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Bahria Town Offered to Pay Rs 358 Billion! But Supreme Court Wants Accountability

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to proceed with finalizing references against Bahria Town (Pvt) Limited despite the latter offering a hefty amount as settlement.

A SC bench headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed heard a case relating to exchange of lands between Bahria Town and the Malir Development Authority. The bench has taken up implementation of its May 4, 2018 verdict in which the apex court had termed the exchange of land as ‘illegal’.

The SC had said that the land was granted to the MDA by the Sindh government to launch an incremental housing scheme, but instead MDA exchanged it with Bahria Town (Pvt) Ltd.

The court had ordered that the government land would be returned to the government, while the land exchanged for the government land will return to Bahria Town authorities. SC had also directed NAB to thoroughly probe the matter and present a report within 3 months.

During the latest hearing, Justice Saeed asked NAB about the progress on the report which the bureau was expected to present. The NAB representative said that the bureau had not filed references because it was waiting ‘out of caution’ for a possible settlement between the Sindh government and Bahria Town.

On January 22, Bahria Town authorities had raised the settlement from Rs250 billion to Rs358 billion and were willing to pay the amount to the Sindh government for the land it possessed in the Malir district.

Naya Daur reached our to Lawyer Khalid Ranjha for comment over the matter. He said that a settlement was possible under the NAB law. Ranjha said Bahria Town Chief Malik Riaz would have got a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to establish the housing scheme from the Sindh government so the two parties could make a settlement.

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When asked about former CJP Justice Nisar’s Katas Raj case verdict in which he directed the cement company accused of polluting water to contribute Rs100million to the Dam fund, Ranjha refused to respond.

Last year, the Supreme Court had ruled that anyone who speaks against the Dam Construction fund or creates hindrances would be tried under Article 6.

Earlier, the court was told that the marketing dealers were carrying out the sale and purchase of the lands in violation of the SC ban on all sorts of transactions in Bahria Town.

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