Q. Which of the following titles come(s) under the titles as provided by the “Article 18 of the Indian Constitution”?
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
Article 18 - Abolition of Titles
It prohibits the State from conferring any title (except a military or academic distinction) on any body and a citizen of India from accepting any title from any foreign state.
Hence hereditary titles of nobility like Maharaja, Raj Bahadur, Rai Bahadur, Rai Saheb, Dewan Bahadur, etc, which were conferred by colonial States are banned by Article 18 as these are against the principle of equal status of all.
In 1996, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the National Awards like Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. It ruled that these awards do not amount to ‘titles’ within the meaning of Article 18 that prohibits only hereditary titles of nobility.
Therefore, they are not violative of Article 18 as the theory of equality does not mandate that merit should not be recognised. However, it also ruled that they should not be used as suffixes or prefixes to the names of awardees. Otherwise, they should forfeit the awards.