Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) has revoked the licences of three bottled water brands and suspended that of seven others as their water was found to be substandard, said a report submitted to the High Court on Tuesday.
The brands which got their licences revoked are ‘Ananda Plus’ of Ananda Food and Beverage, ‘Real First’ of Real Food and Beverage and ‘Best One’ of Best One Drinking.
The seven other brands whose licences were suspended for different terms are ‘Kany’ of Safe International, ‘Aqua Mineral’ of Sinha Bangladesh Trade Limited, ‘Alma’ of AST Beverage Limited, ‘CFB’ of M/S Cristal Food and Beverage, ‘Osma’ of M/S Euro-tech Trade and Technology, ‘Epic’ of Unity Agro Beverage Industries and ‘Yummy Yummy’ of Fruits and Flavor.
Legal action will be taken against the brands if they try to market their products again, said BSTI report that was submitted before the bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil.
Deputy Attorney General Md Mokhlesur Rahman placed the report before the court while Advocate Md JR Robin stood for the writ petitioner.
The report said BSTI collected samples of 28 water bottled brands and found 10 of them as substandard ones and issued show causes to them.
The licences of three brands were cancelled as the water brands failed to reply to the show cause notices, it said, adding that the rest seven brands responded to the notices and sought time to enhance their standard.
From January 1 to 18 last, a total of 69 teams of BSTI conducted drives and seized 33,575 illegal water jars and filed 65 cases, the report said.
After submitting the report, lawyer Md Faridul Islam on behalf of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) applied to become a party to the case while the court sought a report on the BFSA activities to ensure safe water.
Earlier on January 21, BSTI informed the High Court in a report that bottled drinking water of five brands- Yummy Yummy, Aqua Mineral, CFB, Osma and Sinmin was substandard.
Later, the court ordered BSTI to explain what measures were against the substandard five brands within February 24.
On May 22, 2018, a vernacular daily ran a report on bottled water scam. Five days later, Advocate Shammi Akhter filed a writ petition with the High Court attaching the report.
On December 3, the court asked BSTI and law enforcement agencies to take necessary steps to stop the supply of unauthorised bottled water. It also sought a report through the attorney general within 15 days on what steps the BSTI had taken in this regard.
Besides, the court had also issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why its failure to provide pure drinking water in bottles and jars should not be declared illegal.
As the report was not submitted through the attorney general, the court on January 14 ordered the BSTI to file a report within a week.