HP HC | “Dispatching the gallantry medal directly to the writ petitioner through courier amount to breach of protocol”; Such awards must be given only in ceremonial functions of Independence Day/ Republic Day

Himachal Pradesh High Court: Sureshwar Thakur, J. disposed of the petition by granting mandamus regarding quick conferment of medals in the manner as prescribed by law.

The facts of the case are such that instant petition was filed for grant of monetary as well as other benefits which are admissible to the recipient of the gallantry service medal bestowed on the petitioner and also that the award was sent through courier and was later presented on the celebrations of Himachal Day after the gap of more than 3 years. This action is against the prescribed norms for the conferment of the Award.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the way award has been conferred militates the mandate, as well as the presentation of such awards, must be during ceremonial functions of Independence Day/ Republic Day.

Counsel for respondents submitted that there was no inordinate delay in the conferment of gallantry medal as it was due to the delaying of manufacture of medals by the concerned authority which was thereby due to delay in receiving intimation from the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs with respect to the gallantry award being given to the writ petitioner.

The Court observed that while promoting acts of bravery and courage, gallantry awards are made for ensuring the spirit of bravery the recipients of awards must be honored in ceremonial functions of Republic Day or Independence Day. It was also observed that delay in the conferment of gallantry awards should be deprecated.

The Court thus held “this Court deems it fit, to make a mandamus, upon the respondents to upon reflection of name(s) of the apposite awardees(s), in the apposite list, to ensure that with utmost promptness, the medals are manufactured, and, they shall ensure that the awarding of medal, upon, the recipients being promptly done, only at Republic Day or Independence day functions.”

[Vikas Sharma v. Union of India, Civil Writ Petition No. 878 of 2017, decided on 20-08-2021]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearances

For petitioner: Mr Vijay Kumar Arora

For respondent 1 and 2: Mr Rajinder Thakur,

For respondent 3 and 4: Mr Ashwani Sharma, Mr Narender Guleria, Mr Hemant Vaid, Mr Vikrant Chandel and Mr Gaurav Sharma

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