ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan on Wednesday ordered the removal of all billboards installed in civil and cantonment areas across the country.
During a hearing regarding billboards in Lahore, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar remarked that orders for the removal of billboards were mentioned for Karachi earlier, but would be applicable for other cities as well.
He also inquired which authority were billboards installed under within the administrative jurisdiction of railways and Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) 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 the removal of billboards made Karachi look considerably neat, therefore, he suggested the same should be done in other parts of the country as well.
Justice Ejazul Ahsan, who was also present at the hearing, said that putting up billboards on footpaths made for pedestrians was a threat to their lives.
The counsel representing National Highway Authority (NHA) said that they did not put up any billboard on public property and had given the required permissions in accordance with the law.
He added that whatever billboards were installed across the cities were standing on NHA’s property. To this, the chief justice asked if NHA was a private property.
Moreover, Justice Ahsan said that billboards affect the landscape of a city.
However, Cantonment Board lawyer Latif Khosa who was also present stated that they run a hospital with money earned through the billboards.
The CJP replied that money should be earned while keeping the country’s laws in mind.
After listening to all the arguments, the CJP ordered the concerned authorities to remove all billboards on public land across the city within a month and a half.