CJP summons owners of 11 bottled water companies on Tuesday


LAHORE: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday ordered owners of 11 mineral water companies to ensure their presence in court on Tuesday.

While hearing a suo motu case against bottled water companies at the Lahore Registry, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar warned that if the owners of the companies do not appear in court their names would be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL).

Justice Nisar reprimanded the companies’ lawyer, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan for suggesting that the case be heard on Nov 30 after the CJP returns from a scheduled trip to the United Kingdom.

However, the CJP shot down Ahsan’s suggestion, saying: “Do you want me to compromise and leave for my visit to the UK? Are those people [company owners] who are selling dirty water entitled to forgiveness?”

According to a report on the quality of bottled water, each company uses 90 million litres of water a day. There is no certified method to assess the quality of water, it said, adding that only Qarshi has a certified laboratory.

The report ─ which found that groundwater contains fluoride and arsenic ─ also highlighted that none of the other companies are aware of what is in the water that they extract from the ground.