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SC-imposed fine on Aitzaz Ahsan paid by CJP's son as 'sadqah'

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LAHORE, Mar 24: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar informed renowned lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan on Saturday that the fine imposed on him by the Supreme Court for failing to appear in formula milk case has been paid by the CJP’s son.

During the hearing of suo motu case pertaining to formula milk at the SC registry in Lahore, Justice Nisar remarked that since Ahsan was reluctant to pay the Rs10,000 fine, the CJP’s son had donated it as ‘sadqah’. “We donated it for a noble cause.”

“My son said I will pay Aitzaz uncle’s fine,” the CJP told Ahsan as he ordered court staff to hand over the fine receipt.

In the last hearing, the advocate for Meiji Formula Milk Company, Ahsan, was represented by his assistant, who had demanded that the court adjourn the case hearing for an unreasonably long time.

Irked by Ahsan’s absence, and the demand put forth by the junior lawyer, the CJP had warned that using Ahsan’s name in court will not earn any favours even though Ahsan is a respected name in the judiciary. The top court had slapped Ahsan with Rs10,000 fine for his request for an unreasonable time extension.

While Ahsan did not pay the fine, he did appear for today’s hearing where his client, Meiji Formula Milk Company presented a sample package of the milk before the two-member bench, headed by Justice Nisar.

Ahsan said his client had complied with the top court’s orders and added a disclaimer that the formula milk was suitable for babies above the age of six months and that the mother’s milk was better for child.

The CJP showed concern on the use of the word ‘milk’ on the packaging. He said the company must clarify that the ‘formula’ was intended for six months and above not the ‘milk’.

It should be written on the package that the formula is not natural milk, he said. “How can a mother’s milk be packaged?”

However, Ahsan maintained that the writing on the package did not claim it to be milk.

The top court has given three months to the company to make the necessary changes on the writing on milk packages.

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