LHC seeks five-year record of Toshakhana auctions

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Wednesday sought complete record form federal government about auctions of Toshakhana gifts held over the past five years.

Taking up plea of Advocate Adnan Paracha against Toshakhana items’ auction the court issued directives to concerned authorities of the federal government to show up with detailed report in the matter on December 13.

During previous hearing of the matter, the court had restrained the federal government from auctioning precious gifts available in the Toshakhana of the Cabinet Division on November 25 till further orders.

Appearing before the court, a state counsel had submitted that the auction is held in line with the relevant laws. However, the petitioner claimed that the auction was not advertised as only government officials were informed of the auction of precious gifts via letters. These gifts are being given to bureaucrats in violation of the laws, he argued.

Paracha further said that Toshakhana store gifts given to a president, a prime minister and ministers by heads of other state and foreign dignitaries as a goodwill gesture. He alleged that the government 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, the petitioner lamented.

Hearing of the matter was adjourned till December 15. – TLTP ���