KARACHI: A division bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Mahmood A Khan on Thursday adjourned hearing of a High Court Appeal (HCA) filed by Multinet Pakistan against National Highway Authority (NHA) and order of single judge who ordered payment of rupees 518 Million as rental dues.

The appeal and suit revolves round a dispute over payment of rental against ‘Right of Way’ provided by the NHA to the appellant/plaintiff company for laying optical fibre (internet facility). As the hearing commenced the counsel for plaintiff questioned the amount in dispute and said from a rental of rupees 5 per meter, the defendants raised it to rupees 50 over the years. The defendant cannot explain the reason for charging rent at such an exorbitant rate, the counsel contended.

The counsel for defendant NHA and a Federal Law officer told the bench that such arguments are belated as the single judge hearing a suit in the matter decreed it against the appellant company and ordered paying of dues accumulated from year 2005 t0 2013 and onwards. The reconciliation of disputed amount has also been done and now the amount is settled, NHA lawyers contended.

As both the sides disputed the quantum of dues, the bench deferred hearing for some time to be taken up at 1 pm again. The bench later took up the matter and as amount was vehemently contended by the appellant side, in order to resolve the controversy asked the appellant side to come up with details of the payments they made as rentals to the defendant NHA. The NHA was also allowed to prepare its own document showing payments and amounts of default with full details.

The bench later put of further proceedings till Feb 4 saying that on next date of hearing , the case will be heard and decided.

The rentals pertains to use of NHA land all over Pakistan.