RTI reply reveals there are no rules regarding transfer of gifts received by president
In response to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the President’s Secretariat has informed that a MoU was signed on 15th June 2012 between Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Vidya Bharti Shaikshnik Mandal, Amravati, for display of 155 artifacts/mementos on a purely temporary basis, which shall cease to be operative with effect from 15th June, 2013. The reply further says that all the artifacts presently on loan shall be returned to the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum thereafter. The details of artifacts transferred to the museum being specially set up in Pratibha Patil’s hometown by the family trust, Vidya Bharti Shaikshnik Mandal, run by her politician-son Rajendra Shekhawat has not been divulged. The RTI applicant had sought the list of artifacts given along with their individual costs and countries that they were gifted from.
The PIO has further informed that no such requests for transfer of artifacts were made by any former President of India barring Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. 36 artifacts were handed over during the Presidency Dr Kalam for being displayed in the Brahmos Centre, New Delhi.
In reply to the query seeking copy of rules and regulations for ‘loaning’ official gifts received by President of India to presidents on their retirement or loaned to any other organisation, the reply accepts that no such rules and regulations are available for loaning of gift items received by the President of India.