The Madras High Court on Friday dismissed the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s plea seeking the Bharat Ratna for deceased chief minister J Jayalalithaa. The court refused to tell the Centre to confer the former chief minister with the country’s highest civilian award, and said that such decisions were made by the committee relegated with the job. The bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sundar said the matter was beyond the court’s realm.

The Public Interest Litigation seeking the honour for Jayalalithaa was filed by one KK Ramesh. The petitioner said the deceased leader deserved the award because she was the chief minister of the state thrice, besides having introduced many welfare schemes, such as low-cost canteens, free laptops and bicycles for students and the poor in the state. To bolster his claim, Ramesh had also cited a previous judgment directing authorities to consider conferring the same award upon Subhash Chandra Bose.

After Jayalalithaa’s death on December 5, the state’s Cabinet had passed a resolution to recommend the Bharat Ratna for the former chief minister and a bronze statue of her in the Parliament building. O Panneerselvam, who took over as chief minister after Jayalalithaa, also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi to hand over a formal letter stating the requests.