Raja Ravi Varma
The Interim order in this regard was issued by a division bench, comprising Chief Justice H L Dathu and Justice K T Shankaran on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Ravi Varma, a member of the erstwhile Cochin Royal family.
The petitioner submitted that Hussain had 'abused' the freedom of expression by depicting Hindu Gods and Goddesses in a 'vulgar' manner, disregarding religious sentiments and feelings.
Alleging the decision to confer the award to Hussain will amount to "promoting pornographic art", he said the decision will "affect the fundamental secular spirit of the Constitution".
The controversial decision was also against the directive principles of constitution of India to maintain harmony among the people. The selection process for the award was according to the "whims and fancies of authorities", he submitted.
However, the bench said the government had the liberty to approach the court for modification of the order.
The Education and Cultural Department had announced that Husain would be conferred the award on September 17.