In three separate verdicts delivered on Friday, the SC (Supreme Court) came down hard on Bahria Town’s illegal procurement of land for its housing projects across the country, in each case declaring all such transfers null and void.
In its detailed verdict, a three-judge bench declared the allotment and transfer of the properties illegal. The three judges were Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Faisal Arab. Each order was passed 2-1, with Justice Maqbool Baqar dissenting in each case.
“The government land would go back to the government and the land of the Bahria Town exchanged for the government land would go back to the Bahria Town,” the bench said.
The bench has also ordered an investigation into Malir Development Authority’s land, which was illegally allotted by Bahria Town to its customers.
Supreme Court’s Verdict
The Supreme Court issued the following directives:
- Three-month deadline to initiate the investigation against Bahria Town, given its involvement in the illegal land transactions.
- An investigation will be conducted into how land intended for the Malir Development Authority was illegally handed out by Bahria Town in Karachi.
- A special bench to be formed that will supervise the whole investigation.
“Since a great deal of work has been done by the Bahria Town and a third-party interest has been created in favor of hundreds of allottees, the land could be granted to the Bahria Town afresh by the Board of Revenue. What would be the terms and conditions of grant, what would be the price of the land, whether it would be the one at which the Bahria Town sold the land to the people by and large, how much of government land and how much of the private land has been utilized by the Bahria Town, and what Bahria Town is entitled to receive in terms of money on account of development of the land are the questions to be determined by the implementation bench.”
The court further directed NAB to;
Investigate the case and file references against all those who are found responsible for committing, aiding and abetting the crime at any level or in any form.
The supreme court’s ruling also included a provision for legalizing land transactions done between Bahria Town and the Sindh Government to date. However, the court’s special bench will be in charge of overseeing this process.