditor‌ ‌General‌ ‌(CAG);‌ ‌A‌ ‌Pillar‌ ‌Of‌ ‌Justice‌ ‌Against‌ ‌ Corruption‌

Nov 19, 2020


The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India is an authority, established by Article 148 of the Constitution of India, which audits all receipts and expenditure of the Government of India and the state governments, including those of bodies and authorities substantially financed by the government. The CAG is also the external auditor of Government-owned corporations and conducts a supplementary audit of government companies, that is, any non-banking company in which the Union Government has an equity share of at least 51 per cent or subsidiary companies of existing government companies. The reports of the CAG are laid in Parliament and taken into consideration by the Public Accounts Committees (PACs) and Committees on Public Undertakings (COPUs), which are special committees in the Parliament of India and the state legislatures. The CAG acts as the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department, the affairs of which are managed by officers of Indian Audit and Accounts Service, 

The CAG is mentioned in the Constitution of India under Article 148 – 151.

The CAG is ranked 9th and enjoys the same status as a judge of the Supreme Court of India in Indian order of precedence. 

Roles of CAG 

The CAG plays a double role; firstly it checks the extent of the application by the government servant, of rules and regulations issued on behalf of the administration; secondly, it ensures, on behalf of the legislature, that the action of the government is in accordance with the requirements of the legislature.

The CAG is granted the right to conduct a supplementary audit for the government commercial companies. However, the chartered Accountant is authorized and required to certify the annual report of the government companies. 

  • The auditors ( statutory) of the CAG office conduct the audit for public sectors undertaking. The CAG may issue comments upon the audit report of the statutory auditors. 
  •  The CAG is the government’s financial watchdog. 
  •  The IAAS audits the accounts of the state and central government and union territory in India. 
  • To prescribe, with the approval of the President of India, the form in which the accounts of union or state are to be kept. 
  •  To report the president of India or governor of the states or union territory on the accounts of the country or states or union territory. 
  • To perform such duties and exercise such powers in relations to accounts of Union or States or any other body, as prescribed by any law made by Parliament.

Prominent Audit Reports


2G Spectrum allocation

A CAG report on the issue of Licenses and Allocation of 2G Spectrum[30] brought about an immense contention. The report assessed that there was a hypothetical loss of ₹1,766 billion (US$25 billion) by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. In a chargesheet documented on 2 April 2011 by the exploring office Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the office pegged the misfortune at ₹310 billion (US$4.3 billion) 


Income misfortune count was additionally settled on 3 August 2012 when as indicated by the headings of the Supreme Court, Govt of India reconsidered the holding cost for the 2G range to ₹140 billion (US$2.0 billion). 

Notwithstanding, the unique court in New Delhi absolved all blamed in the 2G range case including prime charged A Raja and Kanimozhi on 21 December 2017, the decision depended on the way that CBI couldn't discover any proof against the denounced in those seven years. 

Coal mine allocation

A 2012 CAG report on coal mine allocation received massive media and political reaction as well as public outrage. During the 2012 monsoon session of the Parliament, the BJP protested the government's handling of the issue demanding the resignation of the prime minister and refused to have a debate in the Parliament. The deadlock resulted in Parliament functioning only seven of the twenty days of the session. 

While the initial CAG report suggested that coal blocks could have been allocated more efficiently, resulting in more revenue to the government, at no point did it suggest that corruption was involved in the allocation of coal. Throughout 2012, however, the question of corruption came to dominate the discussion. In response to a complaint by the BJP, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) directed the CBI to investigate the matter. The CBI named a dozen Indian firms in an FIR, the first step in a criminal investigation. These FIRs accuse them of overstating their net worth, failing to disclose prior coal allocations, and hoarding rather than developing coal allocations. The CBI officials investigating the case have speculated that bribery may be involved.

Krishna-Godavari (KG) D-6 gas block.

The Oil Ministry imposed a fine of ₹7000 Crores on Mukesh Ambani's Company for the drop in production of gas and violations mentioned in CAG's 2011 report. Oil ministry did not approve the said Company's US $7.2 billion stakes in a deal with BP. So Jaipal Reddy, known for his honesty, was shifted from the oil ministry to the Science and Technology ministry owing to pressure from Reliance group of Industries. RIL allowed the CAG to begin the audit in April this year after stalling it for a year. But unresolved issues could stall the audit of the KG Basin again. Then Reliance appointed Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma as new CAG to audit KG Basin, said Prashant Bhushan. In KG D-6, most of the cost had been recovered by the private player and the price increase would only go as profit. About 90% of receipts from K-G D-6 were so far booked as expenditure, and in the remaining 10%, only 1% was paid to the government and the rest 9% went to the operator as profit.


The CAG has already, to some extent, achieved what he set out to do, especially when it comes to redefining the role of the office and the public perception of auditors. Despite the severest limitations, the CAG still creditably survives in defence of accountability, a knight in shining armour amidst the overwhelming rot. The office is a unique combination of knowledge, integrity, commitment and fearlessness. Indeed, the Comptroller and Auditor-General is India's second remaining pillar of democracy.