Wednesday, January 20, 2010

[rti_india] Govt backtracks, says CJI’s wife entitled to daily allowance


Govt backtracks, says CJI's wife entitled to daily allowance




New Delhi: The government on Wednesday backtracked on the controversial issue of daily allowance for the Chief Justice of India's wife during visits abroad accepting the contention of the Supreme Court that spouses of judges were indeed entitled to it. The department of justice, while issuing a clarification, said it "highly regretted" its "incomplete" reply by its CPIO to an RTI plea giving an "erroneous impression" that the government only paid air passage to the CJI's spouse and that no daily allowance had been sanctioned so far.

The RTI plea filed by S C Agrawal had sought details of foreign travel allowance paid to CJI K G Balakrishnan's wife while accompanying her husband on a six-day visit to Dublin and London from October 12, 2009.

"It is hereby clarified that on the basis of the sanctions issued by this department, till recently the spouses of judges were given daily allowance by Indian missions abroad since they were also part of the official delegation," a statement by the justice department said.

The statement also said that the finance ministry had clarified that under the rules, there was no difference in the entitlement of officials on a tour abroad or a member of his family who has been authorised to accompany him. The department of justice further said the matter was under examination in consultation with additional secretary and financial advisor (law) and ministry of finance (expenditure department).

The government had earlier claimed, "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."

This was promptly clarified by the registrar of Supreme Court the next day saying spouses of the CJI and other judges were previously getting daily allowance like IFS officers.

Later, the CJI himself forcefully took issue with the government.



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