Allowances Are Provided To Judges Spouses On Foreign Trips: SC
The Supreme Court on Friday maintained that daily allowance has been provided in the past for the spouse of Chief Justice and other judges on foreign tours, rejecting the government stand that they were not entitled to it.
The apex Court Registry came out with this unusual statement, a day after the Government in response to an RTI application, said there was provision only for 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.
"Government has been providing daily allowance not only to the spouse of the CJI but also to the spouses of other judges of the Supreme Court as and when they go abroad," M P Bhadran, Secretary General of the Supreme Court, said in a statement.
He was reacting to reports that the Supreme Court has sought revised sanction from the Government of "daily allowances" for the wife of the CJI who accompanied him during visits to two countries last year.
As per the practice, the sanction for daily allowance has to be given before the start of the trip. However, in the case of CJI's trip to London in October last, the Department of Justice had not given the clearance for his wife's allowance, Bhadran said.
He said since the government has declined the allowance for the last foreign trip, a request was made for providing daily allowance to his spouse as has been done in the past.
"The request made by me is only to issue revised sanction order allowing daily allowance to the spouse of the CJI and that is not against the practice so far followed by the Government," Bhadran said.
He said since the officers working in Indian Foreign Service are enjoying this facility, the same has been extended to the spouses of the CJI and other judges.
When contacted, External Affairs Ministry officials said spouses of IFS officers do not get any separate allowances.
"So far the CJI and all the judges of the Supreme Court have been getting this facility for their spouses during their official trips," Bhadran said.
The Secretary General on October 23, 2009 had written a letter to the Government to bring to its notice the non-payment of dearness allowance to CJI's wife during their official visit to Dublin (Ireland) and London from October 12 to 18, 2009.
He had asked the Secretary to the Department of Justice to look into the matter personally and issues revised sanction allowing USD 450 at the rate of USD 75 per day towards daily allowance of six days for her.
The Law Ministry in its reply to the RTI application had stated that the matter is under examination in consultation with Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor (Law) and Ministry of Finance (Expenditure Department). PTI