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HC rejects plea challenging Padma Bhushan to Chatwal

April 05, 2010 12:29 IST

The Delhi high court on Monday dismissed a petition challenging the Centre's decision to confer Padma Bhushan on NRI hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal.

A bench headed by acting Chief Justice Madan B Lokur, after going through the original documents placed before it by Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra, found no substance in the allegation that proper procedure was not followed in the case of Chatwal. On March 25, the high court had asked the petitioner, S K Shah, to furnish documents to prove how the selection committee failed to meet the guidelines while considering Chatwal's name for the prestigious award.

Appearing for the government, the additional solicitor general had submitted that following a Supreme Court ruling, a high-level committee was constituted to consider every aspect of all applicants before finalising their names.

"You cannot level wild allegations. There is a report of the committee which has already considered all the aspects," the bench said.

Shah, appearing in person, had alleged that Chatwal was involved in various economic offences. The petitioner had earlier sought a direction to the Centre to rescind the decision to confer the award on Chatwal on various grounds, including his alleged involvement in several cases.

Besides Chatwal, the Centre and the Central Bureau of Investigation were also respondents in the Public Interest Litigation.

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