Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed has taken suo motu notice of a billboard falling on motorcyclists in Karachi during Friday’s downpour.
The incident occurred near Metropole Chowrangi. The injured persons included a 65-year-old man who sustained several injuries and was immediately shifted to a hospital.
A video of the incident had gone viral on social networking sites. The chief justice took suo motu notice of the incident on Saturday.
The apex court has issued notices to the federal and Sindh governments, and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation. The case has been fixed for hearing on Monday.
Billboards have been installed on all major roads of Karachi despite orders by the Supreme Court. In 2018, the court had passed an order to remove billboards from all public properties across the city. The ban is also applicable in cantonment areas, on the land of government offices, and in housing societies.
The orders were passed after multiple incidents of boards falling on residents occurred across Karachi during rainstorms. Following this, more than 150 billboards were removed from multiple areas of the city including main Sharae Faisal.
However, the decision resulted in losses for advertising companies after which new rules regarding public advertising were introduced. The district and provincial governments were given the responsibility to come up with ideas of installing boards that were not hazardous to the lives of citizens.
Advertisers had then found a substitute of pasting thin sheets and posters at an elevation on walls of the city.
Two officers of the South DMC’s advertisement department have been suspended for illegally issuing permits for the billboard.
Advertisement Director Wazir Ali Behlum of grade BS-18 and Local Taxes Assistant Director Muhammad Siddique Swati of grade BS-16 were suspended for granting permission to install a billboard at Metropole Hotel despite the ban imposed by the Supreme Court.