A writ petition has been filed at the Madras High Court against the Thanthai Periyar Award for Social Justice 2022 having been given to poet Kali Poongundran of the Dravidar Kazhagam, on the grounds that he had not even applied for the award following a call given by the Tamil Nadu government.
One of the applicants to the award, D. Sridhar of New Venmanampudhur in Tiruvallur district, has filed the case contending that the honour, carrying a cash award of ₹5 lakh, a certificate and a gold medal ought to have been given only to one of the 24 applicants from various parts of the State.
Claiming to be an activist involved in social work, the petitioner said he belonged to a Scheduled Caste and had been serving people for many years despite his poor financial status. He had applied for the award pursuant to a call given by the State government in September 2022.
Claiming that the Tiruvallur Collector had interviewed him and had also recommended his name for the award to the government, the petitioner said, 24 such applications were received by the State government but still it chose to give the award to someone who had not applied at all.
The petitioner also claimed that, since its institution in 1995, the award had never been given to deserving individuals who had been serving society despite their indigent circumstances. He sought a direction to the government to reconsider the issue and give the 2022 award to one of the 24 applicants.