The Supreme Court on March 21 accepted Bahria Town Karachi's PKR 460 billion offer for the lands it occupies in the Malir district of Karachi and restrained the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from filing references against it.
On May 4, 2018 the Supreme Court ruled that the Malir Development Authority illegitimately granted the land to Bahria Town.
The Sindh government had allocated the land to the MDA to establish a housing scheme. The MDA, though, exchanged the land with Bahria Town, the court said. Bahria Town was even debarred from selling any apartments or plots in the housing scheme. The Supreme Court has been hearing a case on the implementation of its decree.
The Supreme Court had earmarked its ruling on whether or not to accept a fresh offer by the Bahria Town (Pvt.) Limited to resolve a case pertaining to its Malir or Karachi Super Highway project in lieu of payment of PKR 450 billion.
Announcing its verdict on March 21, the Supreme Court accepted the offer, which was raised to PKR 460 billion.
Bahria Town Karachi will have to pay the entire amount over 7 years. In its ruling, the top court ordered Bahria Town Karachi to pay PKR 25 billion by August this year. From September onward, it will have to pay monthly installments of PKR 2.25 billion for the next 3 years. If the establishment fails to deposit two installments, Bahria Town Karachi will be reviewed a defaulter. Hence, all type of property for sale in bahria Town will be debarred.
In case Bahria Town fails to yield two continuous installments or a total of three installments, it will be reviewed a defaulter. Bahria Town has assured that Danzoo (day and night zoo), its parks and the Cine Gold cinema for the payment, the court noted.
They will be inspected according to the law if they dodge on payment, according to the court. If they violate the contract, then NAB will have the right to file a reference against them, it added.
Property prices in Bahria Town Karachi descended last year after the Supreme Court put a hold on it selling plots until a verdict was declared. As the case progressed, investors began to fear that the court may eventually rule against the real estate giant. As a result, the rates of Bahria Town Karachi remained low with some plots offering negative return to investors.
Real estate experts as well as some dealers confirmed there were no buyers and everyone was waiting for the Supreme Court verdict. Expecting an affirmative verdict, dealers, their agents and sub agents sprang into action recently and started persuading people to buy.
The verdict has resulted in an increase in prices in homes for sales in Bahria Town as more buyers come but how much of an effect it has on prices can only be determined by the forces of demand and supply. However, another factor that influences prices of commercial plots in Bahria Town is a network of property dealers.
Some dealers were expecting a verdict on March 13 and started buying in anticipation but the court put off the verdict till March 21 and prices went down again.
Now that the court has accepted Bahria Town’s offer and the matter has been settled, investors’ interest in the project has increased, which will push prices high.