SC seeks complete allotment records in Bahria Town Rawalpindi encroachment case.

ISLAMABAD -- The Supreme Court, while hearing a review petition filed by Bahria Town against the apex court's earlier judgment overturning an illegal land 'swap', on Tuesday sought a complete record of land allotments made to Bahria Town Rawalpindi.

The apex court had on May 4, 2018 ruled against Bahria Town's illegal procurement of land for its housing projects across the country. One of the land acquisition deals that the court had ruled against concerned an encroachment on forest land in the Takht Pari area near Islamabad.

The issue raised was that Bahria Town had 'encroached' upon 1,170 kanals of forest land, while the forest department had 'encroached' on an area measuring 765 kanals of Bahria Town. The court, in its order, had struck down this mutual 'encroachment' deal, deeming it illegal and of no effect.

Under Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar's stewardship, a five-member larger bench of the court has been hearing Bahria Town's review petition against the verdict.

"The Takht Pari land was government land," the chief justice told Bahria Town's counsel (and PPP leader) Aitzaz Ahsan. "I should clarify that we will not allow even an inch of the land to be encroached. The court has stopped giving concessions."

The court and the counsel also disagreed on the total area of Takht Pari, with Justice Ijazul Ahsan maintaining that the area spans 2,210 acres but Ahsan arguing that the total area "as per land records is 1,770 acres".

"The court had [also] ruled [on the size of the land] on the basis of records," Justice Faisal Arab reminded the property developer's representative.

The chief justice also wondered what "role the former Punjab CM [Shahbaz Sharif] and others played in the allotment was", recalling that: "The forest land was given on the chief minister's instructions."

Upon being told by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa that "all the records are under the name of Chaudhry Saleh, Salik and others", the CJP ordered notices to be issued to all...

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