Two retiring senior judges and a former top Xinhua official are among five recipients of this year's highest SAR honour. Retiring Court of Final Appeal Judges Mr Justice Henry Litton and Mr Justice Charles Ching will be awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal, it was revealed yesterday, on the eve of the SAR's third anniversary. The two have been involved in trying the controversial right of abode cases and were recognised for distinguished service as permanent judges in the top court, a government spokesman said. The other recipients of the medal are former deputy director of Xinhua (now Beijing's Liaison Office) Mo Kwan-nin; founder of the daily Ming Pao, Professor Louis Cha Jing-yong; and martial arts novelist and Sinologist, Professor Jao Tsung-I. Professor Cha was commended for his outstanding achievements in Chinese literature and journalism and for his public service. Professor Jao was cited for his lifelong and distinguished contribution to the study of Chinese culture and his outstanding achievements as a calligrapher, painter, poet and essayist. Among 17 people awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star are three Executive Councillors - Charles Lee Yeh-kwong, Henry Tang Ying-yen and Timothy Chung Shiu-ming. Secretary for Housing Dominic Wong Shing-wah, Secretary for Civil Service Lam Woon-kwong and retiring Secretary for Home Affairs David Lan Hong-tsung also received the star. Only three current Exco members have not been awarded honours since the handover - Financial Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie and Housing Authority chairman Rosanna Wong Yick-ming, who resigned last Saturday in the wake of a series of piling scams. Among 306 people also honoured in the list are Liberal Party legislator Sophie Leung Lau Yau-fun, retiring Director of Highways Leung Kwok-sun, whose staff were criticised by the Audit Commission for claiming excessive overtime, and Anna Wu Hung-yuk, Equal Opportunities Commission chairman. A government official said that it was studying comparisons with other countries to decide whether or not to develop a mechanism to remove honours. In Britain, civil servants convicted of serious criminal offences lose honours awarded to them.