New Delhi, June 7, 2023- The Centre on Wednesday apprised the Delhi High Court that Delhi Education Minister Atishi has been granted political clearance for her upcoming official visit to the United Kingdom (UK).
Atishi, on Tuesday moved the high court requesting it to direct the central government to make a decision regarding the necessary clearances for her visit.
A single-judge bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh recorded the submissions of Ministry of External Affairs.
The petition stated, which now stands disposed of, that Atishi, as an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, has been invited by Cambridge University to speak at a conference on ‘India at 100: Towards Becoming a Global Leader’ on June 15.
During the hearing, Centre’s counsel also submitted before the court that the matter is now before the department of economic affairs and that Atishi, who has a diplomatic passport, may apply for her visa.
However, Atishi can now apply for Visa and she can travel, the counsel said.
The petition sought permission to travel abroad from June 14 to 20.
Atishi’s petition emphasised the importance of the visit for showcasing Delhi’s advancements in education, health, and urban development and that the delay in granting clearance for the visit would render its purpose ineffective.
The plea argued that restricting Atishi’s right to travel abroad based on discretion impinges on her personal freedom and violates the dignity and independence of a constitutional office.
It further claimed that the central government has been causing delays by responding with queries and clarifications after the Lieutenant-Governor forwarded the proposal, hindering the visa application process.
The plea expressed concern over the limited time remaining for completing all necessary formalities and obtaining visa approval.
“In the present matter, the respondents’ non-decision on the matter till June 6, 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 stated.
The petition asserted that Atishi’s visit to primary schools in the UK is vital for incorporating best practices in primary school education in Delhi and exchanging ideas on urban governance and showcasing Delhi’s progress in urban design. (Agency)