LHC: Secret auctions of Toshakhana gifts illegal


The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday declared secret auctions of precious state gifts of Toshakhana unconstitutional and directed government to formulate new rules.

LHC Chief Justice Qasim Khan ruled that the policy of secret auctions of gifts given to government officials by heads of other countries and foreign dignitaries is unconstitutional.

The petitioner has argued that Toshakhana gifts by foreign dignitaries as a goodwill gesture but the government privately auctions these valuables without following any legal procedure.

In order to keep the auction process under wraps, the federal authorities write letters to officials instead of inviting the public to participate in the auction via ads, he lamented.

At a previous hearing, the court had restrained the federal government from auctioning precious gifts.—INP

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