Ban halal certified products across India, says petition in Supreme Court

A petition filed in the Supreme Court has sought a complete ban on halal products and halal certification, claiming that fundamental rights of 85% citizens were being infringed for the sake of 15% population who use these products.

The petition sought withdrawal of all halal-certified foods from the market by the multinational companies and instead, suggested that if at all such a certification is necessary, it should be done by statutory organizations such as Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and not the halal certification organizations.

The petition, filed by advocate Vibhor Anand said, “Only because the Muslim minority, which is 15% of the population, wants to consume ‘halal’ food, it is being forced upon the rest 85% of the people.” The word halal, according to Islam means that which is permitted or lawful.

Anand, in his petition said that ‘halal’ certification was first introduced in 1974 for slaughtered meat and halal certification was applied only to meat products till 1993. Subsequently, the petition said, halal certification is not restricted to meat, but has been extended to even food items, cosmetics, medicines, hospitals, housing societies and malls. “It includes snacks, sweets, grains, oils, cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, nail polish, lipsticks, etc.”

The halal certification, according to the petitioner, is done by five or six major organizations, which includes Jamiat-Ulama-E-Maharashtra and Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust.

The petition said: “While we keep going on about the word secular in our Constitution, imposing one religion’s beliefs on everyone can hardly be called secular. Indirectly, with businesses shifting to halal-only products to cut their costs, this belief to consume only halal products has been imposed on everyone.”

It also said certifying agencies were making a large amount of money at the cost of non-Muslims who are forced to buy halal-certified products. “The present petition is being filed by the petitioner on behalf of 85% citizens of the country for the enforcement of their fundamental rights provided under Article 14, 21 of the Constitution of India as the same are being infringed and violated. It is being seen that for the sake of 15% of the population, rest 85% people are being forced to consume the halal products against their will,” the petition said.

Source : HindustanTimes

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