The Karnataka High Court has instructed the state government to either set necessary guidelines to ensure eligibility for for Rajyotsava Awards, or stop giving them altogether.
A single-member bench comprising Justice S Abdul Nazeer, which heard the petition filed by litterateur BV Satyanarayana Rao decreed that. Rao had contended that he has not been given Rajyotsava Award for the year 2015-16, despite an order of the High Court.
Advocate S Shankarappa, arguing on behalf of the petitioner, contended that his client BV Satyanaraya Rao had written about 96 books and despite being eminently eligible, he had not been selected for the Rajyotsava Award for the last three years.
He alleged that members of the awards selection committee were giving awards to those who have written just one or two books and even to those who have some criminal cases pending. Shankarappa charged that the selection committee members demanded money if any deserving person sought to be awarded – belittling the stature and reputation of the award.
On hearing the argument, the High Court Bench asked if there are any guidelines for selecting people for awards and the public prosecutor said that there weren’t. Piqued by the reply, the bench observed, “How come awards are being given without specific guidelines? Specific guidelines and standard criteria are a must and have to be adhered to while giving awards by central or state governments.’