The federal government has moved the Supreme Court to scrap the lease of Pakistan Railways land to the Royal Palm Golf Club.
During the hearing of the case on Wednesday, the government through Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Khawaja Ahmed Hussain argued that the 49-year lease was awarded to the golf club in an unlawful and non-transparent manner, and urged the court to declare the deal ‘void ab initio’. The property was transferred to the private owner in 2000, under Pervez Musharraf’s government.
Justifying the request, Hussain said that when any government body wanted to dispose any public asset, it had to float a public advertisement which “enables the parties [involved] to identify with clarity what is offered to them.”
In this case, he said, 103 acres of railways land were advertised but 140 acres were granted to the Royal Palm Golf Club when it argued that a quality golf course could not be set up on the land initially offered. The DAG added that in a public tender process, one can’t enter into private negotiation.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2014.
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