Noted movie writer Salim Khan, former diplomat K S Bajpai and spiritual gurus Sri Ravi Shanker, Mohammed Burhanuddin and Mata Amritanandamayi had refused to accept the Padma awards this year while Ramdev was not considered for the honours, according to an RTI response.
To a query seeking to know the names of persons who were shortlisted for the civilian honours but turned it down, the Home Ministry said Salim Khan, former diplomat K S Bajpai and spiritual gurus Sri Ravi Shanker, late Mohammed Burhanuddin and Mata Amritanandamayi had refused to accept the Padma awards.
The Ministry in an RTI response to activist Subhash Agrawal referred him to web site which had lists of people considered for Padma awards and those shortlisted for them but it did not have name of yoga guru Ramdev.
Two days before the awards were to be presented on January 26, 2015, Ramdev had claimed that he had written to Home Minister Rajnath Singh declining the award as he came to know that he was being considered for it.
“Meeting of the Padma Awards Committee was held on October 31, December 5, and December 13-14, 2014 for two days. The minutes of the meeting were not maintained,” the Ministry said in its response.
The reply said recommendations for the awards were dispatched from MHA to Awards-Committee members for their study and perusal before the meeting of the committee on October 25, 2014.
The Ministry refused to give information about persons whose names were recommended but were not considered following objections from agencies like CBI, IB and tax authorities saying information received from such agencies is secret in nature and cannot be provided under RTI Act.
It said search committee meetings were held on August 21, 2014 and September 8, 2014.
Recently, Ramdev created controversy saying lobbying takes place for Padma awards.