Delhi High Court turns down a plea seeking Bharat Ratna for Ratan Tata

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday turned down a plea seeking conferment of Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, on former Tata Sons chairperson and industrialist Ratan Tata for his service to the nation.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla heard the present plea and noted that it is not for the court to interfere in the matter.

However, the bench asked the petitioner's counsel to withdraw it and should approach the government if he wanted to.

"Is it for us to decide who the Bharat Ratna should be awarded to? You either withdraw or we will impose cost," the bench said.

Highlighting the philanthropically work of Tata and his company, the petitioner Rakesh, who claimed to be a social activist stated in the plea that,

"Ratan Tata is a great businessman and under his leadership, the business focused on global expansion. After retiring as Chairman of Tata Sons in 2012, Ratan Tata has been active in investing, in a personal capacity, in startups and encouraging young entrepreneurs."

The plea also averred that in March 2020, Ratan Tata had pledged Rs 500 crore from Tata Trusts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

The revenue of Tata Group's 30 companies in FY20 was $106 billion. "The 30 companies spread across 10 clusters operates in over 100 companies and collectively employ more than 7.5 lakh people," the petition read.

[Case Title - Rakesh v. Union of India]