Wednesday June 19, 2024

Super Highway land settlement: SC accepts Bahria Town’s Rs460b offer

March 22, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday accepted the Rs460 billion offer made by the management of Bahria Town as a settlement for its Super Highway Project land of 16,896 acres in Malir, Karachi and restrained the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from filing reference against the company and concerned people. Sohail Khan

A three-member implementation bench of the apex court in the Bahria Town Karachi case judgment headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed heard the case.

The court made it clear that upon default of payment of the required amount, the anti-graft body may proceed against the company in accordance with law.

On March 13, the court had reserved its ruling on whether or not to accept an offer of Rs450 billion from Bahria Town to settle case to the extent of Super Highway Project land of 16,896 acres in Malir and had adjourned the matter until March 21.

On Wednesday, legal team of Bahria Town, led by Barrister Ali Zafar and comprising Khawaja Tariq Rahim and Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, appeared before the court while Advocate General Sindh Salman Talibuddin, and Prosecutor General NAB, Syed Asghar Haider, also appeared before the court.

Barrister Ali Zafar informed the court that they have increased the amount for Super Highway Project in Karachi up to Rs460 billion as compared to its last offer of Rs450 billion. He submitted that the amount will be paid within a period of seven years. The court directed Bahria Town to ensure down payment of Rs25 billion by August this year.

The counsel said they had already deposited Rs15 billion which should be adjusted.

Similarly, the court directed that from September onwards, Bahria Town will be required to pay monthly instalments of Rs2.25 billion for the next four years. Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed observed that if the management of Bahria Town failed to deposit two instalments, it will be considered a defaulter.

The court further ruled that after four years, the management will have to pay a 4 percent mark-up in case of late instalments, adding that it will also be required to give 99-year lease to everyone who purchase a plot in Bahria Town Karachi housing project and will mortgage parks, cinemas and other assets owned by it.

It is pertinent to mention here that last week, counsel for Bahria Town while filing a CMA in the instant case had offered to provide the Theme Park, Danoo, Rafi Cricket Stadium, Fatima Jinnah University, schools head office hospital, staff colony Cine Gold Cinema, Quarantie Ceenter etc. as security in respects of its payment obligations.

The prosecutor general NAB said that the order of the court will be complied with, adding that references were ready as well.

The court ruled that once the management of Bahria Town ensure the required full payment, appropriate decision will be made pertaining to the ownership of the land in accordance with law. The court directed that Director of Bahria Town Karachi will give personal guaranty regarding the payments

Justice Faisal Arab made it clear that the amount will be paid in the Supreme Court. Advocate General Sindh Salman Talib submitted that the amount should be deposited with the Sindh government at which Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed said let the money come first then it will be decided.

Meanwhile, talking to The News, Barrister Ali Zafar said that with this settlement, a beautiful project has been saved, while the rights of third party have been protected and the government’s kitty has benefited.