‘He does not require a certificate’

Should the Union government consider conferring Bharat Ratna on Mahatma Gandhi?

This issue came up before the Karnataka High Court on Monday through a public interest litigation petition filed by Manjunath, a resident of Bangalore, wanting the court to issue a direction to the Ministry of Home Affairs to consider his representation for conferring Bharat Ratna on Mahatma Gandhi.

“Why this atrocity on our father [of the nation]? He is above all…and does not require a certificate,” a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna observed orally when the petitioner’s counsel briefly narrated the gist of the petition.

However, the counsel pointed out that the information provided by the Home Ministry under the RTI reveals that the government had received several representations for conferring Bharat Ratna on Mahatma Gandhi and forwarded them to the Prime Minister’s Office.

However, no decision was taken on such representations, the counsel said. To this, the Bench replied, “Perhaps they [government] do not want Mahatma Gandhi to stand with Sachin [Tendulkar]” while observing that the “nation can’t harass its own father”.

Following these oral observations by the Bench, the counsel requested the court to pass a detailed order so that no such petitions are filed in future.

Finally, the Bench dismissed the petition stating that it can’t interfere in the matter.

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