The Supreme Court on Friday refused to hear a plea seeking that Mahatma Gandhi be conferred with the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, The Indian Express reported. The court asked the petitioner to make a representation to the central government instead.

“We agree with you and share your sentiment, but it is a matter of policy,” a bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde told the petitioner. “Make a representation before the government.” Bobde also said that Gandhi is the Father of the Nation, and therefore beyond such formal recognition, Bar and Bench reported.

In 2019, Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee was awarded the Bharat Ratna by President Ram Nath Kovind. The names of Bharat Ratna recipients are usually announced on Republic Day, January 26.

In October, the Bharatiya Janata Party created a controversy by claiming that it would award the Bharat Ratna to Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar if brought back to power in Maharashtra. This led to condemnation from the Congress. Congress leader Manish Tewari sarcastically said the award should be conferred upon Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse instead of Savarkar, who was only accused of conspiring to kill Gandhi.