The Union government on Friday told the Delhi High Court that political clearance has been given to Delhi's Environment and Forest Minister Gopal Rai to allow him to attend the Columbia India Energy Dialogue in New York on September 18..Rai had earlier challenged the decision of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to deny him the political clearance. .Appearing for the Union government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta today told Justice Subramonium Prasad that clearance has now been granted. He added that the political clearance was given for Rai's travel "in peculiar facts of this particular case" and without making it a precedent..The hearing today also saw Mehta voice a personal appeal not to criticise India while abroad."Whenever any of us go out of India, and this is my request, not request from the Government of India, whenever we go out of the country, we represent the nation, our utterances ... We have other political views, ideologies are different, but we cannot criticise our nation outside," he said..Justice Prasad echoed a similar sentiment, that a united front should be presented when one represents the country abroad."Inside the country, we might be divided but outside the country we stay united," the judge commented.The judge added he remembers leaders of opposition having represented the country in foreign conferences outside the country..In his plea, Rai had said that the MEA passed the order on September 12 rejecting his request to travel for the conference by assigning "arbitrary and mala fide" reasons. The rejection intimation is stated have said that since NITI Aayog's Vice Chairman is going to represent India at the event, a visit from the Government of of Delhi is not necessary since India is already being represented. The minister termed the government's order a "colourable excercise of power" and said that officers from other States have been permitted to take part in the event. The petitioner added that he was an elected representative and well qualified to offer the perspective of Delhi as a major urban city in the deliberations to be carried out at the programme. He added that MEA's decision was perverse in nature and has been passed in a sheer violation of principles of natural justice. .The Court was informed today that permission has now been given to travel, between September 15 and September 21 to the United States, for the purpose of attending the conference. In view of this submission, the Court disposed of Rai's petition.However, Mehta also expressed reservations about allowing petitioners moving the Court in such matters under Article 226 of the Constitution since "these are all several policy considerations and international relations considerations."