Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court on Wednesday restored the lease of plot awarded to Grand Hyatt (M/s BNP) hotel by the Capital Development Authority (CDA), declaring the order of Islamabad High Court void.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Faisal Arab passed the orders while hearing an appeal filed by BNP against the IHC’s order.

The IHC on July 2016 had cancelled the lease of plot over violation of CDA’s building by-laws the Grand Hyatt hotel management.

The top court directed BNP to complete the payment of Rs 17.5 million within eight years in instalments against the plot’s lease to the CDA.

The chief justice observed whether the CDA had been sleeping for 13 years when the towers were being constructed and now when the two towers had been built, its officials said the leasee had violated CDA-bylaws.

CDA’s counsel Munir Paracha requested the court to let the federal cabinet decide the matter as it was scheduled to meet on Thursday.

The court observed that the cabinet would not be able to decide the matter as the CDA had already rejected the BNP’s proposal.

The counsel further pleaded that for its location in the Margalla Hills National Park, the building should be demolished.

The CJP said then the Supreme Court’s building and the Pak Secretariat should also be demolished because they also fell in the National Park area. What the people, who had bought apartments in the Grand Hyatt towers for millions of rupees would do, he asked, adding that half of the city of Islamabad had been built in violation of by-laws.

He further observed the CDA even did not have proper regulations and the court had asked from Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, former Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) minister, in that regard.

CDA Chairman Afzal Latif, who was present in the court, apprised the court that CDA employees had defrauded.

Upon this, the CJP remarked: “You did not remember this fraud for 13 years. Why the people, who have spent Rs 4 billion to buy those apartments should suffer now.”

Subsequently, the court, in its short order, declared void order of IHC. It may be mentioned that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had terminated the 99-year lease agreement with the BNP (private) Limited and sealed the under-construction Grand Hyatt Hotel on the Constitution Avenue citing various building and layout plan violations. It maintained that the BNP (Pvt) Limited had created third-party interest without adhering to the CDA’s by-laws.