Reveal names of private individuals who travelled with PM Modi on foreign tours, CIC tells MEA

CIC issued the directive after RTI activist Karabi Das approached it saying he was not given complete information regarding Modi's foreign travels, including the names of all private individuals who accompanied him between 2015 and 2017.

By BusinessToday.In  
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the External Affairs Ministry to reveal the names of private individuals who travelled with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his foreign trips after an RTI activist alleged he didn't get a satisfactory answer from the Prime Minister's Office. CIC issued the directive after RTI activist Karabi Das approached it saying he was not given complete information regarding Modi's foreign travels, including the names of all private individuals who accompanied him between 2015 and 2017.

The MEA, which had allegedly denied information, told CIC RK Mathur that information regarding people who travelled with Modi can't be given as the ministry only records the data regarding date and time of the PM's visits, and expenses incurred on his flights. Karabi had sought the information from the Prime Minister's office in January. Activist Subhash Agrawal, who represented Karabi, told the CIC that the ministry had even charged Rs 224 for providing information, which he paid but failed to get the reply. The ministry representative assured the CIC that they will look into the issue.

"A 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," Mathur ordered, reported news agency PTI. Mathur was hearing two different matters in which applicants were reportedly denied information regarding people who accompanied Modi during his foreign tours.

Minister of State for External Affairs, VK Singh, disclosed to the Rajya Sabha in July that a total of Rs 1,484 crore were spent on Modi's foreign travels, including expenses on chartered flights (Rs 387.26 crore), aircraft maintenance (Rs 1088.42 crore) and hotline facilities ((Rs 9.12 crore), ever since he became Prime Minister in May 2014. The PM has visited a total of 84 countries in his 42 foreign trips since the BJP came to power at the Centre. He had visited 66 countries in the first three years after he became the PM in 2014.

(Edited by Manoj Sharma)

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