SC turns down Bahria Town’s Rs 250bn offer to avoid NAB reference

Daily Times

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Bahria Town’s offer to deposit an amount of Rs 250 billion in the dam fund to avoid legal proceedings for illegally acquiring land for its projects in Karachi, Islamabad and Murree, media reports said.

As an implementation bench of the apex court started hearing into a case pertaining to the implementation on a May 4 verdict against Bahria Town, a counsel of the Bahria Town offered to submit Rs 200 billion to waive off charges against the real estate developer. Justice Azmat Saeed, who headed the three-member bench, reminded the counsel that a fine of Rs285 billion had been imposed on Bahria Town in 2004. “If the fine money is increased by 40 per cent, it will amount to Rs 400bn.”

Justice Saeed noted that three separate verdicts had been passed against Bahria Town, so it should make ‘separate and reasonable’ offers for its projects in Karachi, Islamabad and Murree. At this, Bahira Town’s counsel increased the offer to Rs250bn. “Mr counsel, this is not a suitable way to deal with [the apex court],” Justice Saeed said, reprimanding the lawyer. “We may ask the National Accountability Bureau to file a reference.” The counsel then sought one week’s time to file a reply. Justice Saeed granted the plea and directed Bahria Town to submit written offers in all the three cases. “Our mistake was not that big,” the counsel argued. “Mistake is supposed to be of one or two kanals, not of thousands of acres,” the judge replied. The implementation bench was formed after the court had dropped the review petitions filed against its May 4 judgement barring Bahria Town Karachi from selling any plots or constructed apartments.

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