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|December 16, 1998||
SC rejects petition against Nobel laureate, denounces misuse of PIL
The Supreme Court today rejected outright a public interest petition seeking directions to the media and others not to describe noted economist Professor Amartya Sen as a Nobel laureate but as a recipient of the Bank of Sweden Prize for Economics in memory of Alfred Nobel.
''This is a classic case of how a public interest litigation is being misused,'' observed the three-judge bench headed by Justice S P Barucha.
The court also refused permission to the petitioners to approach an ''appropriate forum'' to seek redressal of their greivance. The other judges on the bench were Justices A P Missra and D P Mohapatra.
The petition was filed by Dr S C Roy and Satya Prakash.
The judges said that even if it is assumed that Professor Sen had been awarded the Bank of Sweden Prize for Economic Sciences instituted in memory of Alfred Nobel and not the Nobel prize for economics, it could hardly be a subject matter of a writ petition, much less of a public interest petition.
Meanwhile, in Calcutta, soon after arriving on Tuesday, Professor Sen was asked whether his views should be given priority in India now that they had been acknowledged. Professor Sen said: ''It is very difficult for me to answer.''
Replying to a question whether political differences in India were standing in the way of removing poverty, he said: ''This is a complex question.''
To another question, Professor Sen said he could not make any comment on the economic scenario in West Bengal. ''The state's policies on development do not depend on the views of only one economist.''
Asked for his comment about an international campaign by some economists against his views, he said: ''I have to know their opinion before making any comment.''
The Nobel laureate said he had strong views on secularism. ''I have written two essays on secularism and threat to secularism. One thing I have always insisted on is that a theory or an analysis should not be converted into a slogan. Whatever little recognition I have received does not add force to my views regarding secularism.''
Asked who had contributed most in his getting the prize, Professor Sen said ''My teachers, colleagues, and students.''
Replying to another question, he said: ''I have never accepted any government position nor do I intend to do so.''
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