ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has issued orders for removal of all the billboards installed in civil and Cantonment areas across the country.
During a hearing regarding billboards in Lahore, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar remarked that orders for removal of billboards were given for Karachi earlier, but would be applicable for other cities as well.
He also asked under which authority were billboards installed within the administrative jurisdiction of railways and Parks and Horticulture Authority in Lahore, observing that it cannot be done on public property.
If anyone wants to put up advertisements, they should do it on private property, which was also stated on the order given for Karachi, the chief justice said.
According to Justice Nisar, since removal of billboards made Karachi look very neat. Therefore, he suggested the same should be done in other parts of the country as well.
Justice Ejaz-ul-Ahsan, who was also present at the hearing, said putting up billboards on footpaths made for pedestrians was a threat to lives.
The counsel representing National Highway Authority (NHA) at the hearing said they did not put up any billboard on public property and give the required permission in accordance with the law.
He added that whatever billboard were installed across the cities were standing on the property of NHA. To this, the chief justice asked if NHA was a private property.
Moreover, Justice Ahsan said billboards affect the landscape of a city.
But Cantonment Board lawyer, Lateef Khosa, present at the hearing, said they run a hospital with money earned through the billboards.
Justice Nisar said money should be earned by keeping the laws in mind.
After listening to the arguments, the chief justice ordered authorities concerned to remove billboards on public land across the city within a month and a half.