New Delhi: The Centre last week denied permission to two judges of the Delhi High Court to visit Paris to participate in a conference on nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and nuclear disarmament.
The decision was taken at the highest level after the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) objected to the visit, pointing out that India was not even a signatory to the treaty. The MEA also refused the mandatory political clearance required for such visits.
It is learnt that after the MEA red flag, the Prime Minister’s Office also didn’t clear the trip of Justice Sudershan Kumar Misra and Justice Siddharth Mridul. The conference started on April 21 and will end April 28.
Sources in the MEA told The Indian Express that the government was of the view that senior functionaries, particularly judges, should not participate in such conferences as it could lead to controversy.
“Also, their (judges) attending the conference could be viewed as India’s willingness to sign the treaty, something that the country’s leadership has refused so far,” said an officer.
Earlier, the Central government used to clear foreign trips of judges of the Supreme Court and high courts without asking too many questions but in recent times the MEA has started objecting to “needless” and “questionable” trips.
Last month, the Centre stalled a foreign visit by a high-level delegation, comprising among others the Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan, to Georgia University for a discussion.