Mumbai: Former cabinet secretary Zafar Saifullah died in New Delhi last week, his family announced here on Wednesday. He was 78.

He is survived by his wife Kulsoom Noor, eight children and 12 grandchildren.

"He passed away peacefully and with his entire family by his side. As he would have wished, we did not announce the sad news as it was Ramadan and we did not want to spoil the joy of Eid-ul-Fitr," Kulsoom Noor told IANS here on Wednesday.

Zaifullah breathed his last on Friday after a brief illness. His body was brought to Mumbai where it was laid to rest at the Sulaimani Bohra cemetery on Grant Road.

Born in a middle-class Sulaimani Bohra family of Khar suburb, Mumbai where he grew up and was educated, Saifullah was an IAS officer from the Karnataka cadre. He was appointed as the cabinet secretary during 1993-94, and was the first Muslim to occupy the position.