Family of late Justice J S Verma has refused to accept the Padma Bhushan award conferred on him by the government posthumously, saying accepting it would be against his principles as he never "hankered" for any such honour.
In a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee, Verma's wife Pushpa said, "The greatest honour to him remains how he is held in the hearts and minds of his fellow countrymen: as a true friend not just to women or the youth, but to those most in need of one..."
"He never hankered or lobbied for any acclaim, reward or favour...we do not want to accept what we know justice Verma himself would not have accepted.
"He always and strictly, put India first before any personal profit or gain. He will always be remembered as one of India’s most pre-eminent jurists and with a legacy of alleviating substantive injustice through the forging of globally acclaimed new legal tools," the letter dated January 29 said.
The family also indicated in the letter that they did not get any official communication about the award, claiming they only came to know about it through media reports.
Shubra Verma, daughter of Justice Verma, said that early this month some officials from the Home Ministry had visited Verma's hometown Satna and enquired about him.
"Some officials from the Home Ministry visited my father's hometown in Satna in Madhya Pradesh early this month and had enquired about him. When I sought to know the reason for the enquiry, he said father's name has been nominated for Padma Vibhushan. Even someone from the Home Ministry visited our house here and had said the same thing," Shubra told PTI.
Verma, who had headed the government committee to frame stricter laws and suggested legal reforms to deal with sexual assault cases in the wake of the December 16 Delhi gangrape case, died in April 22 last year following multiple organ failure.