Supreme Court Imposes Huge Fine on Bahria Town
In Islamabad, Bahria Town Private Limited has been fined one million rupees by the Supreme Court due to unwarranted delays. The court has directed the company to donate this amount to the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), a medical institution renowned for providing free healthcare services.
Furthermore, Bahria Town is required to reimburse the Sindh government for expenses related to a land survey conducted by the Survey of Pakistan (SoP) to assess the developer’s land holdings.
This decision was outlined in a 13-page order issued by the Supreme Court on Monday. The order was delivered by a three-judge panel headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, with the inclusion of Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Athar Minallah.
The bench addressed an application submitted by Bahria Town through its counsel Salman Aslam Butt, concerning a discrepancy in the land allocation in Sindh’s Malir district according to a 2019 Supreme Court judgment.
Bahria Town’s counsel argued that the company did not receive the promised extent of land, leading to a suspension of installment payments as per their agreement to pay Rs. 460 billion over seven years. However, the court’s order revealed that the land survey, conducted using Global Navigation Satellite System Receivers, indicated Bahria Town possessed more land than claimed, including unauthorized possession of 3,035.63 acres, totaling 19,931.63 acres.
The court found Bahria Town’s claims of a land shortfall to be baseless, serving as a pretext to evade the agreed installments. Additionally, it noted that Bahria Town had only paid Rs. 24 billion of the Rs. 166.25 billion due, excluding mark-up.
The order also addressed the matter of remittances from abroad into accounts held by the National Bank of Pakistan in the Supreme Court registrar’s name. The court highlighted its involvement in issues related to funds identified by the UK’s National Crime Agency, likely proceeds of criminal activity.
The court concluded that Bahria Town failed to meet its payment obligations under the consent order and was in default. Upon payment of dues, the National Bank of Pakistan is expected to close the account in the name of the Supreme Court registrar.