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Ghalot, who is an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, sought directions to direct and guide the implementation of several office memoranda issued by the Cabinet Secretariat empowering the Center to grant or deny permission to state government ministers for foreign visits in their official capacities.
Gallot, in his plea, noted that the visits were all by invitation and were important forums for exchanging ideas on improving urban governance and showcasing Delhi’s own progress in urban design and the alleged draconian manner in which the central government exercised its discretion over travel permits. is only exacerbated by the fact that even personal visits by state government ministers have to be authorized by them.
The petition sought quashing of the office memorandums (om) to the extent that they required state government ministers to seek political clearances from the respondents for personal visits abroad.
The parties to the petition are the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, the Union of India through the Ministries of External Affairs, Finance, Home Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office.
He also sought the cancellation of an undated letter sent by the LG to the Delhi government on July 20 recommending that the chief minister’s proposed visit to Singapore be scrapped.
According to one of the OMs issued by the Cabinet Secretariat, clearances from the Department of Expenditure of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs and the concerned Central Administrative Ministry are required and once these clearances are obtained, visits involving the Chief Minister require final clearance from PMO.
The whimsical and capricious manner in which travel permits for Indian statesmen are handled is not only detrimental to the interests of good city governance in this case, but also to national interests on global platforms in general. Not only the defendant no. 1 (LG) acted beyond its jurisdiction in recommending against the visit to Singapore, but the actual exercise of the authority conferred by the Office memoranda referred to above was clearly arbitrary and reflected an uncontrolled and unfettered exercise of discretion by the respondents, the statement said. .
He argued that there appeared to be no prima facie reason or basis for denying permission for this particular visit to Singapore, making the authorities’ actions manifestly arbitrary and without any apparent discernible principle.
Such arbitrary and whimsical denial of travel permission to important constitutional functionaries is commonplace and is often achieved either by prima facie illogical decisions or simply delaying decision-making that serves as a pocket veto, it is argued.