Alcohol Manufacturer Patiala Distillers in Court to Stop Bans of its alcohol Brands


Alcohol manufacturer Patiala Distillers has moved to court seeking to reverse a Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) decision to suspend their production of their three brands Flying Horse Vodka, Flying Horse Gin and Diamond Ice beverages.

In its appeal before the Standards Tribunal in Nairobi, Patiala Distillers wants Kebs’ decision suspended because it was made without providing them with the right to administrative action that is expeditious, efficient, lawful, reasonable and procedural fair.

The company says it was not given prior and adequate notice of the nature and reasons for the suspension of the permit to use the Kebs standadisation mark.

The mark is used as proof that the standards agency has approved a product that goes into the market.

KEBS last week wrote to the distiller, directing it to immediately stop manufacturing the brands, citing nationwide complaints over compromised quality.

The directive came just a day after 34,000 bottles of the brands were destroyed in Karatina, Nyeri county, by the public led by local politicians.

The destroyed liquor was worth Sh6 million.

“Suspend the manufacture and sale of the above three products and undertake a comprehensive recall and withdrawal from the market of the products,” Kebs letter to the distiller dated February 27 reads.

However, the manufacturer says all its products met the KEBS standards and that the attacks on its brands are being orchestrated by market competition.

KEBS, however, claims the suspended products are likely to cause harm as a result of their consumption.

The agency says the suspension is a result of its mandate to safeguard consumers from the sale and manufacture of products that can be injurious to their health.

Patiala Distillers have, however, read ill motive in the move, claiming the abrupt suspension is instigated by market wars.

“The appellant has been a target of market competition in Mathira constituency, Nyeri county, where the area MP has initiated a public libel and brand assassination offensive against our alcohol brands,” the company says in its affidavits.

The firm said it curious that the said MP had even published on his Facebook Page the decision to suspend its three alcohol brands even before the regulator announced the move.

“The appellant is apprehensive that the decision of the respondent was informed by the unwarranted attacks by the lawmaker as opposed to substantiated claims on the quality of the products,” Patialla Distillers says in suit papers.

The manufacturer says the suspension of the manufacturing and sale of its products was unreasonable given it has been in the market since 2009.

“The said brands have been accepted in the Kenyan market and there have been no documented issues where the respective products have failed to meet the respective standards specifications.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *