SC orders Railways to submit Royal Palm lease plan in 15 days


LAHORE: The Supreme Court has directed the Pakistan Railways to submit a proper plan about leasing out the land for Lahore’s Royal Palm Golf and Country Club in 15 days.

Authorities have been instructed to submit the club’s account details and conduct its auction as soon as possible.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, asked the railways why it’s taken them so soon to hold the auction.

Their lawyer told the court that they have submitted a request to give them three months to hire a consultant. Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the department should submit a proper plan and then the court will issue instructions.

The lawyer also said that members of the previous government haven’t provided them with relevant records. Over which, one of the judges said, “you have to hurry up the process. The Railways wants to run trains or the golf club?”

The authorities have been ordered to register a case against all missing records.

On June 28, the court had declared the 2001 lease agreement of the club to be ‘null and void’ and its possession was handed back to the Railways.

The club was built on the land of Pakistan Railways. In 2001, the land was given on lease. The club was sealed during the tenure of former railways minister Saad Rafique over unpaid dues. The Lahore High Court had given a verdict against the railway authorities. NAB was investigating irregularities in the lease too.

Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed had said that the golf course has been spread over 103 acres since the time of British rule. Fraud was committed to reduce the price of the land, he had said.

He claimed that 32 bungalows and 103 quarters of Pakistan Railways were demolished to make the club