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Supreme Court accepts Bahria Town’s Rs460b offer for Karachi Super Highway land

Court stops NAB from investigating govt officials in cases relating to Bahria Town

SAMAA | and - Posted: Mar 21, 2019 | Last Updated: 3 years ago
Posted: Mar 21, 2019 | Last Updated: 3 years ago

Court stops NAB from investigating govt officials in cases relating to Bahria Town

Pakistan’s top court accepted on Thursday Bahria Town’s offer to pay Rs460 billion to acquire 16,896 acres off Karachi’s Super Highway.

This does not include Bahria Town’s Sports City project. People who bought plots in the project will be reimbursed or merged into other projects.

On May 4, 2018 the court ruled that the Malir Development Authority illegally granted the land to Bahria Town.

The Sindh government had allotted the land to the MDA to build a housing scheme. The MDA, however, exchanged the land with Bahria Town, the court said. Bahria Town was even barred from selling any plots or apartments in the housing scheme. The top court has been hearing a case on the implementation of its verdict.

Bahria Town has made several proposals to get the land transferred to it. The court had rejected all those offers.

Related: Why didn’t you allot land in Khairpur to Bahria Town, SHC chief justice asks Qaim Ali Shah

The court has stopped NAB from investigating or filing references against any persons, including government officials, affiliated with Bahria Town. Now, the accountability bureau will have to get the court’s permission before initiating an investigation.

“No reference can be filed without the court’s permission,” the order said. If Bahria Town violates the court order, then an investigation will be launched against it, ruled the judges.

The payment process

Bahria Town has been ordered to release the amount in seven years. It will submit a down payment of Rs25 billion by August 27, then it will give Rs2.5 billion every month for four years and the remaining amount in the next three years.

The money will be submitted in the account set up by the Supreme Court. The land will be transferred to Bahria Town’s name after they pay the full amount. Bahria Town had asked for the immediate transfer of the land onto its name. Bahria Town will have to pay a 4% markup.

Bahria Town residents will be given 99-year leases.

The Sindh advocate-general said that the amount should be transferred to the Sindh government. “The money hasn’t come and you have already started fighting over it,” remarked Justice Azmat Saeed.

Related: Bahria Town increases its offer for Karachi Superhighway project to Rs450b

The Sindh government said that it didn’t incur any losses, said Justice Faisal Arab. “We even know the amount that the Sindh government agreed upon.” Justice Saeed said that we know who the land belonged to as well.

The court rejected the request to give the amount to the Sindh government.

What happens if Bahria Town defaults?

In case Bahria Town fails to submit two continuous installments or a total of three installments, it will be considered a default.

Bahria Town has given the guarantee of Danzoo (day and night zoo), its parks and the Cine Gold cinema for the payment, the court noted.

They will be investigated according to the law if they default on payment, according to the court. If they violate the contract, then NAB will have the right to file a reference against them, it added.

Lawsuits against Bahria Town

One of the law suits against Bahria Town was filed in 2015 by Faiz Gabol of Langheji Goth.

There were two types of land that were under dispute, one owned by the government and the other by locals, Gabol’s lawyer Mushtaq Memon said. “I had advised my clients to go to the Supreme Court, but they didn’t,” he said, adding that their case remained stuck in the Sindh High Court.

“If the land, which the court has cleared, includes the piece claimed by my client, they should definitely go to court and appeal against this verdict,” Gabol said, adding the maps of the area were not clear so he can’t comment on whether his clients’ land is included in the judgment and that he will be able to talk more about it after he sees the details. ​

In 2015, the Karachi Indigenous Rights Alliance was formed to in reaction to the Bahria Town land acquisition, which they said had affected dehs in the Malir area. The alliance was headed by Saleem Baloch who was supported by heavyweights such as then State Minister for Communication MNA Hakeem Baloch, MPA Haji Shafi Jamot of Malir’s PS-129, historian Gul Hasan Kalmatti, Jam Abdul Kareem of Malir, well-known activist Yousaf Masti Khan and former nazim Khuda Dino Shah.

At the time, they had argued that the Supreme Court had in 2011 passed an order telling the government that it could not allot its land to private institutions. But the Bahria Town developments in Malir, especially Deh Langheji, came and were also in contravention to the Land Revenue Act 1967 and the Sindh Gothabad Act 1987, they had said.

Related: Explainer: You have a Bahria Town plot, now what?

Just days before the judgment on Thursday, the Alliance surfaced to hold a press conference at the Karachi Press Club. They said that they wanted the May Supreme Court judgement implemented. Usman Baloch, Yusuf Mastikhan, Abdul Khaliq Junejo, and KU academic and Sindhi folklore expert Rakhman Palari said that they wanted the project to be “annulled” in accordance with the 2018 judgment.

Prices could go up

Property prices in Bahria Town Karachi sank last year after the Supreme Court put a hold on it selling plots until a verdict was reached. As the case proceeded, investors began to fear that the court may ultimately rule against the real estate giant. As a result, the price of Bahria Town Karachi remained low with some plots offering negative return to investors.

“I bought a plot for more than Rs7 million, the price I am getting for it now is Rs5 million. Why would I sell it for a loss?” Babar Siddiqi, a resident of Gulshan-e-Hadeed who bought a 250-square-yard plot in precinct (block) 44, told SAMAA Digital earlier this week.

Real estate experts as well as some dealers we spoke to days before the judgment confirmed there were no buyers and everyone was waiting for the SC verdict.

Anticipating a positive verdict, dealers, their agents and sub agents sprang into action recently and started convincing people to buy. “Our rozi [earnings] is linked to this project, we prayed a lot for a positive verdict,” said one dealer, who said he received several calls from existing and potential clients minutes after TV channels aired the news of the verdict.

Related: Supreme Court accepts Malik Riaz’s unconditional apology in 2012 contempt case

“The response is overwhelming,” said another dealer.

The verdict will result in an increase in prices as more buyers will come, agents say. But how much of an effect it has on prices can only be determined by the forces of demand and supply. However, another factor that influences prices at Bahria Town Karachi is a network of property dealers.

“There are a host of dealers, many authorized, who play a major role in moving the prices up and down,” said one dealer. They sell and purchase plots among themselves and their subagents, which creates artificial demand and pushes the prices up, he said.

This was quite evident from a recent increase in prices ahead of March 13, the date of the last Bahria Town hearing. Some dealers were expecting a verdict on March 13 and started buying in anticipation but the court put off the verdict till March 21 and prices went down again.

Now that the court has accepted Bahria Town’s offer and the matter has been settled, investors’ interest in the project has increased, which will drive prices up.​

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  1. faisal  March 21, 2019 2:37 pm/ Reply

    Might is right..

  2. Syed Shahzad  March 21, 2019 3:00 pm/ Reply

    Who are living in bahria town feel happy and great because bahria town officially legalize land from order of Supreme court. but unfortunately, who are booked plot and houses in sports city effected order in supreme court. How they get his hard earn money in his account or switch the plots.

  3. Farooq  March 21, 2019 3:19 pm/ Reply

    Happy for Bahria Town.

  4. I ahmed  March 21, 2019 4:02 pm/ Reply

    Fate of Sports city???

    • Hassan  March 30, 2019 12:09 pm/ Reply

      Sports city ka kia howa ?

  5. tariq  March 21, 2019 4:50 pm/ Reply

    the prices will go up

  6. Ibadat Khan  March 21, 2019 4:51 pm/ Reply

    Now Malik Riaz Saab should take every step carefully. He must have learned a lot from this case. He should appoint honest and educated persons in his project. There seems to be a shortage of honest and hardworking people in his project particularly in Rawalpindi phase 8.

  7. Anonymous  March 21, 2019 4:54 pm/ Reply

    the prices of plots will rise

  8. Imran Sheikh  March 21, 2019 4:54 pm/ Reply

    Pragmatic decision. However this should not be a license for Sindh government officials to repeat this kind of corruption and be released ftom accountability by deals like this.

  9. Aftab  March 21, 2019 5:22 pm/ Reply

    Hiw abt sports city??

  10. Anonymous  March 21, 2019 6:30 pm/ Reply

    Money should be given to Sindh government because land belongs to Sindh government

  11. Bt Rabta  March 21, 2019 7:48 pm/ Reply

    Bahria Town BT Rabta.

  12. Shaheen Iqbal  March 21, 2019 8:59 pm/ Reply

    A good day for genuine local and overseas investors and also for land grabbers mafiosos SC order has endorsed that criminals can get away with murder if you have long pockets not only can they acquire land by bullying but also sell plots on land they don’t own change maps .By the time Bahria town has paid this money back it would have made more money out of it in 7 years change of govt and judiciary who is going to make them pay as per SC order not the sindh Govt.The perpetrators should have been jailed along with those who helped them.

  13. Fahad Adnan  March 21, 2019 10:25 pm/ Reply

    Malik Riaz will now bargain on money laundering case. Zain Malik has already taken Bahria town money from the country. These are all UK M.I.-6 agents, working for UK and getting commission from them. Open NET and become M.I.-6 member and work for the betterment of UK. All involved in money laundering, working for UK.

  14. sameer  March 21, 2019 11:07 pm/ Reply

    Assalama Alikum, Does anybody know that is bahria Paradise included with this decision particularly Precinct 54?
    because my friend told me that 50 and above precinct not included.

  15. Muzzammil  March 22, 2019 1:17 pm/ Reply

    This money should be spend on infrastructure of Karachi and other high-rise buildings.

  16. Amarah Khaled  April 1, 2019 3:45 am/ Reply

    Asalamalaikum people !!

    I need help regarding our genuine case from Bahria town high officials , from Ali Riyaz Sahab to kindly grant us approval on our blocked home. My parents have prayed and waited patiently for this house. We live on rent and my Father has invested all his earning over here. We were only 7 days late but have paid all our installments. Ali Riyaz Malik Riyaz have a lot of money to spare on the celebrations of fireworks so for them my case is even tinier than a piece of corn ;'(
    My mother is An angyna patient, my father is too old now and we are just 3 girls , our 14 out of 16 instalments were paid but 20k for 3 months were paid less but unintentionally over looked , cuz my father paid once 160000 instead of 140000 but later once 120000 to adjust ,and that got repeated twice by sheer mistake and cooincidently we were busy shifting so we missed the intimations or any envelopes… We got calls later from my friends to go to the head office to check with the sudden chaos.

    There are more people like me whose files are blocked by just one day delay… When u have paid atleast half then one deserves leverage. Plz have Mercy in the name of Allah SWT

  17. ASHRAF  April 2, 2019 1:49 am/ Reply

    Baharia town verdit was the worst decision of supreme court history, it has laid the foudation for corrupt people in pakistan to do what ever they want and then pay little penalty and get away. All of his wealth should be consifiicated and affected people compensated from it and Malik Riaz be imprisoned for life to make an example so no one could ever think to do it in future. This is a normal practice in civilized world.

  18. Advocate Abdul Raheem Hashmi 03334788679  April 2, 2019 3:19 pm/ Reply

    I think people investing or buying properties for residence must be careful because the history of Malik Riaz says that he only makes deals under the table but defaults. So be careful until he pays completely.

  19. Muhammad Wasi  April 9, 2019 12:28 pm/ Reply

    Still the risk of default by Bahria Town exist and the risk is high.. because court considers default in two consecutive monthly payments or three in total as breach of this agreement. Honestly the terms of payment by court are very unreasonable and highly unlikely because its huge monthly installments and business scenario in pakistan is very fluctuating..

    Court should give some relation in terms of payment.

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