The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) has rejected a hefty offer of Rs. 250 billion from Bahria Town to avoid legal proceedings.
The top court was hearing a case regarding the implementation of its verdict against Bahria Town in which it had ordered the real state giant to submit Rs. 285 billion as a fine.
The hefty fine on Bahria Town was imposed for illegally acquiring the land for its projects in Islamabad, Murree, and Karachi.
The court order had barred Bahria Town from selling any plot or constructed apartments in Karachi’s housing scheme as the land acquired from the Malir Development Authority in exchange for private property was declared illegal and ‘void ab initio.’
At the start of the hearing on Tuesday, Bahria Town’s counsel offered to submit Rs. 200 billion to settle the case against its owner Malik Riaz.
Justice Azmat Saeed, head of the three-member bench, interrupted the counsel and said that a fine of Rs. 285 billion had been imposed on Bahria Town in 2004. “If the fine money is increased by 40 percent, it will amount to Rs. 300 billion.”
He further maintained that there were three separate rulings against Bahria Town, so it should make “separate and reasonable” offers for its projects in Karachi, Islamabad, and Murree.
The lawyer then made another offer of Rs. 250 billion which angered the bench.
“This is not the way to deal with [the top court],” Justice Saeed said, reprimanding the counsel. “We may ask the National Accountability Bureau to file a reference.”
To this, the counsel requested one week from bench to submit a response. Justice Saeed granted the plea and adjourned the hearing until then.
In other cases, the apex court had ordered Malik Riaz to pay Rs. 1000 billion (Rs.1 trillion) for encroaching on government land in Islamabad on the hearing of Margalla Hills deforestation case.