In Islamabad, the Supreme Court has levied a fine of one million rupees on Bahria Town Private Limited for causing unnecessary delays and has instructed the company to donate this amount to the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), a medical facility known for providing free healthcare services.
Additionally, Bahria Town is obligated to compensate the Sindh government for the expenses incurred in a land survey carried out by the Survey of Pakistan (SoP) to evaluate the land held by the developer.
This decision was detailed in a 13-page order released by the Supreme Court on Monday. The order was issued by a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, which also included Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Athar Minallah.
The bench was addressing an application submitted by Bahria Town through its counsel Salman Aslam Butt, which related to a discrepancy in the land received by the realtor in Sindh’s Malir district as per a 2019 Supreme Court judgment.
Bahria Town’s counsel argued that the company had not received the full extent of land it was promised, leading to a halt in installment payments as part of their agreement to pay Rs. 460 billion over seven years. However, the court’s order revealed that the land survey, conducted scientifically using Global Navigation Satellite System Receivers, showed Bahria Town in possession of more land than claimed. The report indicated that Bahria Town held 19,931.63 acres of land, which included unauthorized possession of 3,035.63 acres.
The court found that Bahria Town’s claims of a land shortfall were unfounded and served as a pretext to avoid paying the agreed installments. The court also noted that Bahria Town had paid only Rs. 24 billion of the Rs. 166.25 billion due, excluding mark-up.
The order further mentioned the issue of remittances from abroad into accounts maintained by the National Bank of Pakistan in the name of the Supreme Court registrar, highlighting that the Supreme Court was drawn into matters involving funds detected by the UK’s National Crime Agency, which were likely proceeds of criminal activity.
The court concluded that Bahria Town had not fulfilled its payment obligations under the consent order and was in default. Following the payment of dues, the National Bank of Pakistan is expected to close the account maintained in the name of the Supreme Court registrar.