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Plea against loss estimate in coal block allocation dismissed

Friday, 2 November 2012 - 6:52pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
The CA had questioned as to how can the CAG go for the audit of 57 private companies which was beyond its scope and as such the computation of Rs1.86 lakh crore loss was wrong.

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a New Zealand-based NRI's plea questioning the Comptroller and Auditor General report estimating Rs 1.86 lakh crore as loss to the exchequer in allotment of coal blocks.

"We are afraid that the challenge to CAG report by the petitioner on diverse grounds does not fall within the domain of judicial review," said a bench of justices R M Lodha and A R Dave, refusing to take up the NRI's plea.

The bench, which gave a patient hearing to NRI Chartered Accountant (CA) Bennet Castellino dismissed his petition, which had sought the court's direction to the CAG to explain the procedure adopted by it in estimating the loss figure in in coal block allocation.

The bench said all the issues raised in the plea can be examined by the public accounts committee (PAC) which has members from all the political parties.

"We have a structure in which the CAG can be called by the PAC and the PAC, which has a collective wisdom of people from all political parties and can question him," the bench told the NRI, whose plea for appearing before the CAG was declined.

The CA had questioned as to how can the CAG go for the audit of 57 private companies which was beyond its scope and as such the computation of Rs1.86 lakh crore loss was wrong.

The bench, however, said "the method of computation is not guided by any statute."

The petitioner said he had filed the PIL as the matter of loss on coal block allocation has gone viral on the social media and has attained international attention.

Before hearing the NRI, the bench also reminded him of a similar petition which was dismissed by it on October 1.

The judges said the earlier petition was also filed by a CA and reasons were given for not rejecting it.


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