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Pakistan

Allowing selected persons to participate in Toshakhana items auction unconstitutional: LHC

  • During the proceedings, the chief justice asked a deputy attorney general whether Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules apply to the auction.
25 May 2021

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) Tuesday declared the policy of allowing selected persons to participate in the auction of 'Toshakhana' articles unconstitutional.

The court directed the federal government for making new rules for auction of the articles.

LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan passed the orders while allowing a petition, filed by Adnan Paracha, challenging the auction process for 'Toshakhana' articles.

During the proceedings, the chief justice asked a deputy attorney general whether Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules apply to the auction.

The deputy attorney general submitted that the items were exchanged between dignitaries of two states.

The chief justice remarked that the gifts were exchanged between states, adding that all persons were respectable who receive gifts on behalf of the state.

He expressed concern over the present process of auctioning of articles, suggesting that the public should be allowed to participate in it.

Subsequently, the court declared the policy of allowing selected persons to participate in the auction of Toshakhana articles unconstitutional.

The petitioner argued that the items given to the president, prime minister and ministers by the heads of states were put in the Toshakhana of Cabinet Division. He submitted that these gifts were being auctioned without any legal backing and only the government officers were allowed to participate in it. He pleaded with the court to set aside the illegal auction, being held on Nov 25, 2020.

The court had stayed the auction of Toshakhana articles.