The Supreme Court of Pakistan has finally accepted Bahria Town’s offer of Rs. 460 billion to settle one of the three cases related to the illegal occupation of land.
The senior Apex Court judge, Justice Shaikh Azmat Saeed, who was leading the three-member bench, barred the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from filing a reference against the real estate mogul and the case has been shifted to Karachi’s Supreme Court Registry for further proceedings.
As per initial details, Bahria Town’s offer to pay the hefty sum is against the illegal acquisition of 16,896 acres off Karachi’s Super Highway. This excludes its Sports City project – the owners of the plots in the project will be reimbursed or merged into other projects.
Bahria Town will pay off this amount in seven years – with a downpayment of Rs. 25 billion by August 27. The real estate giant will pay Rs. 2.5 billion every month for four years and the remaining amount in the next three years.
According to the court’s order, the money will be deposited in the account set up by the Supreme Court.
The top court rejected Bahria Town’s request and stated that the land would be transferred to them once they pay the full amount. The residents will be given 99-year leases.
On March 6, Bahria Town had raised its offer to pay Rs. 405 billion in 9 years for the land of Karachi’s Malir area – the offer was turned down.
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.’
In a previous hearing, Justice Azmat Saeed had observed that there were three separate rulings against Bahria Town, so it should make a “separate and reasonable” offer for its projects in Karachi, Islamabad, and Murree.
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.