The Sindh government filed on Friday a petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan seeking the Rs25 billion deposited by Bahria Town for illegally acquiring land in Karachi.
The real estate giant deposited the sum as down payment of the Rs460 billion it is supposed to deposit in an account set up by the Supreme Court for illegally acquiring 16,896 acres of land off Karachi’s Super Highway.
In its petition, the provincial government stated that the province is currently facing budget deficit. It said that during the last fiscal year, the federation only issued Rs9 billion out of Rs14 billion to the province in the Public Sector Development Programme.
The provincial government stated that the ongoing development projects are feared to be delayed because of the financial problems facing the province.
It requested the court to hand it over the money deposited by Bahria Town given the current economic situation of the province.
The petition further moved the court to also grant any future payments by the real estate giant to the Sindh government.
It said that all this money would be spent through a supervisory committee.
Earlier on August 22, the federal government had submitted an application in the apex court requesting deposition of all the money paid by Bahria Town in its account.
“It is prayed that the entire money deposited by the Bahria Town (Pvt) Ltd and held by the Supreme Court may be ordered to be deposited in the ‘public account of the federal government’,” it read.
The petition said that the money submitted to high courts and the Supreme Court becomes part of the federal government’s public funds.
At this, Justice Azmat Saeed had said that the court will listen to the stance of the respondents and then make a decision. It had issued a notice to the Sindh government and asked for a reply.
On March 21, Pakistan’s top court had accepted Bahria Town’s offer to pay Rs460 billion for the land it illegally acquired. It did 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 had 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 real estate giant was even barred from selling any plots or apartments in the housing scheme. The top court was hearing a case on the implementation of its verdict.