Prez Asks How and Why Chatwal Made to Padma Award List: Report

Following controversies about his discharge in bank fraud cases, President Pratibha Patil has asked her office to find out how and why NRI hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal made it the Padma Bhushan list, reported Indian Express.

Report said that Patil put her signature on the dotted line only following an assurance from the Government that his name could ‘deleted’ if some adverse finding emerges out before the ceremony in March, said report.

After report of Chatwal, who was under CBI probe for alleged bank fraud, being a Padma nominee came out in media, Patil questioned his nomination, said report citing sources.

The president is said to have instructed her Secretary, Christy Fernandez, to check with the Government on his inclusion, said report.

Report said quoting sources that Fernandez called up Home Secretary G K Pillai who told him that the CBI had taken a decision not to appeal against his discharge in the bank fraud cases.

Also, he is said to have told that in the event a charge sprung up against Chatwal on review, there was a provision in the Padma awards process to ‘delete’ his name before the ceremony, report said.

Fernandez, report said citing sources, put this on record before getting the President’s assent.

In response to a question regarding the query from Rashtrapati Bhavan, Pillai did not make a comment but said that there was ‘no such noting’ on the file, said report.

He said that both CBI and IB had given a clean chit to Chatwal, said report.

“We base ourselves on record and not on hypothetical assumptions,” he was quoted as saying. “There is no question of a review but if tomorrow Chatwal commits murder, we will definitely reconsider our decision.”

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