The Supreme Court on Thursday accepted a Rs 460 billion Bahria Town Karachi’s offer for lands it occupies in the Malir district of Karachi and restrained the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from filing references against it.Last week, the top court had reserved its verdict on whether or not to accept a fresh offer by the Bahria Town (Pvt) Limited to settle a case pertaining to its Malir or Karachi Super Highway project in lieu of payment of Rs450 billion. Bahria Town Karachi will have to pay the entire amount over seven years. In its ruling, the top court ordered Bahria Town Karachi to pay Rs 25 billion by August this year. From September onward, it will have to pay monthly instalments of Rs2.25bn for the next three years. If the company fails to deposit two instalments, Bahria Town Karachi will be considered a defaulter.After three years, it will have to pay a four per cent markup in case of late installments. The company will also be required to give a 99-year lease to everyone who purchased a plot in Bahria Town Karachi housing project and will mortgage parks, cinemas and other assets owned by it. Sindh government, which had insisted during the entire course of the case that it did not incur any losses, told the court that it should be the recipient of the funds that are to be obtained from the builder.“The funds haven’t come yet but squabbles have started already,” Justice Saeed remarked. “We know where the money has to go.” The court further said that NAB would not file references against Bahria Town Karachi as long as the latter complies with the order.Malir Development Authority’s (MDA) counsel also requested the court to discard cases against Sindh government’s officials. “Do you want that references should not be filed against those who misused their authority?” Justice Faisal Arab asked. “The matter has [only] been settled with Bahria Town,” clarified Justice Saeed, adding that if NAB wants to file references against other officials, it can petition the court. “We will decide after hearing both the parties.”Once the amount is paid in full, the court will pass a decision regarding the ownership of the land in accordance with the law. The money will be deposited in the Supreme Court which will then be distributed as per the law, the order said. Bahria Town Karachi’s director has also been ordered to record a statement under oath regarding the payment. Published in Daily Times, March 22nd 2019.