ISLAMABAD - A day after the under-construction Grand Hyatt Hotel lost a legal battle over the land ownership, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Saturday that the investors and buyers of flats in the twin residential towers should about their money as it was safe and secure.

“I have consulted with the prime minister and after receiving a detailed judgment of the court in the case, the government will constitute a committee to work out a mechanism for returning the money to the investors (flat owners) after consulting them,” a spokesperson said while quoting the interior minister.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday dismissed petitions of MS BNP — the builder of the hotel and high-rise residential apartments — and their buyers against the cancellation of a lease of 13.5-acre land located next to the Convention Centre. A day earlier, the interior minister welcomed the IHC verdict, calling it a ‘landmark decision’.

According to the documents submitted before the court, around 240 people had purchased luxury flats of worth millions of rupees in the high rise twin towers. The investors include PTI chief Imran Khan, former naval chief Mohammad Asif Sandila, former foreign secretary Salman Bashir, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Mohammad Ashraf Wathra,  former chief justice Nasirul Mulk, ex-LHC chief justice Iftikhar Hussain Chaudhry, PEMRA Chairman Absar Alam, State Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Jam Kamal and retired Lt-Gen Ahsan Azhar Hayat.

Nisar observed that unprecedented irregularities took place in the approval, construction and allotment process of the “One Constitution Avenue” project. “I, on behalf of the government, assure the investors of security of their investment,” he said adding that strict action would be taken against officials and government functionaries involved in the massive irregularity. “Whereas this building is the worst example of connivance of public officials, government functionaries and private sector, it’s construction and unabated sale of flats was a security hazard for the federal capital. Keeping all these things in view, the government would take a decision so that no rights are infringed and secondly it could also be ensured that no one in future plays with the rules using his influence, money or his/her clout,” he said.

The minister said that it was important that the affected persons were swiftly compensated, the connivers were dealt according to the law and a mechanism was put in place to ensure that no one misused his or her authority in the future.