The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday came to a conclusion that Tollywood actor M Mohan Babu has been intentionally misusing the 'Padma Shri' given to him and directed the central government recommend to the President within 15 days to take back the award from the actor to protect its sanctity. The court however spared him since he could successfully convince the court that it was a mistake from the Production House in affixing the title in the credits. This comes as a huge relief for the comedian.
The court urged the President to take a decision on the Centre's plea within four weeks. The exercise should be done in accordance with the guidelines framed and issued by the Supreme Court where in the Union home ministry was directed to send recommendations to the President whenever it comes across instances of misuse of such titles and awards, the court said. The order was pronounced by a division bench of Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice P V Sanjay Kumar after hearing a petition by senior BJP leader N Indrasena Reddy, who charged the actor with deliberately misusing the award by affixing the title 'Padma Shri' in front of his name in all the films being produced by his production house, 24 Frames.
When Indrasena Reddy filed a supplementary affidavit in the court charging Mohan Babu with misusing his title in another film (Jhummandi Naadam), the bench had directed the actor to file a counter. The BJP leader urged the court to take steps to get the award recalled because the actor has been claiming that the titles are being added without his knowledge by suppressing the fact that his own production house has been resorting to violations. The bench after verifying the records of two films, Denikaina Ready and Jhummandi Naadam, where the actor was charged with the alleged violation, concluded that it was a willful and deliberate action on the part of the actor. The bench made it clear that the sanctity of such titles cannot be undermined for the purpose of publicity.