Tuesday, February 25, 2020 | ePaper

HC summons BFSA chief

Substandard food

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Staff Reporter :
The High Court (HC) on Thursday summoned the Chairman of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) for not complying with court's earlier order to remove 52 food products from markets all over the country, as those products were found substandard by Bangladesh Standard Testing Institution (BSTI),
At the same time, the HC issued a rule to explain as to why disciplinary action should  not be taken against him on the charge of contempt of court as he did not comply with the court's earlier order.
Bangladesh Food Safety Authority Chairman Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque will have to appear in the court on June 16, 2019, for explanation. Besides, he has been asked to comply with the rule within two weeks.
The HC Bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil passed the order after hearing on a writ petition filed  for seeking its directive on the government to seize or to withdraw 52 substandard food products from markets all over the country.
Following a writ petition, on May 12, 2019, the same HC Bench directed the authorities concerned to immediately remove from the market 52 food   products which were found substandard by Bangladesh Standard Testing Institution (BSTI).
The court ordered the authorities concerned to stop production, selling or marketing of these substandard products and to take appropriate legal action against the persons responsible for producing, selling, marketing and supplying the products.
BSTI, Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) and the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection had been asked to take necessary measures to this effect and the latter two bodies were asked to submit a report  in this court in 10 days complying with the order.
Following the HC's order, Bangladesh Food Safety Authority submitted a report in the court yesterday. But the court expressed dissatisfaction as there was no information about the progress of implementation of the HC's earlier order. Expressing dissatisfaction on the report of BFSA, the court said, "Bangladesh Food Safety Authority did not remove even a single packet of substandard product from the markets according to the court order. There is not a single word in this regard in their report."
On May 9, 2019, Conscious Consumers Society, a rights organization, filed the writ petition with the HC as it did not get any reply to its legal notice served on May 6 for seizing or withdrawing the substandard food products from the markets all over the country.
The rights group on May 6 served a legal notice on the authorities concerned asking them to seize or withdraw the substandard food products from markets within 24 hours.
Barrister Shihab Uddin Khan sent the legal notice on behalf of CCS. He also requested the BSTI to take legal action against companies producing the substandard items within 24 hours.

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