LAHORE - The top court yesterday witnessed an interesting dialogue between senior lawyer and PPP’s outgoing senator Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan and Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar.

Aitzaz appeared before a three-member bench, headed by CJP and including Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, in the formula milk case at Supreme Court’s Lahore registry.

Reading out news items from English newspapers, the lawyer asked why he was fined Rs10,000 over his absence from the previous hearing.

Aitzaz: You [CJP] look tense. I have never been fined even a single rupee during my whole career.

CJP: No, I’m not. Who said this to you?

Aitzaz: It is [quite] visible that you are tense.

At this, Justice Bandial interrupted, telling Aitzaz that the conduct of his associate [who appeared on his behalf] compelled the court to impose the fine.

Aitzaz Ahsan claimed that he had actually been punished for a speech he had made in the Senate, and he asked the court to withdraw the fine.

“Your associate tried to show the influence of your chamber while standing in court. I’ll not differentiate between a junior and a senior if anyone would do such a thing,” the CJP remarked.

“Being part of Aitzaz Ahsan’s chamber doesn’t mean that you can do anything,” the judge said, adding, “No leniency will be shown if anybody tries to influence [the court] or tries to get leverage of being an associate of an influential chamber.”

Justice Saqib said “I will give your fine from my pocket” and ordered the court staff to pay Rs10,000 [in charity] to the Fatimid Foundation and hand over the receipt to lawyer.

Barrister Zafarullah remarked that Aitzaz is a rich man and he can submit the fine himself.

Aitzaz said that he also gives charity but he won’t do it in such a way.

The CJP then tried to normalise the situation by telling the senior lawyer to argue on the case.

The court had previously fined Aitzaz Rs10,000 due to his request for time-extension, terming it unreasonable.