Supreme Court stops Bahria Town Karachi to sell chattels.

The Supreme Court has prohibited Bahria Town Karachi to sell its plots and buildings. A two member bench of the Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry has declared the allotment and transfer of the properties illegal.

The court has ordered Malir Development Authority to investigate the illegal allotment of the lands. “A reference should be filed against the culprits after investigation within three months,” the bench remarked. “A special bench should be constituted to implement the chief justice’s verdict.” “The chief justice should take suo-motu notice over giving land to DHA Karachi.

The Supreme Court has prohibited Bahria Town from selling or allotting land in its Bahria Town Karachi housing project. In its detailed verdict, a three-member bench declared the allotment and transfer of the properties illegal.

“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 judgement said.

The court ordered National Accountability Bureau to investigation transfer of Malir Development Authority land to Bahria Town and file references against all those responsible for committing crime at any level.

The court also considered interests of allotees, and requested Chief Justice of Pakistan to constitute a separate bench for implementation of the judgement and determine key questions regarding value of allotment.

“Since a great deal of work has been done by the Bahria Town and a third-party interest has been created in favour of hundreds of allotees, 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.”

DHA City in crosshairs

The bench observed that some irregularities have also come forth in DHA City project, for which it requested CJP to take a suo motu notice. DHA City is an under-construction housing project in Gadap Town in the outskirts of Karachi.

“The argument that where land of reserved forest was utilized by DHA and many other housing societies without any caveat, Bahria Town could not be treated differently is legally incorrect as one or any number of wrongs cannot justify yet another,” the order said.

“However, if at all any forest land has been utilized by DHA or any other society in violation of the provisions of law, we would request the honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo moto notice of this fact so that all those who are found to be similarly placed be treated similarly.”

Impact on estate business

Bahria Town Karachi refused to comment on the court’s judgment.

“We cannot issue any statement at the moment,” a Bahria Town representative said. “It will be issued after consultation with the lawyers.” An authorized property dealer in Bahria Town, speaking on the matter, said he had no knowledge of any ban on selling and purchasing of plots in the housing scheme. “We have not received any instructions from Bahria Town management on the matter,” he said. “We were selling and purchasing the lands till yesterday.”

He said Supreme Court’s verdict will have a negative impact on the property as the prices are already on a decline.

“Malik Riaz must be a happy man after the court’s verdict. He has already collected all his monthly installments from local and overseas buyers,” an anxious invester, who wished not to be identified. “Obviously, there is a sense of panic and uncertainty among the buyers who are unsure about the fate of their plots or apartments.” We were hoping to have the possession in a few weeks, but the Supreme Court’s decision may give Bahria Town Karachi management an excuse to further delay the allotment, he added. – Resource: Samaa News.

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