LHC seeks details of Toshakhana gifts received since 1947
- Asks government to submit the details by January 16
The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday directed the government to submit details of Toshakhana gifts received by political rulers and bureaucrats from foreign dignitaries since 1947, it was reported.
Toshakhana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division that stores precious gifts given to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and officials by heads of other governments and states and foreign dignitaries.
Justice Asim Hafeez took up a petition seeking court orders for making public details of Toshkhana gifts, and persons/officials who have obtained the assets after making a payment.
Toshakhana gifts: LHC moved for making details public
The petitioner Munir Ahmad pleaded, “The right to information is guaranteed under Article 19 and 19-A of the Constitution.”
He said the public is also entitled to know details of every public transaction and matters of public importance. He also sought details of the methodology used to determine the price of the Toshakhana articles.
During the hearing today, Sheraz Zaka, the government’s lawyer, said that details related to Toshakhana were classified and could not be made public.
The judge replied to submit the details to the court and LHC will decide whether or not they are classified.
The judge directed the government to submit the details by January 16 and also sought records pertaining to the purchase of these assets since Pakistan's creation.
Toshakhana reference: ECP disqualifies PTI chief Imran Khan
The department has been in the news in recent days after former prime minister Imran Khan was disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan for “not sharing details” of Toshakhana gifts.
The ECP disqualified the PTI chief under Article 63(1)(p), which says that an individual is, “for the time being, disqualified from being elected or chosen as a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) or of a provincial assembly under any law for the time being in force”.
The ECP said that the former PM submitted a false affidavit and was found to be involved in corrupt practices. The verdict says the respondent had “intentionally and deliberately” violated the provisions contained [in] sections 137, 167 and 173 of the Elections Act, 2017".
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