New Delhi: The Central Information Commission (CIC) of directed the External Affairs Ministry to reveal the names of the private individuals who have travelled with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his foreign trips. The CIC wants the EAM to disclose details of prime minister’s tours and asked them to give a list of names of people who travelled on government’s expenditure.
In October 2017, Karabi Das had approached the ministry and sought information on expenses incurred on the foreign trips of the prime minister in 2015-16 and 2016-17 and also demanded the list of people who travelled with him.
The Ministry of External Affairs had denied sharing any information with the applicant and after not getting any satisfactory reply he had approached the commission. The applicant, represented by activist Subhash Agarwal, was asked to pay Rs 224 for receiving the information, which he paid. Agarwal also represented him during the hearing, as told to Chief Information Commissioner RK Mathur.
The ministry has said during the hearing that except for the dates and time of the travel, no other information or data is maintained in consolidated form regarding the visits of the prime minister. The ministry denied shedding any other details other than expenses incurred on chartered flights and date and time of the tours.
The ministry will further look into the matter with regard to payment of RS 224 and will update the information accordingly, it said. Mathur said, “List of private persons (not linked with security) who travelled with the Prime Minister of India at government expenditure should be provided to the appellant redacting names of other officials.” The prime minister’s foreign trips have cost the exchequer a whopping Rs 1,484 crore in four years, according to The Hindu.