The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday issued summons for Defence Housing Authority (DHA) representatives to appear in court for the next hearing of a case pertaining to Bahria Town's land allotment practices.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, who is heading the bench hearing the case, ordered that representatives of DHA be present in court for the next hearing after the lawyer representing Bahria Town insisted that providing buyers with an allotment letter instead of a sale deed is a practice that all housing societies have in common.
"All housing societies do the same. DHA also follows the same practice," Bahria's lawyer argued.
"Whatever [rule] is applied to you will also be applied to DHA," the top judge made clear, noting that the latter is a "strong company".
"If it is to be said [in their case] that issuing allotment letters is wrong and proper registration should be done, then the rule shall apply to all [housing societies]," the apex judge said.
Earlier, Justice Nisar said that billions of rupees were owed to the government under the head of transfer fees. "You provide an allotment letter [to buyers] instead of a sale deed. You do not pay transfer fees and capital value tax," he noted.
"According to your calculation, to date Rs14 billion are due [to the government]," the chief justice said while adding that Bahria Town's forensic audit should be done.
The lawyer for Bahria Town responded by saying that the policy surrounding sale deeds is not crystal clear on the matter.
However, the chief justice rubbished the argument, stating: "Land cannot be transferred without a sale deed. Whatever has been done to date is illegal."
"The payment of the complete fee for land registration is your responsibility," he added.
To this, the defence lawyer said that DHA and all other housing societies also employe the same practices, prompting Justice Nisar to summon DHA to the next hearing of the case, which will be held on December 13.