During Sachin Tendulkar's farewell series against the West Indies in November 2013, the Mumbai Cricket Association paid numerous tributes to the master blaster, one of which was to issue a commemorative postage stamp in legend's honour. Three months after the event, an RTI has exposed that the postal department broke its rules to produce the stamp in a hurry.
In an RTI filed by activist Subhash Aggarwal, it has been revealed that the commemorative stamp on Tendulkar, that was issued on November 14, 2013 was rushed through bypassing the postal rules. Aggarwal filed the RTI on December 24, 2013. According to rules, it takes more than 20 days to issue commemorative stamps and these kind of stamps are issued only 10 years after the death of the personality or in honour of head of nations, in exceptions. According to a report in the Times of India, both these rules were breached when Union minister and MCA president Sharad Pawar got the stamps issued within 20 days of the request sent by him.
"The desired date of release of this proposed stamp was November 14, 2013 which was merely 20 days away and pre-production formalities of a stamp require a longer time for printing of a good quality stamp and its distribution nationwide on the date of release," said Rashi Sharma, director (Philately) & First Appellate Authority department, in reply to the RTI.
"It would be relevant to mention here that as per the rule 13 of 'Rules for issue of Commemorative Postage Stamps,' no stamp will be issued on a living personality. The personalities on whom commemorative postage stamp may be issued should be of national or international importance. The occasion to be commemorated must be the birth centenary or 10th, 25th, and I00th death anniversary. Stamps can be issued no sooner than 10 years after an individual's death," she added.
Tendulkar had made his Test debut in 1989 against Pakistan in a Test that went on from November 15-20 and co-incidentally played his final Test -- his 200th-- against the West Indies during the same period between November 14-16. At the start of his 200th Test, the MCA got two stamps issued on November 14, one each with a picture of Tendulkar from the first and final Test of his career.