Companies extract free of cost water, sell it at hefty prices: Chief Justice

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CJP Saqib Nisar threatens to resign as lawyers protest during hearing

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday while hearing a case pertaining to mineral water remarked that companies extract free of cost water and sell it at hefty prices.
The Chief Justice also appealed the public to stop drinking mineral water after a recent report raised health concerns in the light of examination of bottled water samples and added that people should use boiled tap water saying nothing will happen with the grace of Allah.
He remarked that mineral water companies extract water from the land ‘without any charge’ and sell them to public at exorbitant rates. He expressed astonishment that such companies were selling small bottle of water for Rs 32.
In his observation, Justice Ijazul Ahsan said the annual profit of mineral water companies was more than Rs one billion.
The CJP said people make a beeline for water in several cities, while companies fill their bottles and sell them to public at hefty price.
The chief justice on Sep 14 took suo motu notice of the exploitation of ground water by mineral water companies.
Hearing the Katas Raj case, the chief justice sought data regarding water usage by these companies from departments concerned.
During hearing on the day, he remarked: “Water is very precious for us. Mineral water companies are acquiring water free of cost after installing turbines and then selling it at exorbitant price. We will take all possible measures to preserve water’, he added.
While in the next hearing on Sep 16, the CJP ordered examination of water samples from mineral water companies.
The bench while rejecting the request of companies to prepare their audit report in one month duration, instructed them to submit their forensic audit in 15 days duration.
The Supreme Court had further observed that those companies had been earning profits from past 20 years, adding after conclusion of this case, “all the mineral water companies will pay a reasonable price to the government for using the water and the companies must [subsequently] sell the mineral water to consumers at a modest price.”

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