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The Delhi High Court Monday dismissed a plea challenging the Padma Bhushan awarded to NRI hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal, saying no rules were flouted in his selection.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta dismissed the petition by S.K. Shah, a freelance journalist, who claimed that rules were not followed while selecting Chatwal for the honour.

Shah, who filed the petition through his counsel S.P. Mehta March 23, contended that the Padma Bhushan should not be conferred on a man against whom investigating agencies were probing five cases under various charges.

Describing Chatwal as one “whose rise emanates from dubious, questionable and murky financial dealings”, the petitioner asked the government to reconsider its decision.

Alleging that Chatwal duped several banks of millions of rupees, the petition said: “Despite being the owner of a vast empire, he got himself declared bankrupt. The government, despite being in full knowledge (of these facts), ignored all these and chose to give him the award.”


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