Mumbai: The BMC’s law department has issued a legal notice to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), stating them it cannot conduct an audit of expenditure made by the civic body during the Covid-19 pandemic when the Epidemic Act 1897 and the Disaster Management Act 2005 were in force.
Confirming the notice, BMC commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said that the notice was sent six weeks ago. The Free Press Journal on Dec 8 reported that audits of health expenses during the pandemic are not in the CAG’s purview. Sources had then said that during the pandemic it’s not possible for officers to follow each and every rule of tender process as the focus is on saving lives.
On Oct 29, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had issued directions to the CAG to audit BMC projects to the tune of Rs12,000 crore undertaken from Nov 28, 2019 to Feb 28, 2022, when the Maha Vikas Aghadi government was in power. The probe was ordered following the BJP’s corruption allegations against contracts awarded during the pandemic.
Transactions of at least 10 departments are expected to be probed by the CAG. Following the CM’s order, a team comprising 8-10 members had visited the BMC headquarters in Nov-end and had met Mr Chahal and other senior officers. The CAG has been tasked to finish the audit before the year ends.
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