The Delhi High Court on 27 March 2017 ruled that Sahitya Akademi awardees are not eligible to return their awards as they are granted after considerable deliberations.
The ruling was given by a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal. The bench said that the executive board of the Akademi in 2015 had resolved that awards once granted cannot be taken back and therefore, there was no need to formulate guidelines against the return of the awards.
This decision was taken in 2015 when several writers, poets and artists returned their awards protesting against the Akademi's silence on the murder of academician MM Kalburgi as well as against the atmosphere of intolerance and communalism in the backdrop of the Dadri lynching incident.
Opposing the return of awards, a PIL was moved in the high court for framing of guidelines to return the prize money received along with the awards.
The PIL had also sought framing of norms to protect the sanctity of the Sahitya Akademi Puraskar as is done for the National symbols. It also urged for strong punitive action against those who return such awards.
When: 27 March 2017