SC wants daily allowance for CJI`s wife for trips abroad
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Last Updated: Thursday, January 14, 2010, 22:44
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has asked the Central Government for revised sanction of "daily allowances" for the wife of Chief Justice of India who accompanied him during visits to two countries last year against the practice of Indian missions giving it locally.

The government so far provides only air-ticket to the spouse of CJI and other judges of the Supreme Court and "no other allowance" has been sanctioned by the Department of Justice, the Ministry of Law and Justice said in a written reply.

The issue has come to light following RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal filing a series of information-seeking applications in this regard.

"The Secretary General of Supreme Court of India has recently requested to issue revised sanction allowing daily allowances to the spouse of Chief Justice of India for six days' visit to Dublin and London from 12th October to 18th October, 2009 as she has been getting this from Indian Missions abroad," the Ministry said in its RTI response dated January 13.

The Ministry further stated that the matter is under examination in consultation with Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor (Law) and Ministry of Finance (Expenditure Department).

Agrawal, who on Tuesday won a legal battle bringing Chief Justice of India under the ambit of RTI Act, had asked from Ministry of Law and Justice complete details about allowances including daily-allowance available to spouses of judges (including the Chief Justice) of Supreme Court of India when travelling in India or abroad with them.

He had also asked if any file for sanction of such allowances is pending with Government of India along with relevant file-notings on the matter.

"But copies of file-notings, documents, correspondence relating to each of the queries and on movement of RTI petition as sought in my RTI petition were not provided despite telephonic requests and reminders at his office," Agrawal said in his plea before the higher authorities at the ministry.

He also asked whether the rule of travelling through shortest air-route while on official visits abroad applies on the Chief Justice of India as well.

"This department has no separate instructions either to govern foreign tours by Judges of Supreme Court or entitlements. They are governed by the Government of India (Ministry of Finance) instructions in this regard," S K Shrivastava, Deputy Secretary at the ministry said in his reply dated January 13.

He further said taking spouses abroad on official trips by Supreme Court judges is "only as a matter of convention and is permitted by Government of India on a case to case basis."


First Published: Thursday, January 14, 2010, 22:44

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