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SC dismisses Bahria Town’s Rs 250b offer to avoid legal proceedings

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed an offer of Bahria Town to deposit Rs 250 billion in the apex court’s dams fund to avoid legal proceedings for illegally acquiring land.
A three-judge special bench of the apex court was hearing a case pertaining to the implementation of its 4th May, 2018 verdict against the Bahria Town.
During the course of proceedings, Bahria Town’s counsel Barrister Ali Zafar offered Rs 200 billion for the dams fund to waive charges against the real estate developer for its projects in Karachi, Islamabad and Murree.
Justice Azmat Saeed observed that three separate verdicts had been passed against Bahria Town, which should offer reasonable amount of fine separately for each case.
He said 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 come to Rs 300 billion.”
To this, Ali Zafar increased the offer to Rs 250 billion.
The court observed, “This is not a suitable way to deal with the Supreme Court. We may ask the National Accountability Bureau to file a reference.”
Subsequently, the council sought a one week’s time to file a reply.
Accepting his request, the court directed Bahria Town to submit separate offers in writing in all the three cases.
In its 4th May judgment, 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.

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.