New Delhi: The five Bharat Ratna medallions ordered by the Home Ministry, which fuelled speculation in the media about the latest honorees' list, were not meant to be awarded and were for display in the newly-opened President's Secretariat museum, reveals an RTI query.
The order for five medals in the middle of last year had fuelled speculation that the nation's highest civilian award would be given to as many persons with several names, including that of revolutionary leader Subhash Chandra Bose, doing the rounds.
However, according to the rules, the number of Bharat Ratna awards is restricted to a maximum of three in a particular year.
The recommendation for Bharat Ratna is made by the prime minister himself to the President.
The government had last year in December announced the names of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and freedom fighter and founder of Banaras Hindu University, Madan Mohan Malviya, as the latest recipients of the award.
Ending all speculation, the response to the RTI query filed by Subhash Agrawal says that the President's office had requested original medals of the civilian and gallantry awards for display at a new museum which has opened at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
It, however, said that miniatures of the Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri medallions were handed over to the President's Secretariat even though the office had asked for the original medals for display at the new facility.
"As per the stock available with the public section, no medal for Bharat Ratna is available in the Section... As per rules governing Bharat Ratna, three awards can be given in a year.
"As we have no medal in stock, if approved, an order for 5 Bharat Ratna Medals along with miniature may be made to the Government Mint, Kolkata," the file notings said.