Replying to a petition filled by Advocate Anil Dutt Sharma requesting a highest civilian award of a country “Bharat Ratna” for Mahatma Gandhi’s contributions to the nation, the Apex Court has observed on Friday i.e. January 17 that he is far above all these formal recognitions.
The Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde told the petitioner that the court accepts and shares his views on the matter but asked him to make a representation to the government.
A bench of chief justice S A bobde and justices B R Gavai and Surya kant said: “He is way more than the Bharat Ratna. He is held in a lot of bigger esteem by the people… what’s the Bharat Ratna for Mahatma Gandhi?”
Justice S A Bobde added “We trust your sentiment however we can’t accept this petition. You can make a depiction to the government,”
The petitioner Sharma had filed a PIL (Public Interest Litigation), requesting the Supreme Court to direct the Centre to honour Mahatma Gandhi with the Bharat Ratna. After the court told him that the Father of the Nation was a lot more than the civilian honour, Sharma asked the court to recommend a bigger recognition for the freedom movement icon. When the Hon’ble court asked him to name an honour “better than Bharat Ratna”, the petitioner aforesaid, “It is for the govt to decide”.
This is not the primary instance when a Public Interest Litigation seeking and order to confer the Bharat Ratna on Mahatma Gandhi was filed in a court. An analogous plea was filed in 2014 in the Karnataka High Court, seeking the court to pass an order to the Ministry of Home Affairs to bestow the award upon Gandhi.
The court had aforesaid that Gandhi “does not require a certificate and is above all”. The division bench comprising Justice B.V. Nagarathna and D.H. Waghela dismissed the petition stating that it cannot interfere in the issue which is at the discretion of the government.