Mumbai High Court
Mumbai High Court

Mumbai: Terming it to be a most “unfortunate” petition, the Bombay High Court on Thursday junked a plea filed by an advocate seeking withdrawal of the Bharat Ratna awarded to former Prime Minister Morarji Desai. The HC has also imposed a fine of Rs50,000 upon the advocate.

A bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre dismissed the “frivolous” petition by advocate Janardan Jaiswal. Through his plea, Jaiswal had asked the bench to direct the government to withdraw Desai’s Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour, conferred on him in 1991.

Irked over his plea, CJ Nandrajog said, “This is one of the most-frivolous petitions we have come across. We do not wish to comment anything on this. Such petitions are not expected from members of the bar.”

Accordingly, the bench imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on Jaiswal and ordered him to deposit the amount in the High Court legal aid services cell. Jaiswal had relied upon the autobiography of Desai, wherein, he allegedly made certain comments on giving out Bharat Ratna awards.

He also referred to the fact Desai had stopped giving the civil award during his tenure as a PM but later on accepted it. “By accepting Bharat Ratna, the former PM Desai committed a fraud,” Jaiswal claimed in his plea.

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