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SC accepts Bahria Town Karachi’s Rs460b offer, halts NAB references

SC accepts Bahria Town Karachi’s Rs460b offer, halts NAB references

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday accepted Bahria Town Karachi’s Rs460 billion offer for the lands it occupies in the Malir district of Karachi and restrained the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from filing references against it.

Bahria Town Karachi will have to pay the entire amount over seven years. In its verdict announced today, the top court ordered Bahria Town Karachi to pay 30 per cent of the amount by August of this year. From September onward, it will have to pay monthly installments of Rs2.25 billion for the next three years. After three years, it will pay the remaining amount along with a markup of four per cent.

The Supreme Court last week had reserved its ruling on whether or not to accept a fresh offer by the Bahria Town (Pvt) Limited to settle a case pertaining to its Malir or Karachi Super Highway project in lieu of payment of Rs450 billion.

“Either you have something to celebrate or nothing to rejoice about,” Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed had observed while postponing further proceedings for March 21, adding that “we believe the matter has run its course”.

A three-judge bench of the court had taken up the implementation of its May 4, 2018 judgement in which it was held that grant of land to Malir Development Authority (MDA) by the Sindh government, its exchange with the land of Bahria Town and anything done under the provisions of the Colonisation of Government Land Act 1912 by the provincial government was illegal and “of no legal existence”.

The land was granted for launching an incremental housing project, but instead of launching such a scheme, the MDA exchanged it with Bahria Town that launched a scheme of its own, the judgement had held.

The apex court had clarified that it would recognise only the site plan of Bahria Town, Malir, identifying 16,896 acres in the district that had been signed both by the developer and the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission.

It had also told the counsel that while putting forward an offer, he should bear in mind that the court was “not sitting on a negotiating table”.