CJI Defends DA Decision for Wife During Travel

New Delhi
CJI Defends DA Decision for Wife During Travel
Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan today defended his decision to seek dearness allowance for wife when the couple recently went on a foreign tour saying it was being provided for the last several years.

"Continously to my knowledge since several years, the dearness allowance was paid because somebody who goes abroad should eat something. That is why....Otherwise, in a foreign country one cannot survive without eating. Sometime, it is (DA) permissible under our rules," he told CNN-IBN.

He was asked about the recent controversy relating to the Supreme Court Secretary General's writing a letter to the government seeking DA benefits for his wife.

The apex Court registry had on Friday come out with a statement defending the Chief Justice, 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.

The Chief Justice denied inference that he was personally opposed to the disclosure of assets by judges and cautioned that the information being sought under the RTI could at times seriously affect the image of the judiciary.

"At no point of time I was against disclosure of assets. Sometimes, some people will say that give some unfavourable report against Chief Justice. Sometimes good report about him.

"If these are published or some (information) under the RTI are published, he is a sitting Chief Justice. So, it will seriously affect the image of judiciary. At present in the RTI Act, there is no exemption for judiciary," he said.

Referring to the row relating to Justice P D Dinakaran of Karnataka High Court, the CJI was of the view that the "vilification" campaign was started against him only after his name was recommended for elevation to the Supreme Court.

"I can say one thing: there was not a single allegation when he was a Judge of the Madras high Court. You will see he became Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka in August 2008. Till his name was recommended by the collegium for elevation, not a single allegation, not a member of the Bar raised any objection, nothing! All these allegations have been raised when his name was suggested to be elevated," he said.

He chose to be reticent on the impeachment proceedings against the judge, saying " it is now gone to the impeachment proceedings. So, I do not want to talk anything about integrity or anything that happens because ultimately it is impeachment proceeding.. He has to defend it".

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