7 Jun 2023 7:11 AM GMT
The Union Government on Wednesday informed the Delhi High Court that political clearance has been granted to Delhi’s Education Minister Atishi Marlena for her official visit to the United Kingdom.Justice Chandra Dhari Singh was hearing Marlena’s plea seeking direction on the Union of India to process all requisite clearances. She has been invited in her official capacity...
The Union Government on Wednesday informed the Delhi High Court that political clearance has been granted to Delhi’s Education Minister Atishi Marlena for her official visit to the United Kingdom.
Justice Chandra Dhari Singh was hearing Marlena’s plea seeking direction on the Union of India to process all requisite clearances. She has been invited in her official capacity by Cambridge University to speak at a conference on “India at 100: Towards Becoming a Global Leader” to be held on June 15.
The Union Government’s counsel submitted before the court that the political clearance was granted yesterday and that the matter is now before the department of economic affairs. It was further submitted that Atishi, who has a diplomatic passport, may apply for her visa.
Recording the submissions of the Union Government, the court disposed of the plea.
Atishi Marlena was represented by Advocate Shadan Farasat.
The plea filed through Advocates Hrishika Jain, Aman Naqvi and Bharat Gupta, stated that the proposed visit is significant for Delhi’s governance as it will allow the city government to "showcase the leaps made in areas of education, health, and urban development".
It added that any further delay in granting clearance to the visit would render the purpose infructuous.
It further submitted that the administrative clearance for Marlena’s request for travel dated May 18 was granted by the Delhi Government. Later, the proposal was approved by Lieutenant Governor on May 26 and the same was forwarded for requisite clearances to the Union of India. However, no decision on the proposal was taken.
It was also contended that restricting Marlena’s right to travel abroad on a discretionary basis impinges on her personal liberty.
“The proposal was forwarded to the central government authorities for processing of further clearance. It has been more than 10 days now, and no clearance has yet been issued to her. ''In the present matter, the respondents’ non-decision on the matter till 06.06.2023, has left only eight days for all further formalities and visa approval, serving in effect as an arbitrary non-decision of the proposed visit,” the plea added.
Marlena had earlier moved an application seeking similar relief in a pending petition filed by Delhi’s Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot challenging the requirement for State Government Ministers to seek political clearances from the Centre for personal visits abroad. However, the court asked her to file an independent petition.
Case Title: Atishi Marlena v. Union of India & Ors.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 501