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The provincial government of Sindh on Friday filed a petition in the Supreme Court praying that Rs 25 billion deposited by Bahria Town Karachi management and held by the apex court be deposited in its public account. The real estate giant had deposited the amount as down-payment of the Rs 460 billion it is supposed to deposit in an account set up by the Supreme Court for illegally acquiring 16,896 acres of land of Karachi's Super Highway.

In its petition, the provincial government stated that the province is currently facing a budget deficit. It said that during the last fiscal year, the federation only issued Rs 9 billion of Rs 14 billion to the province in Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). The provincial government stated that the ongoing development projects may be delayed due to financial problems faced by the province.

It requested the court to hand over the money to the provincial government deposited by Bahria Town given the current economic situation of the province. The petition further moved the court to also grant any future payments by the real estate giant to the Sindh government. It said that all this money would be spent through a supervisory committee.

On August 22, 2019, the federal government already moved the Supreme Court, requesting that the Rs 25 billion deposited by the Bahria Town Karachi management and held by the apex court be deposited in its public account. Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan told the court that the federal government had filed a civil miscellaneous application (CMA) in the implementation of judgment delivered last year in the Bahria Town Karachi's case.

He submitted that as per provision of Article 78(2)(b) of the Constitution, any money received by or deposited in the Supreme Court of Pakistan is liable to be credited to the public account of the federation. The federal government submitted that the Bahria Town Karachi had already made a payment of Rs 25 billion, adding that the first instalment of Rs 2,500,000,000 will commence from September 1, 2019 after which the balance payment was required to be made in 36 equal monthly instalments, along with 4 percent markup, charged annually with effect from September, 1, 2023.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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