Plea in court for guidelines on Padma awards
An activist moved the Allahabad High Court Monday seeking formation of a national selection committee to frame guidelines for the country's highest civilian awards announced on the occasion of Republic Day.
Padma Awards, announced every year in three categories of Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, are presented by the president at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan in March-April.
Social activist Nutan Thakur told the Lucknow Bench of the high court that in view of the controversies surrounding the Padma Awards, the union home ministry and the prime minister's office (PMO) should be directed to form a national selection committee for framing guidelines for the awards.
She also sought the removal of the columns related with religion and caste in the proforma for Padma Awards.
Thakur said the Supreme Court had recommended setting up of a committee consisting of the Lok Sabha speaker, chief justice of India or his representative and leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha for selecting the awardees, but nothing had been done.
The division bench of Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice V.K. Dixit may hear the matter Jan 30.