Bahria Town implementation case: SC rejects offer to deposit Rs250bn
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Bahria Town’s offer to deposit Rs250 billion to avoid legal proceedings for illegally acquiring land for its projects in Karachi, Islamabad and Murree.
A three-member bench headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed heard an implementation case on a May 4, SC verdict against Bahria Town.
During the hearing, Justice Azmat Saeed reminded the counsel that a fine of Rs285 billion had been imposed on Bahria Town in 2004. “If the fine money is increased by 40 per cent, it will amount to Rs300bn.” To reply, a counsel on behalf of Bahria Town offered to submit Rs200 billion.
The apex court rejected the BahriaTown’s offer of 200 billion, at this, Bahira Town’s counsel increased the offer to Rs250 billion. “This is not a suitable way to deal with the apex court,” Justice Saeed expressed anger. “We may ask the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file a reference.”
On conversation with the counsel, Justice Saeed said that the counsel that three separate verdicts had been passed against Bahria Town, so it should make separate and reasonable offers for its projects in Karachi, Islamabad and Murree.
The counsel sought one week’s time to file a reply. Justice Saeed granted the plea and directed Bahria Town to submit written offers in all the three cases.
“Our mistake was not that big,” the counsel argued. “Mistake is supposed to be of one or two kanals, not of thousands of acres,” the judge replied.
The implementation bench was formed after the court had dropped the review petitions filed against its May 4 judgement barring Bahria Town Karachi from selling any plots or constructed apartments.
In its May 4 judgement, the court had declared the grant of land to the Malir Development Authority (MDA) and its exchange with the land of Bahria Town illegal and void. It had also directed NAB to continue its probe into the matters of the developer.
It is pertinent to mention here that the court order had barred M/s Bahria Town Karachi from selling any plot or constructed apartment in the housing scheme on the outskirts of the port city, declaring the grant of land to the Malir Development Authority and its exchange with the land of the private land developers illegal and void ab initio.