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Tuesday, August 5 1997

SC cancels note on Bharat Ratna for Subhash Bose

PRESS TRUST OF INDIA

NEW DELHI, Aug 4: The Supreme Court today put an end to the six-year controversy surrounding the Government's intention of posthumously conferring the Bharat Ratna on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, when it declared that the 1992 press communique should be treated as cancelled.

The declaration by a Division Bench comprising Justice Sujatha V Manohar and Justice G B Pattanaik, came after the Union Government stated on affidavit that in deference to the sentiments expressed by the public and members of the family of Netaji, the Government of India did not proceed further to confer the award.

The affidavit had stated further that neither the name was published in the Gazette of India nor was it entered in the register of recipients nor was the decoration conferred by the President by a Sanad under his hand and seal.

The Government made it clear that the matter was closed in a sense that no no further steps were taken for conferment of the Bharat Ratna on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

Since the award was not conferred the question of cancellation or annulment under clause ten did not not arise.

``Since no further steps have been taken pursuant to the press communique and the matter is treated as closed, we declare that the press communique should be treated as cancelled'', the judges said.

The court said with this declaration nothing further survived on the controversy regarding the press communique and the various petitions either transferred from the Calcutta High Court or filed in the apex court challenging the communique stood disposed of.

``We need not, therefore, go into the question whether the word `posthumously' has been justifiably used in the press communique or the wider question whether there is enough material available for reaching the conclusion that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose died either in the air crash of August 18, 1945 or at any time thereafter'', the judges said.

The court held that this aspect regarding the death or otherwise of the Netaji was a wider issue on which undoubtedly in future as in the past, there would be divergent views.

Copyright © 1997 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

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