Shobhana Bhartia is the daughter of the industrialist K K Birla and grand-daughter of G D Birla. The KK Birla family owned 75.36 per cent stake in HT Media. She is married to Shyam Sunder Bhartia, Chairman, Pharma firm Jubilant Organosys Ltd. Shobhana is the Vice-Chairperson and Editorial Director of the Hindustan Times group.
In February 2006, Shobhana was nominated to Rajya Sabha on a recommendation by by Sonia Gandhi. The nomination, reserved for eminent people from the fields of literature, science,art and social service, was challenged in the Supreme Court on the grounds that she was a "media baron" and not a journalist, and that she was politically affiliated with the Congress Party. The court dismissed the appeal saying that the scope of "social service" was broad enough to include her.
Not surprisingly, the editorial policy of Hindustan Times is biased towards Sonia Gandhi therefore, when Congress government came to power in 2004, she was made Padma Shree award nominees in 2005.