On Ambedkar Jayanti, many government institutions and political parties are 'unconstitutionally' prefixing 'Bharat Ratna' before Dr. BR Ambedkar's name in violation of Supreme Court orders, alleges a Delhi-based activist.
The Supreme Court has restricted the use of national awards such as Padma Shree, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Bharat Ratna, etc. along with names.
According to Rohini resident Naresh Kadyan, several government advertisements, functions and even press releases unconstitutionally added 'Bharat Ratna' along with Ambedkar's name. Kadyan has sent a complaint to the Prime Minister's Office and Home Ministry to initiate action.
The violation is not only done on anniversaries and special occasions, but on a permanent basis by several educational bodies, which have named their institutions after national awardees.
"It is sorry to see that Ambedkar was the father of Indian constitution, but people are unconstitutionally using 'Bharat Ratna' along with his name. Either Article 18(1) should be amended to allow legal heirs of national awardees prefix them as titles or the government should put in place a mechanism for compliance," Kadyan told Mail Today.
The SC had also said that 'if the aforesaid is done, the defaulter should forfeit the award conferred upon him or her'.
In his complaint, Kadyan demanded that 'recognition and affiliation of all such institutions that have been using the title wrongfully be cancelled and they be debarred from conducting examinations'.
"It is not the fault of the awardees but of those who are running these institutes. The trust should be penalised. Although a few institutes have admitted their mistake, marksheets issued by them still carry the Padma titles," he said.
Acting on his complaint, the home ministry last year wrote to the chief secretary of Maharashtra about the use of Padma awards and Bharat Ratna as prefixes in institutes in Pune and asked the state to look into the matter.