New Delhi: The Congress-NCP government in
Maharashtra had recommended the name of industrialist Keshub
Mahindra for Padma awards in 2002 despite his being an accused
in the Bhopal gas leak case.
The recommendation of the then Maharashtra government
led by Vilasrao Deshmukh was also vetted by the `competent
authority` for the Padma Bhushan.
"The government of Maharashtra had recommended the
name of Shri Keshub Mahindra for Padma Awards in 2002. The
competent authority had approved his name for `Padma
Bhushan`...," the Home Ministry said in its RTI reply to S C
It was the industrialist himself, who in a letter
dated March 5, 2002 declined to accept the award, it said.
The reason for declining the award was the pending
Bhopal case against him.
"As per report of the CBI, he figured in the case
(Bhopal Gas leak case) and a charge sheet had been filed in
the court," the reply said.
As per guidelines regulating Padma award, nominations
for it are open to all. State and UT governments also send
their recommendations which are placed before the Awards
Committee. The committee forwards the recommendations to the
competent authority for approval.
Former President A P J Abdul Kalam had suggested the
then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajapayee to exclude names of
people from awards list who had adverse reports of
investigation and intelligence agencies.
Keshub Mahindra joined Mahindra and Mahindra Limited
in 1947 and became its chairman in 1963.
Mahindra was non-executive chairman of Union Carbide
India when the lethal gas leak from its plant killed over
15,000 people in 1984.
He was convicted by the trial court for two years of
imprisonment on June 7. He got bail on July 1.