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Bahria Town implementation case: SC orders NAB to probe MDA, K4 projects

January 09, 2019

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The SC today instructed the provincial government to recover illegally occupied land by Bahria Town Karachi. — File
The SC today instructed the provincial government to recover illegally occupied land by Bahria Town Karachi. — File

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file separate references on a series of matters stemming from the Bahria Town Karachi project, including the arrears of three Malir Development Authority (MDA) projects.

Under Justice Azmat Saeed's chairmanship, the apex court's three-member implementation bench passed the orders while hearing the Bahria Town case.

The court directed the corruption watchdog and other relevant departments to take action on the installation of illegal tube wells as well as payments made for sale and purchase of land.

The bench instructed NAB and others to also look into the "K4 route issue" and the outstanding payment of MDA's trio of projects which amounts to Rs1.5 billion.

If the references are not filed and the court orders are not adhered to, then action will be taken against NAB, the court warned.

At the outset of today's hearing, the counsel of plot allottees told the apex court that they were ready to pay whatever price the court would set.

"If the price is ascertained, then the rate would be of 2019," Justice Saeed made it clear.

Meanwhile, NAB furnished its report on the matter in the court today, adding that "it has completed its inquiry and will now send a reference for approval".

NAB investigation officer apprised the court that Bahria Town, as per the 2012 survey report, had held 12,156 acres of land but that the area currently in its possession has reached 25,601 acres.

The court noted that 7,220 acres of land was illegally transferred to Bahria Town in 2015, adding that the real estate developer claims that it has not illegally acquired the said land.

The Supreme Court bench ordered the Sindh government and law enforcement agencies to recover the said land before adjourning the case until January 15.

On Monday, the court had reprimanded NAB, Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) and the administration of Bahria Town, over what it termed their "non-cooperation" in implementing a ruling of the apex court.

Justice Saeed had warned the respondents that the judges were "about to lose their temperament" and directed NAB to ensure progress "through its actions".

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, after they were withdrawn by the petitioners.

In its May 4 judgement, the court had declared the grant of land to the MDA and its exchange with the land of Bahria Town illegal and void.