Ramesh Chennithala | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Kochi: Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala on Wednesday moved the Kerala High Court, seeking to quash the state audit department's order to stop audit of accounts of Local Self Government Institutions for the 2019-20 financial year.
In his plea, Chennithala, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, alleged that the order was in contravention of statutory mandates.
He submitted that audit of accounts of public funds is intended to safeguard itself from fraud, extravagance and more importantly, to bring credibility to the functioning of the audited institutions.
Chennithala said that audit is an indispensable tool for sound and effective functioning of LSGIs and to ascertain that
the benefits of public funds being used reach the lowest strata of society and every individual.
"In order to prevent misutilisation and non-utilisation of funds of the LSGIs, and also against waste, improper or illegal use, embezzlement of public funds, defalcation or loss in money and also against any non-recovery of money due to LSGIs, annual auditing is an imperative necessity and failure to do so would cause great loss to LSGIs."
"If the audit of accounts of LSGIs is postponed or abandoned, public interest would be vitiated," he said.
Chennithala contended that the state audit department has exceeded its authority and power.