India

Gold medal for Indian man 47 years after exam

Ajit Singh Singhvi, left, received his gold medal on Thursday Image copyright Abha Sharma
Image caption Ajit Singh Singhvi, left, received his gold medal on Thursday

An 81-year-old Indian man has finally been awarded a prestigious gold medal for coming top in law exams which he sat nearly 50 years ago.

Ajit Singh Singhvi was originally placed second in the awards list of Rajasthan University in 1969.

But he contested the result, saying he deserved first place.

Mr Singhvi received his medal on Thursday after a protracted legal battle and delays by the university.

The retired civil servant told BBC Hindi that he was elated after getting his "much-awaited" medal.

"I am happy, but I wish I had received this medal long ago. It would have helped my career in the civil service," he told BBC Hindi.

He added that he decided to file a legal case in 1969 because he believed that "the university's computation method to determine the topper was wrong".

A lower court gave the decision in his favour in 1975 and the university also agreed that he came top in the exams.

But Sawai Singh, who was originally awarded the gold medal, challenged the decision in a higher court and a protracted legal battle started.

Mr Singhvi's 34-year-long legal struggle ended in 2003 when the Rajasthan high court declared him the "deserving" winner of the gold medal and Mr Singh decided to not appeal against the verdict.

But the civil servant had to wait for another 13 years to get his medal due to what the university said were "procedural delays".

His friend Trilochan Singh said that "Mr Singhvi had set an example for others that you must fight for what you believe in".