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24 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Arrest warrant issued against Pran MD

TAFF REPORTER, Dhaka

Safe Food Court, which deals with food-related cases, yesterday issued an arrest warrant and ordered the police to arrest Ahsan Khan Chowdhury, managing director (MD) of Pran Agro Limited, in a case involving the production of substandard food products. Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) court’s special metropolitan magistrate Mehedi Pavel Sweet passed the order after rejecting a time prayer made on behalf of lawyers of the Pran Group MD. Ahsan Khan Chowdhury was not present during the hearing. His lawyers said he could not appear before the court because of illness. They claimed Chowdhury was suffering from blood infection and fever. They also submitted medical certificates in support of their claim. But the magistrate said the

reason being given by the lawyers was not true. The court expressed its displeasure over the defence lawyers’ submission seeking more time for their client to appear before the court.

Dhaka South City Corporation’s safe food inspector Kamrul Hasan confirmed the development to The Independent.

He said that the court did not accept the defendant’s plea for failing to appear in court during yesterday’s hearing. “The defence lawyers were apparently caught off guard by the court’s response and at once retracted on the ill-health plea, saying that is what their client had told them. The court fixed July 30 for hearing the case again,” he added.

When contacted, a spokesperson of the Pran-RFL Group, remained tight lipped.  

Earlier, the safe food authority had filed a case against Pran’s low-quality food products including Pran’s ghee, vermicelli and turmeric powder. According to the case statement, turmeric powder produced by Pran left excessive ash when burnt during tests at the laboratory of the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution. The BSTI permits 7.30 per cent ash in turmeric powder, but Pran’s product produced 8.09 per cent.

The Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) sued last month Pran and 46 other companies for producing 52 unsafe food products.

On June 19, the BFSA sued 21 more companies for manufacturing inedible foods. Their trial is about to begin.

This, however, is not the first time Pran, the country’s leading food processor, is facing legal action for its food products considered harmful. In October last year, Pran was accused of cheating people through deceptive advertisements for marketing its popular olive pickle.

In its case statement, the BFSA said that Pran used false and misleading information in its advertisement.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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