Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court yesterday granted more time to the Capital Development Authority to submit its reply in a petition moved by the owner company of multi-storey under-construction building of Grand Hyatt Hotel .

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah conducted hearing of the petition and granted one week time to the CDA for submitting reply in this matter wherein a private company BNP Private Ltd, previously an allottee of the 13.45 acres of land at Constitution Avenue has challenged its lease cancellation notification issued by the CDA on July 29, 2016.

During the hearing, the counsel for CDA Kashif Malik Advocate appeared before the court and requested the court to grant two weeks time to submit reply in this matter.

Barrister Goher Ali Khan, an associate lawyer of Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan while representing the petitioner BNP appeared before the court and said that the civic body has already wasted much time and it must not be granted with more time .

Barrister Goher contended that his client is economically suffering due to closure of work at the site and requested the court to expedite adjudication of this matter and declaring CDA lease cancellation as null & void.

However, the IHC bench granted one-week time to CDA and deferred in this matter till September 7.

The petitioner BNP CEO had moved the court through Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan and challenged before the court CDA’s decision to cancel its lease.

It was July 1 when CDA had sealed the area where a five-star hotel , Grand Hyatt, and around 240 serviced apartments were under construction.

After BNP challenged sealing of this area, the CDA had alleged before the IHC that gross illegalities were done in this project by BNP and some previous office-bearers of the civic agency.

In this regard, the CDA informed the IHC on August 01 that its governing board on July 29 had cancelled lease of land to the BNP.

An IHC bench hearing in the petition of BNP then turned down the case with observations that it has become infructuous in the changed circumstances.

The petitioner BNP challenged lease cancellation notification through Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan and adopted that it did not violate any law but it was inefficiency of the CDA officials instead that caused the petitioner huge financial losses.

It was stated in the petition that CDA on September 28, 2004 advertised in national press auction of land for constructing of a five-star hotel , service apartments and other allied facilities.

The earlier bidding process for the plot was scrapped by CDA due to insufficient response from prospective bidders.

Only two companies participated, both owned by the same group.

The petitioner added that as per the new advertisement the lease was for a period of ninety nine (99) years.

Fifteen per cent of the bid amount was to be submitted within 45 days of acceptance of bid.

The remaining 85% of the bid amount was to be paid over a period of 15 years.

He continued that in an open auction on March 09, 2005 BNP Group was the highest bidder at Rs 75,000 per square yard and thus the successful bidder.

Less than a month before the land for Serena Hotel was sold on February 12, 2005 at a price of Rs-14,500/- per square yard petitioner told the court.

The total lease price of the land was Rs 4.882 billion.

The counsel for the petitioner contended that lease deed for the plot was signed between CDA and BNP (Private) Limited on July 28, 2005 while possession of the plot was not handed over to the BNP till October 04, 2006, which is the date of commencement of lease.

He argued that petitioner was not only given possession of the plot quite late but it was also asked to revise building plan due to the earthquake of October 2005 when CDA had revised building codes in Islamabad.

Petitioner then submitted revised building plans that were approved on March 29, 2008.

He adopted that the company has been targeted at the whims of influential persons.

Therefore, he prayed to the court that unilateral cancellation of the lease deed by CDA Board is illegal, unlawful and contrary to the fundamental rights of BNP (Private) Limited. He further requested that its lease may be restored.