The High Court has ordered the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to explain why it failed to take steps to set up chemical testing units at ports to detect fruits contaminated by harmful chemicals.
The court also directed the authorities to examine the presence of chemicals in fruits and submit a report to it by December 5.
A division bench comprising Justice FRM Nazmul Ahsan and Justice KM Kamrul Quader passed the orders on Sunday.
Referring to the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI), the court said the fines slapped by mobile courts are not enough as the chemicals are harming people's kidneys and livers.
Lawyer Manzil Murshed stood for the writ petition, Deputy Attorney General ABM Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar for the state and Barrister Sarkar MR Hasan was present on behalf of the BSTI.
On June 23, the High Court asked the authorities concerned, including the BSTI, to submit a report within two months after examining whether harmful chemicals were present in fruits.
The court also ordered the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to set up chemical testing units at ports. Then on August 26, the BSTI said they did not find any chemical in fruits.
On February 29, 2012, the High Court delivered its verdict upon a writ petition filed by the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh to prevent the use of harmful chemicals in fruits.
This summer, the rights group filed a supplementary petition upon which the High Court directed the authorities to deploy police at large mango orchards in different parts of the country, including Rajshahi, to stop the use of harmful chemicals.