The Supreme Court of Pakistan has issued orders for removal of all the billboards installed in civil and cantonment areas throughout the country.
During a hearing regarding billboards in Lahore, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar remarked that, although orders for removal of billboards were given for Karachi earlier, they would now be applied to other cities as well.
He also asked under which authority the billboards were installed within the administrative jurisdiction of railways and Parks and Horticulture Authority in Lahore.
“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 the CJP, the removal of billboards in Karachi has made the city look very neat, and urged other cities to follow suit.
Justice Ejaz-ul-Ahsan, who was also present at the hearing, said putting up billboards on footpaths made for pedestrians posed a threat to lives.
The counsel representing the 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 one and a half months.