The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday ordered return the bank guarantees of the construction companies working on the Orange Line Metro Train project.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Azmat Saeed, presided over the hearing of the case.

When the bench questioned about the current status of the construction work, the court was informed that the civil work of the project has already been completed, and the contractors have assured that the remaining work would be completed in time.

Justice Ijaz-ul Ahsan, while presiding over the hearing of the case, remarked that the train must be made operational by the month of November.

Advocate Naeem Bukhari, representing a private construction company in the court, stated that the civil work was completed by May 20 according to the orders of the apex court; however the companies were paid less amounts.

Bukhari pleaded with the court to order return of bank guarantees of the companies, while calling less payment to the construction companies “injustice”.

To which, the court ordered to return bank guarantees of Rs10 million to each contractor, and that unless new managing director (MD) is not appointed, the incumbent MD must continue his responsibilities towards the project.

Meanwhile, the hearing was adjourned till after summer holidays.

On April 19, a two-member bench comprising of Justice Gulzar Ahmad and Justice Ijaz-ul Ahsan had ordered the provincial government of Punjab to complete the task (civil work) by the deadline (May 20).

The bench had expressed displeasure over the delay in the project while hearing a case regarding the completion of the project.

During the hearing, Justice Ahmed had remarked that if contractors don’t work, they should be picked up and thrown away or put in jail.

Besides, the court had also ordered three construction companies involved in the project to submit guarantees of Rs10 million each, warning them that if the project wasn’t completed by May 20, the court could take possession of their guarantees.