After nearly five decades of legal battle with Rajasthan University, 81-year-old retired IAS officer Ajit Singh Singhvi finally received his long overdue gold medal for securing first position in an LLB examination which he passed in 1969.

Rajasthan University Vice Chancellor J P Singhal awarded Singhvi the gold medal at a simple ceremony at the varsity.

"I am happy, but I wish I had received this medal long ago. It would have helped my career in the civil service," Singhvi was quoted saying to the BBC.

Singhvi was forced to fight a long and tedious legal battle as the varsity had erroneously counted merit only on the basis of marks secured in the final year, whereas in aggregate Singhvi had received the highest marks.

Even though he had received a favourable verdict in a civil court in Bikaner in 1975, Sawai Singh, the student who was awarded the gold medal, appealed against the order in the court of Additional District Judge (ADJ), Bikaner, and the ADJ upheld the decision of the trial court in 1990; however, Sawai Singh filed an appeal in the high court.

"The high court also upheld the decision in 2003. However, it took several more years to complete the legal procedure after the HC verdict as Singhvi had not received the decree from the civil court," Ashok Maru, the Rajasthan University counsel was qouted saying by PTI.

"If I had quit the legal battle in between, it would have left a poor example in the society. The feeling of setting an example had kept me going for decades," Singhvi whose persistence led him to more than 300 court proceedings in Bikaner and Jaipur, was quoted saying to the Times of India.