Delhi High Court Closed Delhi Minister Gopal Rai’s Plea After Centre Grants Political Clearance For Attending Columbia India Energy Dialogue

The Delhi High Court in the case Gopal Rai v. Union Of India was informed by the Union Government that the political clearance has been granted for the foreign visit of Delhi’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai for attending Columbia India Energy Dialogue in New York.
The counsel, Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta informed the bench headed by Justice Subramonium Prasad that in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, political clearance was being granted for the travel of Rai’sfrom September 15 to September 21, 2023.
Adding to it, the Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta stated that the order cannot be treated as a precedent as the courts cannot interfere in the realm of policy decisions in exercise of jurisdiction as it has been stated under Article 226 of Constitution of India.
The court while taking note of the submissions disposed of the plea moved by Ravi wherein it challenged an order order passed by the Union Government on September 12, while denying him the permission to travel abroad. Therefore, he also seeks permission to travel to New York from September 15 to September 19.
The counsel, ASG Chetan Sharma appearing for the Union Governmentdefended the impugned order and has stated that when the Vice Chairman of Niti Aayog is already attending and representing India in the Dialogue, there being no such kind of requirement for Rai, who will represent the country as the cabinet minister, to also be present there. It has also been stated by Sharma before the court that the source of funding of the travel of Rai’s twill be state funding and that the same will not be of a private nature. Later, the Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta joined the hearing through virtual conferencing mode and told court that political clearance was being given only in the case which should not be treated as the precedent by others.
It being the case of Rai that the arbitrary and malafide reasons were being assigned by the Centre while denying the permission to him that since the Vice Chairman of NITI Ayog is going to represent at the Dialogue in order to visit from the Delhi Government is not necessary as India is already being represented.
The petition filed also stated that an invitation was received by Rai on August 13, 2023 for attending and speaking at the Dialogue wherein all stakeholders, which includes the Indian think tanks will address the issueswhich relates to energy consumption.
Therefore, it being the case of Rai that the officers from different States have already been permitted to attend the Dialogue and therefore, there was no such need for denying the permission to him. Further, the plea moved stated that the impugned order denying him permission to travel abroad has been passed by the Union Government in a haste manner, thus, without any application of mind.

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