The Comptroller and Auditor-General shall perform such duties and exercise such powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and of the States and of any other authority or body as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, shall perform such duties and exercise such powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and of the States as were conferred on or exercisable by the Auditor-General of India immediately before the commencement of this Constitution in relation to the accounts of the Dominion of India and of the Provinces respectively

Debate Summary

Article 124, Draft Constitution, 1948

The Auditor-General shall perform such duties and exercise such powers in relation to the accounts of the Government of India and of the Government of any State as are or may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament.

Explanation.-In this article the expression "law made by Parliament" includes any existing law for the time being in force in the territory of India.

Draft Article 125 (Article 149) was debated in the Constituent Assembly on 30 May 1949. It laid down the duties and powers of the Auditor-General.

The debate began with an Assembly member moving an amendment to replace ‘and of the government of any state’ with ‘the Government of any State or any other authority’. The member wanted the scope of the Auditor General’s powers and duties to go beyond just State and Union government accounts. He argued that there were plans to set up a number of public sector corporations. While these were autonomous entities, they would receive significant public money and would be using public land and other assets. Hence, parliament should have the power to direct the Auditor-General to scrutinize the accounts of such bodies.

A member responded to this amendment agreeing that parliament should have such powers but felt that the text of the article as it stood would allow for this -  there was no need to explicitly mention ‘other authority’ in the Draft Article.

There was another strand to the debate: a member felt that the rules that regulated the Auditor General’s powers and duties – some of which were critical in ensuring the Auditor General’s independence – had not been included in the Constitution. Instead, these were left for parliament to enact as laws.

The chairman of the Drafting Committee agreed to the amendment that proposed to add ‘other authority’ to the Draft Article. On the question of rules, the chairman was sympathetic to the view but told the member who raised the issue to urge his fellow parliamentarians to enact the rules as laws once the Indian parliament commenced proceedings.

The Constituent Assembly accepted the Draft Article with amendment (adding ‘any other authority’)