New Delhi, April 18: Veteran Telugu actor and former MP Mohan Babu, asked by a high court to return his Padma Shri because he had misused it as a title, has got a breather with the Supreme Court staying the order.
The bench issued notices to the Andhra government and state BJP leader Indrasena Reddy for their response to the actor’s petition. The next hearing is likely in four weeks.
Reddy had accused Mohan Babu and comedian Brahmanandam of prefixing “Padma Shri” to their names in the credits of a 2012 movie.
Last December, the high court ruled the duo had violated Article 18(1) of the Constitution and a 1995 apex court ruling that said the “national awards do not amount to ‘titles’… and should not be used as suffixes or prefixes” to the awardees’ names.
Mohan Babu and Brahmanandam were awarded the Padma Shri in 2007 and 2009.
A government press note on April 17, 1968, had clarified that using the Padma awards as titles on letterheads, invitation cards, posters, books, etc, violated the spirit of the Constitution, which has abolished titles.