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The Supreme Court today refused to pass an order to the Union of India to confer the Bharat Ratna on Mahatma Gandhi.

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the court seeking an order to confer the award on Gandhi posthumously.

The apex court said that “Gandhi is much higher than Bharat Ratna”, while refusing to pass any order.

The Bharat Ratna is India’s highest civilian award and its recipients are ranked seventh in the Indian order of precedence.

Previous instances

This is not the first instance when a PIL seeking and order to confer the Bharat Ratna on Gandhi was filed in a court. A similar plea was filed in the Karnataka High Court in 2014, seeking the court to issue an order to the Ministry of Home Affairs to bestow the award upon Gandhi.

The court had said that that Gandhi “is above all and does not require a certificate”. The division bench comprising Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna dismissed the petition stating that it can’t interfere in the matter which is at the discretion of the government.

Eminent Indian politician C Rajagopalachari, former President of India S Radhakrishnan and scientist CV Raman are the first recipients of the Bharat Ratna (in 1954).

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