Government to refund harbour plot buyers

The government will refund buyers of four plots from the southwest harbour after the Civil Court ruled earlier this month that the sales were illegal, Male’ Mayor “Sarangu” Adam Manik told local media yesterday.

Adam Manik however revealed that the Attorney General’s Office will appeal the Civil Court’s ruling, which held that President Mohamed Nasheed’s decision to auction off 50,000 square feet of land from the harbour area was made illegally after the move was challenged at court by the opposition alliance.

The Civil Court decision came after the buyers made advance payments of 10 percent of the total amount due.

Should the High Court overrule the lower court decision, said the Mayor, the City Council will resume the project and offer the previous auction winners the same plot again.

Four out of eleven plots auctioned last year had been sold before the court ruling – two 2,000 square feet plots were bought for Rf27 million by SunFront, a 5,000 square feet plot was bought by BHM Traders owner Hussein Moosa while resort company Universal bought a 7,500 square feet plot for Rf46.5 million.