Chennai: The Madras high court has ordered notice to the Union and state governments on a quo warranto petition, questioning under what authority S. Anamalai Premkumar is holding the post of director of social audit.
Justice R.Mahadevan posted to November 27, further hearing of the petition filed by Praxis Institute for Participatory Practices.
According to petitioner, by a GO dated February 16, 2018, the state government appointed S.Annamalai Premkumar as the Director of Social Audit. This was clearly illegal as the scheme of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and Rules makes it clear that the director of social audit needs to be an independent authority to insulate the social audit process from the implementation agency.
Strangely, in Tamil Nadu, the chairman of the governing Body of Social Audit was the secretary of rural development and panchayat, which was clearly violative of the Social Audit Rules and in particular all the auditing standards prescribed by the Union government, wherein it was clearly provided that the chairman of the governing council shall be chosen by the state government from a list of eminent persons as identified by the Union government with impunity, the petitioner added.
The petitioner said the independence and purity of the audit process was being seriously compromised thereby exposing the scheme to grave irregularities and corrupt practices, particularly when huge public funds were involved at various levels....