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