ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan Wednesday disposed of an application of Bahria Town (Pvt) Limited, Karachi to defer the payment of installment of 16,896 acres land purchased in the area of Malir Development Authority (MDA).

A three-member special bench of the apex court headed by Justice Faisal Arab conducted hearing of the BTLK application to postpone the payment of installment. Bahria Town (Pvt) Limited Karachi filed the application last week under Order XXXIII Rule 6 of Supreme Court Rules, 1980.

BTLK counsel Barrister Ali Zafar requested the court to defer the payment for one year due to COVID-19 pandemic. During the hearing, Justice Muneeb Akhtar said that the government has provided relief to the businessmen due to COVID-19. Justice Ijazul Ahsan said that the court decision is not an agreement, which could be changed with the passage of time. He said that the implementation bench does not have power to change the decision of this court.

Zafar contended that the implementation bench first should decide that to whom (Sindh or the federal government) money has to be paid.

Justice Muneeb said that the Bahria Town should not to be worried about this and asked him to deposit the installments in the Supreme Court as per its direction.

The counsel said that the Bahria Town would become insolvent if it continues to deposit money. Justice Faisal said that for the time being, the BTLK application is not acceptable. Upon that Ali Zafar withdrew the same.

Later, the court adjourned the hearing sine die in this matter.

In the application, the BTLK stated that it is facing problems in selling its commercial land to the corporate entities locally and internationally for generating revenue to pay-back the liability of Rs 460 billion due to non-availability of lease entitlements available to it for onward sub-lease.

The offer of Rs 460 billion was made by the Bahria Town (Pvt) Limited Karachi before a bench of the Supreme Court on March 21, 2019 for purchase of land measuring 16,896 acres in the area of Malir Development Authority. The offer was accepted by the apex court with certain terms and conditions.

The Supreme Court in its order dated March 21, 2019 said: “BTLK is permitted to allot and otherwise deal with 16896 acres the property in question as a builder/developer only.

On receipt of entire payment leasehold rights in the property in question of 16896 acres may be transferred on lease by the government of Sindh and/or the Malir Development Authority to BTLK for a period of 99 years or such other tenure in accordance with the applicable laws and BTLK shall in accordance with the terms and conditions already agreed with the allottees transfer or cause to be transferred such rights in favour of the said allottees, the SC added.