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In a first for any Indian Head of State, President Pratibha Patil today declared her assets which include movable and immovable properties worth over Rs 2.49 crore.

The President, who today completed four years in office, posted the details of her wealth and properties on her official website.

The declaration by the President came after the chief information officer, ruling on an RTI application, said it would set a good example if the President declared her assets.As per the declaration, the President owns immovable properties worth Rs 83.83 lakh and movable assets worth Rs 1.66 crore.

The immovable properties of the President include a house in Amravati district of Maharashtra worth Rs 39.61 lakh, a farmhouse spread over 3.2 hectares, valued at Rs 9.82 lakh and agricultural land in Jalgaon district worth Rs 7.81 lakh inherited from her father. Further, she also has agricultural land worth nearly Rs 20 lakh in Dhule district.

The movable assets of the President include fixed deposits in banks, investments with the post office, investment in bonds and shares, Public Provident Fund, jewellery and silver articles.

The President has made Rs 21,775 investment in shares, Rs 29.09 lakh investment in bonds of the Rural Electrification Corporation limited, fixed deposits in various banks worth Rs 68.80 lakh, Rs 4.71 lakh investment in the post office savings scheme, Rs 12.60 lakh in the PPF account of the State Bank of India.Besides, the President has gold jewellery worth Rs 31.06 lakh, silver articles worth Rs 69,134 and cash in hand of Rs 1.87 lakh. She has Rs 16.33 lakh in the savings bank accounts. The list of the wealth and property is as of March 31, 2011.

On July 21, in response to a query by Right to Information (RTI) activist Subhas Agrawal, the public information officer at the president’s secretariat said that the list of assets had been put up on the President’s website.Mr Agrawal had asked for details of the wealth and assets owned by the President and her family members in August last year.

But the information was twice denied to him by the public information officer at the President’s secretariat, saying the information was not available, and Mr Agrawal went in appeal. He was also told that there was no legal obligation for the President to publicly declare her wealth.During the hearing, the CIC said that the President’s relatives are private individuals and hence, do not come under the ambit of the RTI Act. However, if the President voluntarily declares her assets, like ministers and judges, it would set a good example, the CIC said.

On June 15, the CIC said, “the President may set a good example in transparency which others could follow. The commission cannot pass any direction in this regard, as it does not come within the Commission’s powers as mandated under the RTI Act.”

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