The High Court on Wednesday issued a rule asking the government to explain in four weeks why it should not be directed to pass the Formalin Control Bill 2013 in the next parliament session with a provision of exemplary punishment for the culprits mixing formalin in foodstuff.
The parliament goes into session on Thursday.
In the rule, the HC also sought to know a to why directives would not be given to the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to check carbide, burnt Mobil, melamine, poisonous chemicals and colour in food items and other products.
The secretaries to the Health, Home, Law, Environment and Commerce ministries, the Inspector General of Police, the director general of Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) have been made respondents to the rule.
An HC vacation bench comprising Justice Salma Masud Chowdhury and Justice Zafar Ahmed came up with the rule after hearing a writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Dr Yunus Ali Akond as the public interest litigation on Sunday.
In the petition, Dr Yunus Ali urged the HC to direct the government to pass the Formalin Control Bill in the next parliament with a provision of death penalty as the maximum punishment for unauthorized possession, use, production and import of the chemical.
The writ also sought HC directive to make it compulsory to provide formalin detection kits to all the markets across the country.
The Commerce Ministry recently formulated the draft of the proposed Formalin Control Law with a provision of maximum 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Tk 5 lakh for food adulteration.