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Class 12 student files PIL challenging Bharat Ratna to Dr. CNR Rao
Tuesday December 3, 2013 7:04 PM, News Network

In a surprising move, a class 12 student and his sister, who is a law student, has filed Tuesday a Public Interest Letigation (PIL) in Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench, challenging Bharat Ratna award to scientist Dr CNR Rao.

"My children, Law student Tanaya Thakur and Class XII student Aditya Thakur today filed a PIL in Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench challenging Bharat Ratna award to scientist Dr CNR Rao. What is really heartening to me is that on Thursday they will appear in Court and will argue the case themselves", Amitabh Thakur, father of the two and activist, said in a statement.

While Tanaya Thakur is aged 19, Aditya Thakur is just 15.

As per the petition, Bharat Ratna is the highest award of this country and must be given after utmost scrutiny.

"There are many scientists like Jagdish Chandra Bose, S N Bose, Meghnad Saha, Dr Homi Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai etc who made much more lasting and important contribution to science compared to Dr Rao, who comes as occupying posts in government most of the time due to proximity to power", they said in their petition.

"Dr Rao has allegedly published 1400 research papers which is physically impossible, given the fact that one good research takes at least 6 to 8 months. He has been alleged of plagiarism of an article in foreign journal Advance Materials, for which he even apologized", they said in their petition.

"Other allegations of plagiarism have been made against him for December 2011 issue of the Journal of Luminescence, January 2006 issue of Advanced Materials and another paper published in 2010 in the Applied Physics Express", they said in their petition.

Tanaya and Aditya have also said that a scientist with proven cases of plagiarism shall not be presented the highest civilian award and hence the award notification needs to be quashed.

They also said that their objective is not to malign any particular individual or administrative authority, including Sri Rao.

"The purpose is also not to harm the interests of any of the individuals related or involved with the process of Bharat Ratna. The sole purpose of filing this PIL is to make Bharat Ratna truly synonymous to its name and to annul the highest award of this land being given to a person being accused and having accepted the sin of plagiarism", they said in their petition.

Amitabh Thakur and his wife social activist Nutan Thakur had earlier challenged in the same court Bharat Ratna to Sachin Tendulkar.

The petitioner's counsel Asok Pande argued that cricket was less of a sport and more a 'tamasha' or fun.

Pande said there were no guidelines to select Bharat Ratna winners as against the guidelines governing Padma awards.

Additional Solicitor General K.C. Kaushik presented a list of Bharat Ratna awardees so far.

The bench of Justices Imtiyaz Murtaza and D.K. Upadhyaya reserved the ruling after listening to both the parties. The date of judgement would be announced later.

The petitioners prayed for a larger committee for these awards to bestow Bharat Ratna to the "truly deserving".

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