Is prior consent required before a Padma Award is handed over
New Delhi, Jan 26: Former West Bengal Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya was among the 128 who were selected to receive the Padma awards. However he refused it stating that he was not informed. Singer Sandhya Mukhopadhyay's family also claimed that she was offered the award, but did not accept it since it did not have her name on it.
In the case of Bhattacharya, MHA sources said that a call was made to his residence and since he was unwell, his wife answered the call. She was informed about the award.
The Padma awards which are the highest civilian awards after the Bharat Ratna are given in three categories-Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The awards were instituted in 1954 along with the Bharat Ratna.
At the time it was instituted, there was only a Padma Vibhushan with three sub-categories- Pahela Varg, Dusra Varg and Tisra Varg. In 1955 vide a Presidential notification they were named Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
The awardees get a certificate signed by the President along with a medallion which they an wear at public and government functions. However the awardees are expected not to use them as a prefix or suffix to their names.
An awardee can be given a higher award only after 5 years. In a year only 120 awards can be announced, but this list does not include posthumous awardees or those given to NRIs and foreigners.
The award is conferred posthumously only in deserving cases and the government can consider the same.
All persons expect government servants including those working with PSUs are eligible to receive the award. However there is an exception made for doctors and scientists.
A citizen can nominate anyone for the award including himself. All nominations are done online and a form with an 800 word essay detailing the work done by the person is to be filled. The nominations are open between May 1 and September 15 ever year. All nominations are scrutinised by the Padma Awards Committee constituted by the Prime Minister. The committee is headed by the Cabinet Secretary. It also includes the Home Secretary, Secretary to the President and six eminent persons. Once the recommendations are made the list is submitted to the President and Prime Minister for approval.
However there is no provision for seeking a written or formal consent of the recipient before the announcement. However before the announcement every recipient gets a call from the Home Ministry informing them about the selection. If a recipient says that he wishes to be excluded then the name is removed.