Former Indian Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Prime Ministers do not have to lack creature comforts, judging from the documents made available by the Ministry of Home Affairs to a Right to Information applicant.

Documents accessed by RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal show the following entitlements: for a former President, a monthly pension of Rs.75,000 (50 per cent of the emoluments of the President), besides rent-free furnished accommodation with free electricity and water, a fully maintained car with driver, two telephone connections (one for broadband connectivity) and a mobile phone with national roaming facility. A former head of state is also entitled to a private secretary, the full complement of secretarial assistance and free travel with a companion in the highest class by any means of transport.

A former Vice-President draws a monthly pension of Rs.62,500, and is entitled to rent-free furnished accommodation with electricity and water, free medical attendance and treatment in both government and private hospitals. He/she can travel with a companion anywhere in India by any mode and in the highest class. The use of telephones in this case is as admissible to a Member of Parliament.

For the first five years after demitting office, a former Prime Minister is entitled to a complement of staff on a scale admissible to the Leader of the Opposition, and is eligible for unlimited office expenses, six return air journeys in the executive class and unlimited travel by train with a companion. He or she also gets government accommodation for life.

In the case of widowed spouses of former Presidents and Vice-Presidents, the pension is half that drawn by the latter, while the facilities are scaled down.

Those currently enjoying post-retirement facilities include A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Janaki Venkatraman, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, H. D. Deve Gowda and I. K. Gujral.

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