SC dismisses plea against Padma Vibhushan to Dhirubhai Ambani

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea for quashing a government notification to confer Padma Vibhushan in 2016 on late Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of Reliance Industries Ltd.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar dismissed the plea for withdrawal of the prestigious honour to the noted industrialist.

“In his time, he was known as the biggest industrialist of the country. You are not to decide on who should get the Padma Vibhushan. If they give it to you, we can’t question,” the bench observed.

In May 2016, the Delhi High Court had dismissed the plea, saying “no public interest was involved” in the petition and it was filed just to “malign” a person.

In the appeal against the High Court order, lawyer P.C. Srivastava had sought a direction to Kokilaben Ambani, widow of Dhirubhai, to return the “sanad” (certificate) and medallion of Padma Vibhushan which she had received on behalf of her late husband.

Dhirubhai Ambani was conferred Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honour, posthumously for his “exceptional and distinguished” service to trade and industry.

The petitioner alleged that Dhirubhai had not “rendered any exceptional and distinguished service” for which he was given the award.