KARACHI - The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday censured the authorities responsible for gross mismanagement in Karachi, while hearing a case related to billboards being uprooted by stormy winds causing injuries and deaths.

The SC bench, under Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, reproached Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, the Sindh government, electricity utility K-Electric and other authorities over what he termed as dereliction of duty.

During the hearing, the CJP asked where the mayor of the city was, noting that Akhtar is always complaining about lack of powers.

“Go home if you do not have authority; why are you sitting as a mayor?” the CJP remarked.

Justice Gulzar inquired about the tenure of the mayor, to which Akhtar, who presented himself before the court, responded that he would leave the post on August 28.

“Go, leave the city be,” lashed out the CJP, saying that the mayor of the city was responsible for its destruction during his tenure.

“The mayor Karachi seems to have a vendetta against the city, [even though] people voted for him so that he could do something for Karachi,” said the judge.

The CJP also commented on the issue of billboards causing accidents in the city, asking Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shalwani to submit a report on the matter. The Advocate General, Sindh was also present, who told the court that a case had been registered in this regard.

“The entire city is full of billboards,” said the judge, adding that if these billboards fell down, they could cause severe damage.

“Let us do an inquiry on the past five years to see who installed these billboards,” remarked Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan.

“There are so many billboards that airflow has been restricted. This is a violation of the law,” said the CJP.

The SSP South told the court that a case had been registered against two suspects for installing faulty billboards and that a search was underway to arrest the culprits.

“Have they gone hiding in the sea? Don’t give lame statements before the court and go find them within half an hour,” the CJP said.

The commissioner Karachi then told the court that people had erected billboards on private property, and that hundreds of billboards were removed over the last four years.

Later, the judges directed the officials to remove all the billboards and signboards from the city.

The CJP continued questioning the authorities, said that the Sindh government and the local bodies were ‘enemies of the city’.

The CJP said that there did not seem to be any governance in Karachi. “Where is the writ of the Sindh government?” he asked the officials present before the court.

He continued that the billboards issue had been in violation of building rules and the entire city presented a dismal picture due to heaps of garbage.

“It seems everyone takes out their chunk and abandons the city,” he said, adding that it looked like everyone was a part of a mafia.

The apex court then lambasted the sole power supplier of the city, saying that the court would issue an order against KE.

The CJP said that a case should be registered against KE and its entire administration and they should be placed on the ECL.

He added that the directors of the power supplier should be arrested and sent to jail.

“Daily 8 to 10 people die due to electrocution,” said the CJP, adding that KE has meanwhile collected billions and trillions in its coffers.