Sridevi got state funeral because of CM Fadnavis’ orders, reveals RTI
The information adds that the CM’s office gave a verbal order regarding the state funeral on February 25, 2018mumbai Updated: Mar 31, 2018 07:43 IST
Actor Sridevi’s funeral received state honours not because she was a Padmashri awardee, but because Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis used his discretionary powers in the matter, states the reply from the protocol department to an application under Right to Information (RTI) Act obtained by activist Anil Galgali.
The protocol department, which comes under General Administration Department, is headed by the CM.
“There were speculations that Sridevi was given state honours after her death because she was a Padma awardee, but that isn’t the case. Not all Padma recipients get state honour and it is the CM who decides whom the state honour must be conferred upon,” said Galgali.
When an eminent personality is given a state funeral ceremony, the body is draped in the tricolour and carried in a gun-carriage with army and police security in a procession. The funeral ceremony also includes a 21-gun salute.
The information adds that the CM’s office gave a verbal order regarding the state funeral on February 25, 2018, which was conveyed to the Mumbai Suburban Collector and the Mumbai Police Commissioner by a government order, dated February 26, 2018.
An official confirming the details of RTI said, that though state honours comes under the prerogative of Union government, state government also has the powers to take decisions on it.
“Not all Padma awardees get that privilege, it is the CM who decides who gets the state honours. The clause reads – eminent personalities who have done public service, may get a state honour in recognition of their work,” said the official.
State funerals are usually reserved only for current or former presidents, prime ministers, union ministers and state chief ministers. However, there have been instances earlier too when the CM has used his discretionary powers to confer state funerals for eminent personalities, such as Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray, Vipassana Guru Satyanarayan Goenka, Dawoodi Bohra community religious leader Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin, noted poet Mangesh Padgaonkar, senior journalist Muzzaffar Hussain and Padamvibhushan Dr BK Goyal, among others.
As per the RTI information, 40 people were conferred with full state honours between June 22, 2012 and March 26, 2018.
Mahatma Gandhi was the first person to have been given a state funeral in independent India.
Sridevi, who died of drowning after falling unconscious in Dubai hotel on February 24, 2018, was laid to rest with full state honours on February 28, wherein around 20,000 people had gathered in and around Andheri and Vile Parle to catch the last glimpse of her.