All leases in respect of railways’ land already cancelled, says AKDSPL
Company says the said land is deemed railways property under MLO
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While reacting to the directions of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) regarding the cancellation of the Pakistan Railways’ land lease agreement with businessman Aqeel Karim Dhedhi, the Aqeel Karim Dhedhi Securities (PVT) Limited (AKDSPL) said that all the leases in respect of the land were cancelled and the said land was deemed the property of the railways, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
It merits a mention here that the PAC had also directed to blacklist the AKDSPL. It had also sought the details of illegal occupation and encroachment on the railways’ land.
The PAC had held its meeting with Noor Alam Khan in the chair. During the meeting, the audit paras related to the Ministry of Railways for the year 2019-20 had been examined.
In its reply, the AKDSPL said: “On 21 March 1985, the then Chief Martial Law Administrator passed a Martial Law Order No. 105 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘MLO’) titled ‘Rehabilitation of Karachi Hotel Project Order, 1985’. As per para 5 of the said MLO, any and all sub leases in respect of the property were cancelled and the said land was deemed to be property of the Pakistan Railways.”
It added: “In the year 2003, bids were invited by the Privatisation Commission of Pakistan (Custodian) for the sale of the Subject Property on an ‘as is, where is’ basis. Pursuant to which AKDSPL had submitted an EoI (on behalf of the National Commodities Exchange Limited ‘NCEL’ now). The bid submitted by AKDSPL was duly accepted by way of Letter of Acceptance No. 2(6)-PC/2000 dated 31 December 2003 for a sale consideration of Rs 530,000,000 plus yearly advance rent payable to the Pakistan Railways.”
It stated: “Afterwards the sale agreement dated 28 January 2004 executed between AKDSPL and National Commodities Exchange Limited now Pakistan Mercantile Exchange Limited in which the novation of the bid won on behalf of the NCEL was done to consummate the agreement / understanding between NCEL & AKDSPL.”
It further stated: “This is further verified that not only Rs 530,000,000 was paid by NCEL but all the rental payments as per agreement paid by the NCEL till 2014.”
It maintained: “Furthermore, Constitution Petition No. 3754 / 2019 has been filed in respect of the subject property at the Honourable High Court of Sindh whereby the ground rent assessment for the subject land dated 05 January 2019 has been challenged. The Honourable High Court was pleased to pass Order dated 29 May 2019 whereby Pakistan Railways has been directed to refrain from taking coercive action in respect of the subject property.”
It stressed: “Furthermore, you are informed that CMA No. 83-K has been filed in respect of the subject property in the aforementioned CP No. 9 / 2010. The Honourable Supreme Court has been pleased to issue notices to your institution the Railways in the aforementioned CMA No. 83-K, which is still awaited.”
It added: “It is clarified that the said property was won by AKDSPL via bidding process on behalf of the NCEL and same has been clarified / notified to all the Government institutions that AKDSPL is not the owner of the property but is merely holding the property pending transfer of lease under NCEL. AKDSPL also provided NOC to all the institutions to transfer the land into NCEL name, the rightful owner of the land but to no avail.”