The First Bench comprising Chief Justice R K Agrawal and Justice K Ravichandra Babu dismissed the petition concurring with the submissions of Additional Solicitor General of South India P Wilson. The petitioner Kanakasabai, an advocate, contended that mandatory norms of presidential notification had been violated while deciding to confer the honour to Tendulkar and Rao.
Wilson in the written memo filed before the court contendented that the petitioner had not disclosed the fact that Presidential notification of 8th January, 1957 to confer Bharat Ratna to persons who have rendered exceptional service towards advancement of art, literature and science has been amended by another notification of November 10, 2011, providing conferment of the highest civilian award to persons in recognition of their exceptional service or performance in any field of human endeavour.
He submitted that a high level committee headed by Vice President was constituted by Prime Minister in May 1996 as per the orders of the Supreme Court. The committee after detailed discussions made recommendations for Bharat Ratna awards in which it has decided that as per the decisions taken by the Cabinet in December 1953, the recommendations for the awards of Bharat Ratna will be made by the Prime Minister himself, who will be free to consult any one he chooses, and no formal recommendations for this were necessary. He submitted that the proposal for conferring Bharat Ratna to Tendulkar and Rao was sent by Prime Minister to the President on November 15 this year and the President on November 16 had conveyed his approval for conferment of the award to the two.