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HC order over writ on rotten wheat Wednesday

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The High Court will pass its order on Wednesday (July 8) on a writ petition filed seeking its directives to investigate by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) the allegation of rotten wheat import from Brazil.An HC bench comprising Justice Quazi Reza-UL-Hoque and Justice Abu Taher Mohammad Saifur Rahman fixed the date on Sunday after the Director General of the Directorate General of Food submitted a report to it in compliance with its earlier order.On June 30, the HC bench issued a rule asking the Director General of the Directorate General of Food to explain within 72 hours whether the wheat imported from Brazil is fit for human consumption. The rule came following the writ petition filed by a Supreme Court lawyer, Pavel Miah. In the report submitted through Deputy Attorney General Tapash Kumar Biswas, the court was told that the samples of imported wheat were collected from 57 food silos in different districts through executive magistrates and those were tested at the laboratory of the Directorate General of Food.The wheat was found to be under the acceptance limit of the agreement, it said. Besides, the test at the Dhaka University laboratory found protein more than the admissible level as per the agreement, the report said, adding that the wheat is fit for consumption. Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon who stood for the petitioner prayed to the court to issue a directive to conduct the test of alpha toxin of the imported wheat by a neutral agency.Earlier on June 29, Pavel Miah filed the writ petition with the High Court seeking its directives to investigate by the Anti Corruption Commission the allegation of rotten wheat import from Brazil.The government recently has imported some 2 lakh metric tonnes of wheat worth Tk 400 crore from Brazil and those were being distributed under government programmes such as food for work (kabikha) and Test Relief (TR), and among police, BGB, Ansar, prison, dealers and mills.There is an allegation that the imported Brazilian wheat is rotten and not consumable. The Directorate General of Food himself questioned the quality of the imported wheat as the Brazilian Agriculture Ministry and authorities of related departments did not provide any certificate in this regard. The directorate chemists have marked some shipments of the wheat under 'B' category and substandard. However, then DG of the directorate Sarwar Khan ordered the release of the wheat from Chittagong port after knowing all these matters, said the reports.Besides, Food Minister Qamrul Islam claimed that the imported wheat is consumable.

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