A Public Interest Litigation petition seeking a nation wide ban on Halal certified products and withdrawal of Halal certification has been filed in the Supreme Court of India.
“Only because the Muslim minority, which is 15% of the population, wants to consume ‘Halal’ food, it is being forced upon the rest of the 85%. This results in the violation of the fundamental rights under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.”
The petition stated that the rights of the 85% citizens of the country are being infringed and violated.
“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 Halal products against their will.”
The petitioner in his plea contended 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.
Advocate Ravi Kumar Tomar filed the petition in the top court seeking directions to the Government of India to declare all the Halal certificates issued by the respondents including Jamiat Ulama-i-Maharashtra, Halal Certification Services India Private Limited, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust and Halal India Private Limited right from 1974 as banned.
The petition also included companies such as KFC, Nestle, Britannia and several other local and Multi national Companies who are operating in India to withdraw all Halal certified products and other consumable products from markets across the country. The petitioner 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 petitioner also added that free and open market principles should be applied to let the end consumer to be the decision maker. And if non-Muslim consumers feel cheated or hurt by halal certification, they should be given option of buying non-Halal products.
The plea stated that imposing one’s religious beliefs on everyone can hardly be called secular.