Social activist’s petition seeking direction to the State dismissed

Observing that awards cannot be asked for or prayed for but they should be conferred and there cannot be a compulsion on the State government to honour any person with the State award, the Karnataka High Court has dismissed a petition filed by a social activist seeking a direction to the State to consider him for a suitable State award.

“Honour cannot be sought for or demanded but the honour should be earned. The State government should not be influenced by any of the recommendations from any quarters. It is for the government to choose a particular person for the award. There may be several deserving persons, but awards cannot be given to everyone because of financial and other constraints,” the court observed.

Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar passed the order while dismissing the petition filed by D.A. Chowdappa, a native of Doddakurugodu village of Gowribidanur in Chickballapur district and a social activist-cum- environ- mentalist.

Stating that his social service, including preventing smuggling of minor minerals from Kolar and Chickballapur districts, had saved around Rs. 50 lakh to Exchequer, he sought a direction to the State to commemorate him with a suitable State award.

He pointed out that the Mines and Geology Department, MLAs from his home district and a few other elected representatives had made several recommendations to the State from 2001 to give him cash award and a committee of the legislature too had recommended him for a cash award.

The Mines and Geology Department had recommended his name for the State award a few years ago, the petitioner said.

However, the court said, “it is not expected of people to file applications seeking awards. The act of inviting application and interference by third parties in the matter of honouring personalities constitutes disrespect.

‘Only those who have excelled in a particular field should be honoured in public interest and undeserving people should be excluded from being considered for the award in the interest of nation.”

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