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Jun 01, 2020 PRINT EDITION

LAHORE: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday appointed M/s AF Ferguson & Co, an accounting firm, as receiver for Royal Palm Golf & Country Club and directed it to run the affairs of the club.

The court ordered the firm to immediately take all the club record in its possession besides barring the old administration from entering the club.

The court further observed that all activities and programmes of the club would continue as per routine.

The court also sought record of all cases pending with the Lahore High Court (LHC) regarding the club, while declaring all earlier LHC orders ineffective.

The court ordered that the possession of the club would not be handed over to Railways or Ramzan Sheikh, the owner of the Club, till a forensic audit.

The three-member SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, passed the orders while hearing a case regarding alleged illegal allotment of railway land on lease for years.

At the outset of the proceedings, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad and Royal Palm Club management appeared before the bench.

The chief justice questioned the Royal Palm Club contract, observing that owners of the club had collaborated with the previous railway administration and embezzled billions of rupees. This is railway's land, we will not let anyone else to occupy it, he added."

He further observed that a ban was being imposed on construction of housing societies on railways land and leasing out of railways agriculture land for more than three years.

If any additional land of Railways had been transferred to the provinces, they too would sell it, he said, adding that if provinces had any objections, they could take the legal course of action.

The minister submitted that the club's land was most attractive property of the railways and requested for its recovery, during the hearing.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2018