Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar barred Bahria Town Karachi from issuing notices to people who have already been allotted plots, commercial buildings or build-up units to make payments to a bank account set up by the housing society.
Last month, the apex court had ordered the additional registrar of the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry to open a special account facilitating the deposit of the outstanding amount against allotments through pay orders, demand drafts or cross-cheques.
The judgement said as a huge amount of money on account of allotment of plots, build-up units and commercial buildings was still outstanding against the allottees, some makeshift arrangement should be made to facilitate the recovery and secure it. Bahria Town Karachi was also barred from selling or allotting land by the top court after declaring that the land for the project was acquired illegally.
Hearing the case, Justice Nisar said the administration of Bahria Town Karachi had violated court orders by opening up a separate bank account to collect outstanding payments.
However, real estate tycoon Malik Riaz’s counsel Aitzaz Ahsan claimed that the housing society had not issued notices to anyone. The claim did not appease the chief justice who ordered Riaz to appear before the court, saying that, “he [Riaz] has taken [money] from this country, now he should return it”.
The hearing of the case was adjourned until July 20.
Another violation: construction of multi-storeyed buildings
The chief justice also expressed anger at Bahria Town Karachi’s project of a multi-storey building in Clifton, saying that the apex court had ruled against it.
Acting on SC’s orders, last year the Sindh Building Control Authority had declared it illegal to build multi-storey and high-rise buildings “beyond ground plus two floors forthwith in Karachi”.
However, real estate tycoon Malik Riaz’s counsel Aitzaz Ahsan argued that the ban on high-rise buildings had been imposed after the construction was completed.
The argument was dismissed by the chief justice, who said that the construction was still underway and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was already pursuing a case regarding the violation. He told Ahsan to advise his client to appear before NAB.