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B.V. Satyanarayana Rao v/s The Honourable Chief Minister of Karnataka & The Chairman of High Power & Selection Committee for Kannada, Bangalore & Others

    Writ Petition No. 50439 of 2019 (GM-RES)
    Decided On, 12 October 2022
    At, High Court of Karnataka
    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE M. NAGAPRASANNA
    For the Petitioner: Shankarappa, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1 to R3, M. Vinod Kumar, AGA, R4, Kashyap N. Naik, Advocate.


Judgment Text
(Prayer: This W.P. is filed under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India praying to direct the respondents to consider the representation of the petitioner dated 16.9.2019 produced as Annexure.Z-10 for awarding the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award for 2019 in terms of the previous observations/ directions of this Hon'ble Court and guidelines and also issue writ of certiorari by quashing the Annexure.Z13 vide Government Order dtd.28.10.2019 issued by the under Secretary of Government Department of Kannada and Culture.)

1. The petitioner is before this Court seeking a direction by issuance of writ in the nature of mandamus to consider the representation of the petitioner dated 16.09.2019, which is tendered for conferring of an award i.e., Kannada Rajyostsava Award for the ensuing Kannada Rajyostsava on 1st November, 2022.

2. Heard the learned counsel Sri Shankarappa appearing for the petitioner, the learned Additional Government Advocate for respondent Nos.1 to 3 and the learned counsel Sri Kashyap N.Naik appearing for respondent No.4.

3. The petitioner, earlier an employee of the State Government, submits his resignation and takes up his passion of literature and is said to have authored several books in Kannada. It is not the first time the petitioner is knocking the doors of this Court for the relief. The petitioner had earlier approached this Court in W.P.No.49527/2013 for the very same grievance, that his name is not being enlisted for conferring Kannada Rajyostsava Award. This Court, by its order dated 19.12.2014, disposed the petition by the following order:

“2. The petitioner contends that he is a poet and writer and he has authored more than 66 books in Kannada and Sanskrit languages. He has adopted “Satyavithala” as his pen name. He was awarded “Bhamini Bhaskara”, “Gamaka Shree” and “Sahitya Rathnakara” titles at different points of time.

3. The petitioner made an application for the Kannada Rajyotsava Award in the year 2013. However, his application has not been considered by the respondents. Therefore, he has filed this writ petition for a mandamus directing respondent Nos.3 and 4 to consider his application at Annexure-D for bestowing the Kannada Rajyotsava Award upon him.

4. It is not in dispute that the awards for the year 2013 have already been given. Therefore, question of directing respondent Nos.3 and 4 to consider the application of the petitioner for bestowing the Kannada Rajyotsava Award for the year 2013 at this stage does not arise. It is also evident that petitioner has authored several books in Kannada and Sanskrit languages. I am sure that respondent Nos.2 and 3 will consider his case for the award for the year 2015. With these observations, the writ petition is disposed of. No costs.”

(Emphasis supplied)

Again, when the petitioner’s name was not considered for conferring the award, a representation was submitted on 14.09.2015. Even then, it did not merit consideration. The petitioner had to knock the doors of this Court yet again in W.P.No.47197/2015. This was again disposed on 27.10.2016 by the following order:

"The petitioner had made an application for Kannada Rajyotsava award in the year 2013. The respondent did not consider the application. Therefore, he filed a writ petition W.P.No.49527/2013 for a mandamus directing the respondents to consider the said application. This Court by order dated 19.12.2014 directed respondent Nos.3 and 4 to consider his application for Kannada Rajyotsava award. After hearing the parties, this Court disposed of the writ petition as under:

“4. It is not in dispute that the awards for the year 2013 have already been given. Therefore, question of directing respondent Nos.3 and 4 to consider the application of the petitioner for bestowing the Kannada Rajyotsava Award for the year 2013 at this stage does not arise. It is also evident that petitioner has authored several books in Kannada and Sanskrit languages. I am sure that respondent Nos.2 and 3 will consider his case for the award for the year 2015. With these observations, the writ petition is disposed of. No costs.”

2. The petitioner has again made an application Annexure ‘W’ dated 17.9.2015 requesting the third respondent to consider him for the award. Since the said application was not considered, the petitioner has filed this writ petition for a mandamus directing the respondents to consider the application and also for a direction to frame the guidelines for considering the names of the persons for bestowing the award.

3. Learned Counsel for the petitioner submits that the petitioner is a poet and a writer and he has authored 66 books in Kannada and Sanskrit languages. He was awarded different titles at different points of time. The respondents are deliberately ignoring him while giving the award. It is submitted that ineligible persons have been bestowed with the award. Therefore, it is necessary to frame the guidelines for considering the names of the persons for bestowing the award.

4. Sri A.G.Shivanna, learned Additional Advocate General submits that the application of the petitioner for the award has already been considered for this year. A list containing the names of persons for the award has been sent to the High Power Committee. He further submits that a Committee consisting of 22 members headed by Hon’ble Sri Justice H.N.Nagamohan Das, former Judge of this Court as its Chairman was constituted by the State Government to frame the guidelines for selecting the persons for Kannada Rajyotsava award. The Committee has framed guidelines, which has been submitted to the State Government for approval. The State Government will consider the said guidelines and pass necessary order.

5. Having regard to the submission of the learned Additional Advocate General, the prayer of the petitioner for consideration of his application for the Kannada Rajyotsava award does not survive for consideration.

6. It is clear from the materials on record that the Committee constituted to frame the guidelines for the Kannada Rajyotsava award has already submitted the draft guidelines to the State Government. The State Government has to consider the said guidelines and issue an order as expeditiously as possible. Ordered accordingly. Writ petition is disposed of in the aforesaid terms. No costs."

(Emphasis supplied)

This was not implemented and the petitioner filed a contempt petition in CCC No.1236/2016, which came to be disposed by the order dated 14.06.2017, reserving liberty to challenge the Endorsement given during the pendency of the contempt proceedings, that resulted in another writ petition being filed in W.P.No.41665/2017 on 17.10.2017. This Court again, recording the submission of the learned Additional Advocate General, who represented the case, disposed the petition by the following order:

"The petitioner is before this Court seeking that the mandamus be issued to the respondents to consider the representation of the petitioner dated 28.08.2017 as at Annexure-Z7. In that regard, the petitioner is contending that the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award be conferred on the petitioner.

2. Though the petitioner has referred to his credentials seeking consideration of the representation in a particular manner, taking note of the fact that the representation as submitted is pending consideration, this Court is not required to advert to the details of the contention as put forth in the instant writ petition.

3. Be that as it may, the learned Additional Advocate General would submit that the representation submitted by the petitioner is under consideration and an appropriate decision in that regard would be taken keeping in view the guidelines and the recommendation to be made by the Committee constituted for the purpose.

4. Therefore all that is necessary to be directed in this petition is that the representation as made by the petitioner shall be taken note, the documents submitted by the petitioner as credentials of the petitioner for the purpose of consideration of the representation shall also be assessed in accordance with the guidelines and the Committee shall take a decision in the matter.

5. The consideration of the representation shall in any event be made prior to the list being finalized for the purpose of Rajyotsava Award for the year 2016 to be conferred in the year 2017.

The petition is accordingly disposed of."

(Emphasis supplied)

Non-implementation of the order again leads the petitioner to invoke the contempt jurisdiction of this Court in CCC No.1221/2018. This Court again, reserved liberty to the petitioner to file a writ petition challenging the action. The result is the present writ petition. The petition is filed seeking the very same prayer that had been sought by filing several writ petitions.

3. Learned counsel Sri Shankrappa appearing for the petitioner would contend that the petitioner has been discriminated in not conferring the award i.e., the 'Kannada Rajyostava' despite he being fully eligible. Every time he has been denied despite the orders of this Court directing such consideration. He would submit that the Committee is now constituted to assess the eligibility and enlist the persons, who would be eligible for conferring Kannada Rajyostava award and would submit that suitable directions to be given to the Committee to look into the credentials of the petitioner, which would suffice in the case at hand.

4. Learned Additional Government Advocate representing the respondent- State would submit that it is for the experts to decide the issue and the Committee of experts is now constituted. Then, the Committee would necessarily be taken decision only after weighting the credentials of the petitioner along with other applicants and would also submit that the petition is not maintainable as it is the job of the experts to assess the eligibility.

5. The afore quoted orders would undoubtedl

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y be to the effect that the petition would be maintainable as it is the action of the State that is sought to be called in question or a direction being sought to the State to consider for conferment of Kannada Rajyostava award. No doubt, it is in the domain of the experts, to assess the credentials of all the persons, who are enlisted to be conferred such award and then, draw up a final list. 6. Therefore, in the light of all the afore-quoted orders passed by this Court, right from 2013, the Committee is required to assess and consider for enlisting the petitioner for conferring the award, if he is eligible. 7. On the aforesaid observations, the petition stands disposed with a direction to the State to place all the material concerning the petitioner before the Committee, which Committee would consider the same and make appropriate recommendations in accordance with law. It is made clear that this Court has not pronounced upon the merit of the claim of the petitioner. The aforesaid action shall be taken before the ensuing Kannada Rajyostava Celebration on 1st November, 2022.
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