Bhopal, June 19: In what could be termed as bad news for Sachin Tendulkar, a PIL has been filed in the Madhya Pradesh High Court against the cricketing legend for alleged misuse of the Bharat Ratna in commercial advertisements.
The High Court has reportedly admitted the PIL and has directed the Solicitor General to find out if there are any Supreme Court guidelines on the use of award of promotion of commercial products by awardee of country's highest civil honour.
Chief justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice KK Trivedi issued this order while hearing a PIL on Thursday.
As per a report published in TOI, VK Naswah, Bhopal based petitioner, has expressed his discomfort with the 'Bharat Ratna' awardee promoting commercial products on television. He said this discomfort is prevalent in many sections across the country.
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Alleging misuse of the prestigious award for commercial purpose, Naswah was quoted as saying either Tendulkar should return this award on moral ground or government should take it back.
"Using this honour for commercial purpose is 'illegitimate'," he argued before the court.
Even after his retirement from cricket, batting maestro has numerous endorsements under his belt. From promoting water purifier to luxury cars, Sachin is associated with several commercial advertisements.
The HC has given Solicitor General a weeks time to respond if there are such guidelines issued by the Apex Court.
Sachin and eminent scientist CNR Rao were conferred the Bharat Ratna by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Feb 4, 2014.
According to an RTI reply, the process of conferring the country's highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna on Sachin Tendulkar was initiated on the first day of his farewell 200th cricket Test on November 14, 2013 and the announcement made two days later.