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Madras HC dismisses PIL seeking Bharat Ratna for Jayalalithaa

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Chennai: The Madras High Court on Friday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction to the Centre to bestow India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, upon former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sundar rejected the PIL filed by K K Ramesh, Managing Trustee of Tamil Nadu Centre for Public Interest Litigation.

The petitioner after narrating Jayalalithaa’s life history, said she had bagged Tamil Nadu state film awards for best actress apart from many other awards and was a five-time Chief Minister.

The petitioner went on list the many welfare schemes launched by her including Amma canteens to provide food at lowest price and free laptops and cycles for students.

As she cared for the people of Tamil Nadu as a mother, she was called ‘Amma’, he said.

Ramesh said he was constrained to file this petition as his December 15, 2016 representation to the Union government on the matter had not evoked any response.

But the the court stated that it does not want to interfere in such matters.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam last month met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hand over a letter requesting the government to bestow the Bharat Ratna on Jayalalithaa and to install a bronze statue in the Parliament complex.

The Tamil Nadu Cabinet on December 10 decided to recommend Jayalalithaa’s name for India’s highest civilian honour.

In its first meeting chaired by Chief Minister O Panneerselvam after Jayalalithaa’s demise, the Cabinet also decided to recommend to the Centre installation of her life-size bronze statue.

Later that month, at the General Council meeting of the AIADMK, legislators recommended that Jayalalithaa receive the Magsaysay Award and the Nobel Peace Prize.

Resolution number 11 adopted at the General Council says, “This council resolves to make all efforts to bestow Ramon Magsaysay Award, popularly known as Asia’s Nobel Prize, on our chief minister Puratchi Thalaivi Amma for her service to the humanity, and Nobel Prize for Peace for her efforts to eradicate poverty by feeding the needy (through Amma canteens).”

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