22 April 2022 10:03 AM GMT
A Public Interest Litigation petition has been filed in the Supreme Court of India seeking a nation-wide ban on Halal certified products and withdrawal of Halal certification.The petitioner, Advocate Vibhor Anand, stated that he is filing the PIL on behalf of "85% Citizens of the Country" on whom Halal products are being allegedly forced upon."Only because the Muslim minority, which is 15% of...
A Public Interest Litigation petition has been filed in the Supreme Court of India seeking a nation-wide ban on Halal certified products and withdrawal of Halal certification.
The petitioner, Advocate Vibhor Anand, stated that he is filing the PIL on behalf of "85% Citizens of the Country" on whom Halal products are being allegedly forced upon.
"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 petition states. According to the petitioner, this is results in the violation of the fundamental rights under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitutuion.
"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".
It is said that the process of Halal certification started in India in 1974. Though it was confined to meat products initially, it later expanded to other products including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, health products, toiletries and medical devices. "Today, it even includes halal friendly tourism, medical tourism, warehouse certification, restaurant certification and training among others in the ever-expanding list. It is even permeating into services like logistics, media, branding and marketing", the plea states.
The writ petition filed through Advocate Ravi Kumar Tomar has sought directions to the Union of India to declare all the Halal certificates issued by the respondents including Jamiat Ulama-E-Maharashtra, Halal Certification Services India Private Limited, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust and Halal India Private Limited right from 1974 as null and void ab initio, and impose a ban on all the products which have been have certified by them.
Further, petition has sought directions to respondent companies including KFC, Nestle, Britannia etc., and all the other local and Multinational Companies operating in India to withdraw all Halal certified foods and other consumable products from markets across the country.
The petitioner has also stated that all non-Muslims must stop buying halal-certified products.
"If such a movement gathers momentum in India, the manufacturers will be forced to choose from the three available options – address 82% non-Muslim consumers only, address 18% Muslim consumers only or to manufacture two versions to address 100% consumers. The manufacturer will obviously choose the more profitable option", the plea has stated
With regard to Halal certification, the petitioner has submitted that free and open market principles should be apply to let the end consumer be the decision-maker. Further, if non-Muslim consumers feel cheated or hurt by halal certification, they should be given option of buying non-Halal products.
According to the petitioner, most businesses have started serving only halal meat now to save the cost of maintaining to supply chains, for halal and non-halal meat, and people who may not be comfortable with halal meat, or for people with religions where only jhatka meat is allowed, no longer have any choice in the matter.
According to the petitioner, despite having government agencies such as FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India), halal certificate is being imposed upon 100+ Crore Non Muslims in the country, and while it was earlier restricted to meat, has now been extended to vegetarian products too
The petitioner has stated that imposing one religion's beliefs on everyone can hardly be called secular.
Vibhor Anand was arrested by the Mumbai police in 2020 in a case for spreading conspiracy theories about the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. He later expressed repentance by saying that he got influenced by watching Republic TV, and was granted bail on condition to make an online apology.
Case Title: Vibhor Anand vs Union of India & Ors