City based advocate Ajay Jagga has shot off a communique to the vice president of India cum chancellor of Panjab University (PU) Hamid Ansari pointing out that the furniture of PU is being exhibited at Paris. The heritage of PU has been put up on exhibition from October 2 - 8 and is slated to be auctioned in December this year.
He has demanded strict steps be initiated so that national heritage is not auctioned abroad. The price of a single table from PU is being auctioned for minimum of Rs 78 lakh in Israel auction on December 1, this year.
Jagga has pointed out that it is also the fundamental duty of the state to safeguard public property as per article 51(i) of the Constitution of India
“The auctions have been taking place for many years. In case PU feels they don’t want to retain the heritage items then these items should be sold through a global tender, so that the University can earn through foreign exchange,” Jagga said.
He added that issues that need to be investigated are how these furniture items were sold by PU, to whom and on what price. He also asks how these items were exported out of the country, whether necessary duties were paid and exports rules were followed. He goes on further to trail the furniture being auctioned eventually by inquiring as to how they were sold to auctions houses and on the basis of which documents.
The departments of history, ancient history, archaeology, culture, and centre for social work PU should be asked to impart education on our own artifacts.