Discuss the validity of the national awards and the constitutional provision under Article 18 of the Indian Constitution.

In Balaji Raghavan v. Union of India the validity of national awards was challenged in the Court under Article 18 on the ground of their inconsistency with that Article. After pursuing the constitutional history and the intent behind these awards, the Court came to the conclusion that they did not conflict with Article 18 because they did not amount to titles within the meaning of this article. It held that they could not be added as suffixes or prefixes to the names of the awardee and if so added they could be forfeited. In view of clause (f) of Article 51a it is necessary that there should be a system of award and decorations to recognise excellence in performance of the duties.