ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday suspended Capital Development Authority (CDA)'s auction process of various advertising sites, billboards and bus shelters in the federal capital.
Chief Justice (CJ) IHC Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi issued these suspension orders while hearing a petition moved by advertising agencies.
In the petition, these advertising agencies maintained that they were already holding licenses to these sites, mopies (electronic billboard with changing ads one after another), billboards and bus shelters which are being auctioned by CDA.
The petitioner companies' counsel Barrister Masroor Shah contended before the court that the civic agency had awarded contracts of these sites to the petitioners on long-term basis for seven years.
He added that as per contracts, these advertising agencies were made responsible to construct, refurbish and maintain bus shelters and they could erect billboards and mopies against the services.
Barrister Masroor said that the petitioner companies were also liable to pay heavy license fee and annual rent for the sites as well. He told the court that now CDA is re-auctioning these sites to the benefit of some blue eyed persons while petitioners' companies had already made heavy investments in making new bus shelters existing ones and erecting billboards and mopies.
He maintained that the petitioners who are present licensees have not been served with any notice by CDA nor any reason has been cited till date as to why auctioning of the sites, bus shelters is being held in respect whereof the petitioner companies are holding licenses.
The counsel contended that CDA being a public authority is bound to treat the petitioners in accordance with the law.
A counsel representing CDA argued that these sites were awarded to petitioners by previous government in a non-transparent manner and now the new chairman has decided to auction the bus shelters and advertising sites afresh. After hearing both the parties, Justice Anwar Kasi suspended the auction of advertising sites and deferred the proceedings till the next date.