The Central Government, on Wednesday, told the Delhi High Court that the Ministry of External Affairs had given clearance to Delhi Education Minister Atishi Marlena for her visit to the United Kingdom.
Atishi, through her plea, informed that she had been invited by the prestigious Cambridge University to speak at a conference on ‘India at 100; Towards becoming a global leader’, which is set to be held on June 15.
The Bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh disposed of the matter after noted the submissions of Central Government Counsel that MEA has yesterday given political clearance and the matter is now before the department of economic affairs and Applicant has a diplomatic passport, may apply for her visa.
The plea further stated that the concerned authorities are delaying the travel clearances from June 14 to June 20. Minister Marlena sought the High Court’s intervention in the matter.
The petition stated that Atishi is invited in her official capacity by the prestigious Cambridge University on June 15, and thereafter, she has arranged multiple visits to primary schools in the UK as well as meetings with potential Teacher Training partners, to make the most of her visit to the UK and ensure that Delhi’s children gain from best practices in primary school education abroad.
The discretion to grant or deny travel clearances to State ministers is exercised by the Union of India. Atishi was sent an invitation by Judge Business School, Cambridge University on May 10.
“Subsequently, in accordance with the above-mentioned memorandum, the Petitioner applied for relevant clearances. The administrative clearance for Petitioner’s request for travel dated 18.05.2023 was granted by the GNCTD. Thereafter, over a week later, the Lieutenant-Governor approved the proposal on May 26 and forwarded it to the Union of India for requisite clearances,” stated the plea.
Adding further, it said, “Certain queries were raised on May 31 and subsequently on June 5 which were promptly answered. Without a decision on such clearance, the present Petitioner is unable to apply for a visa permit for her proposed travel. Once the clearances are made, the process of applying and obtaining a visa will itself take some time and the Petitioner apprehends that the delay on account of the respondent Authorities will render the proposal for the official visit entirely infructuous and irreparably prevent the gains that Delhi’s governance and schools could have made from this visit”.
The plea also added that not only it will allow the Delhi government to showcase the leaps that the national capital has made in education, health, and urban development. But it will also be conducive to the children of Delhi in deriving benefits from learning from other jurisdictions.
Atishi Marlena is a Minister in the Council of Ministers, Government of NCT of Delhi holding portfolio of Education, Public Works Department, Power, Art Culture & Languages, Tourism, Women & Child Development.
Atishi was handed over the education ministry following the former state education minister Manish Sisodia’s resignation that came after the corruption allegations.
This report is filed by ANI news service.