The 49th Chief Justice of India, Justice U.U. Lalit, who had a tenure of 74 days, had a record number of staff of more than 40 people at his official residence at 19, Akbar Road, at par with the President and the Prime Minister, a report said on Tuesday.
The 49th CJI, who held office from August 27 to November 8, had deployed the sizable entourage for smooth functioning of both his residential office and the house.
After demitting office, the former CJI relieved 12 people, but retained 28 peons and household staff, including some from BVG India, a company trusted by the Supreme Court for most of its cleaning and maintenance work.
As per the report, on an average, most of the CJIs would have a support staff of 12-15 people at their official residence and after retirement, they would retain two or three of them.
The support staff was provided by the Apex Court, if the retired CJI stayed in Delhi, or by the High Courts concerned, if they decided to go back to their home state.
The Central government amended the Supreme Court Judges Rules, 1959 in August this year, providing rent-free type-VII accommodation for six months to retired CJIs.
Justice N.V. Ramana has been allotted 2 Tughlaq Road for six months. A bungalow on Shahjahan Road was offered to Justice Lalit, but he refused it, stating that the building was in a bad shape.
Then the Supreme Court offered one of its pool bungalows at 17 Safdarjung Road to Justice Lalit, who readily accepted the offer.
CJI Chandrachud will be shifting soon to 19, Akbar Road.
The Safdarjung Road bungalow, which has been given to Justice Lalit for the next six months, was earlier occupied by Justice L. Nageswara Rao.
The house is currently undergoing repairs and Justice Lalit is likely to ring in the New Year there.
However, the 49th CJI does not want to part with his staff.
As per sources, Justice Lalit’s office has put in a request to retain around 12 people from among the 28 he has at present, after he moves in to the Safdarjung Road bungalow from Akbar Road.