Aires Rodrigues
2014-10-18 04:18:02 UTC
The Goa office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has
sought from the Goa Government a complete and proper reply to the queries
raised on the exorbitant fees being paid to Advocate General Atmaram

CAG in a letter to the Goa Government on 23rd January this year had sought
an explanation and justification on the very high fees being paid to Goa
AG. With no reply received the Deputy Accountant General on 22nd April once
again wrote to the Law Secretary calling for the information urgently which
was followed by another reminder on 19th August.

After a delay of eight months the Under Secretary Law on 24th September
replied to CAG only giving copies of the appearance certificates of the
Advocate General while giving no explanation and justification to the query
raised by CAG on the very exorbitant fees being paid to the Advocate
General of Goa as compared to other states. Ironically the Law department
in reply to CAG?s letter sent in January has justified the delay in
replying as on account of the Assembly Session from July to August.

CAG now in its reply to the Goa Government this week while pointing out
that the queries raised remain unanswered has sought an urgent response.

Acting on a complaint filed on 16th May last year on the very exorbitant
fees being paid to the AG of Goa, the office of CAG made a comparative
study with the states of Haryana, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya
and found that the fees being paid to the Goa AG were very high.

CAG in its comparative chart drew the Government?s attention that while the
Goa AG for an appearance before the High Court is paid Rs 10,000 per case,
that the AG of Haryana is paid Rs 1000 while the AGs of Manipur, Arunachal
Pradesh and Meghalaya are paid Rs 5000, Rs 3000 and Rs 2500 respectively.
The CAG further informed the Goa Government that while the Goa AG is paid
Rs 75,000 for appearance before the Supreme Court the Haryana AG gets paid
Rs 2000 while the AGs of Manipur and Meghalaya get paid Rs 10,000 with the
Arunachal Pradesh AG paid Rs 3500.

Goa despite being the smallest state was not only hosting India's highest
paid AG but the country's highest paid public servant. The President of
India is paid Rs 1,50,000 a month, the Chief Justice of India Rs 1,00,000
and a High Court Judge Rs 80,000 but the AG of Goa Atmaram Nadkarni is
being paid up to a whopping eight lakhs a month besides Rs 75,000 on every
visit to Delhi which was nothing short of a day light loot and plunder of
the State?s exchequer.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on 23rd May 2012 had directed that
the fees of AG Atmaram Nadkarni be hiked due to the very high inflation
being faced by the AG. The government by an order issued on 8th April last
year hiked the fees of the AG from a monthly maximum of five lakhs to eight
lakhs. The AG?s per appearance fee before the High Court was hiked from Rs
8,000 to Rs 10,000 per case per day. In addition the AG is now paid Rs
75,000 per day on every visit to Delhi regardless of whether he appears
before the Supreme Court or not. The hike in fees was made retrospective
with effect from 1st April 2012. The AG also gets 15 personal staff as
entitled to a Cabinet Minister.

Information furnished by the Directorate of Accounts under the RTI Act
revealed that Goa Government paid AG Atmaram Nadkarni by way of fees and
other allowances a whopping Rs 2,055,9032 (two crores fifty five lakhs nine
thousand and thirty two rupees) for the two years from March 2012 to March
2014. As per the information the Government also spent a further Rs
10,14,869 (ten lakhs fourteen thousand eight hundred and sixty nine rupees)
on the business class airfare for the 17 trips made to Delhi by AG from
January 2013 to March 2014.

Aires Rodrigues

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