Law Ministry has no details of Moily`s travel expenses

Last Updated: Sunday, November 8, 2009 - 10:20

New Delhi: The Law Ministry has claimed it
has no information about Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily`s
travel outside Delhi and the expenses incurred on them.

"No information is available with this branch secretariat
on the travel of the Law Minister and the purpose of the
travel and the total cost incurred during the travel and
stay," the ministry said in its reply to a RTI application.

"No information is available with this branch secretariat
about the list of assets and the bank balances of Moily," it
said.

According to the ministry`s Chief Public Information
Officer B K Bhargava, the country`s top law officers --
Attorney General of India (AG), Solicitor General (SG) and
other government law officers -- are entitled to only actual
expenses incurred on travelling, boarding and lodging during
their official visits.

He said there was no provision for travel by the
executive class or stay in the five-star accommodation of the
AG, SG and Additional Solicitor Generals (ASGs).

"As per the Ministry of Law and Justice... Gazettee
Notification of July 18, 2008... where a law officer is
required to perform journeys outside the headquarters in the
course of his duties, he shall be paid or reimbursed the
actual expenses incurred on travelling and on boarding and
lodging," the ministry said.

The ministry further said there was no special criterion
for selection to the post of top law officers but a bachelors
degree in law was a must and only advocates of eminence are
being appointed.

Delhi-based Rajeev Agarwal, who filed the application,
had also sought information from the government on details of
the functioning of AG, SG, ASG and other standing counsel and
their perks and entitlements.

Noting that the fee payable to AG, SG and ASGs was
governed by terms and conditions issued by the ministry,
Bhargava said it had no information on payments made to AG, SG
or other ASG by the ministries or any public undertakings with
respect to opinions, appearances and settling of affidavits
and conferences between June and September 15.

"The office has no information on payments to AG and SG.
However, payments to ASG are payable by the litigant
department," Bhargava said, adding information about this had
been notified on January 1, 1987, and July 18, 2008, in the
official gazette.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, November 8, 2009 - 10:20

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