ISLAMABAD         -             The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday directed Pakistan Railways to complete the feasibility report on Royal Palm Golf and Country Club within one month, while making sure its use for a “public purpose” is kept in mind.

A three-member implementation bench, headed by Justice Umar Atta Bandial, conducted hearing of the Royal Palm Golf and Country Club’s case.

On the court’s enquiry, Pakistan Railways submitted a report by the consultant appointed by Pakistan Railways, in which various business proposals relating to the project were detailed. One of the suggestions was to lease out the project with permission to build apartments on the Railway land.

Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, representing Mainland Husnain Pakistan Limited, the ex-management company of Royal Palm Golf and Country Club, informed the court that due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Pakistan Railways has shut down the Royal Palm Golf and Country Club altogether.

Zafar added that he had not received the report compiled by the consultants of Pakistan Railways and that he has various objections to the report, including the fact that the rebidding had to be done by Pakistan Railways strictly in accordance with laws and the judgments of the Supreme Court, including the judgments passed in this very case.

Barrister Zafar contended that Pakistan Railways could not be allowed to convert a green space into a concrete block. Justice Bandial observed that the Court is not here to make business decisions which will be left to the experts based on the feasibility reports but it needs to ensure that the public purpose of any future development is kept in mind.

The court also observed that future bidding has to take into account the public’s needs only, and allowed all parties to file replies to the consultants’ report.

The court also directed the appointed audit firm to complete the audit of the Club for the remaining years.