Two Union Ministers and a prominent US Congressman recommended the name of controversial NRI hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal for the prestigious Padma awards, the Government told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
The four recommendations came from Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, member of US Congress Joseph Crowley and Dalis Adler, Staff Associate, Sub-Committee on the Middle East and South Asia under the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran told the House in reply to a query that as per guidelines regulating Padma award, nominations for it are open to all.
Besides inviting nominations from institutional sources like state and UT governments, central ministries, departments, institutes of excellence and Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan awardees, a large number of recommendations are also received from various other sources like Governors, Chief Ministers, Cabinet Ministers, MPs, private institutions, bodies and individuals, he said.
All nominations and recommendations received are placed before the Padma Awards committee for its consideration. The committee scrutinises them and makes its recommendations to the competent authority for approval, Ramachandran said.
The selection of Chatwal for the Padma award had sparked a controversy following allegations that he was involved in financial irregularities, a charge denied by him.