‘Records of State funerals gutted in Mantralaya fire`
New Delhi: All the records related to state funerals accorded to dignitaries in Maharashtra prior to 2012 have been gutted in the fire in the Secretariat building on June 21 last year, an RTI response has revealed.
The response from General Administration department of Maharashtra Government said that since June 21, 2012 eight persons have been accorded State funeral which include former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackerey.
"All the documents related to the State funeral of high dignitaries have been destroyed in the fire that occurred on June 21, 2012. Therefore, information prior to the date is not available," the RTI response said.
Responding to Lucknow-based activist Urvashi Sharma, the department said even the manual which laid down guidelines for state funerals has also been burnt in the fire.
"The booklet describing instructions regarding action to be taken on the death of high dignitaries has been burnt in the Secretariat fire. This book was provided by the Home Ministry of the Central Government and we have requisitioned for it. The authority to accord such an honour lies with the Chief Minister of the state and action in this regard is taken on his directions," the reply said.
Sharma had asked in her application the details of State funerals accorded to various dignitaries during last 10 years by the Maharashtra government, the expenses incurred on its, guiding rules among other details.
Without giving details of the expenditure incurred, the government said that the expenses that are undertaken for the state funerals are drawn from the funds provided by the District Collector office where the last rites take place.
It also said no minutes of meeting are prepared while deciding on the state funerals hence they cannot be provided.
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