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Bahria Town Karachi Settlement Case: SC orders transfer of Rs65 billion to centre, Sindh

The order was issued after the apex court resumed on Thursday the hearing in the Bahria Town Karachi case.

The Supreme Court ordered Rs65 billion to be transferred to the Central and the Sindh governments– which includes the amount remitted from the UK by Bahria Town and money deposited by Bahria Town in a Supreme Court account locally.

On Thursday, the SC bench consisting of CJP Qazi Faez Isa, Justice Aminuddin Khan, and Justice Athar Minallah took up the Rs460 billion Bahria Town Karachi settlement case.

The court also directed the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) to remit the amount to the government and furnish confirmation to the registrar.

As per the SC orders, around Rs35 billion would be given to the federal government and Rs30 billion to the Sindh government out of around Rs65 billion.

The Rs35 billion to go to the federal government was remitted from abroad in 2019 after a British court lifted a freezing order against a bank account held by the Malik Riaz family.

This remittance came to be known as a ‘£190 million case’ which is being investigated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

“Since none of the parties to whom notices were issued, except the Mashreq Bank, [came] forward and as March 21, 2019, Supreme Court judgement requires to make the payment, it would be wrong for this court to retain the amount or any amount earned as a mark-up,” said an order dictated by CJP Qazi Faez Isa.

Bahria Town Chief Executive Officer Malik Riaz Hussain pleaded that the amounts remitted from abroad for the benefit of Bahria Town (Pvt) Ltd (BTPL) were beyond the scope of the proceedings pending before the apex court.

During the hearing, the CEO submitted his reply and the Karachi commissioner submitted his report pertaining to the housing project.

The advocate general for Sindh demanded that the amount remitted from the United Kingdom should be transferred to the province.

The survey report submitted by the Sindh authorities details that Bahria Town has occupied more than 16,896 acres of land.

The court also observed that Bahria Town had also occupied additional land and added that it could not happen without the officials concerned.

The government officials misused their office, the order said, adding that they had “surrendered” the interests of the province and the people.

While ordering the money deposited by Bahria Town to the Sindh government, the order stated that the top court could not keep this money.

Saman Siddiqui

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