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UP government’s ban on Halal products: Supreme Court grants interim protection to Halal India from coercive action

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The Supreme Court on Monday granted an interim protection to Halal India Pvt. Ltd from any coercive action. The court was hearing a clutch of petitions challenging the ban imposed on Halal-certified products in Uttar Pradesh. 

The bench comprising Justice BR Gavai and Justice Sandeep Mehta had earlier issued notice in the matter. However, it had refused to pass any interim order that no coercive actions be taken under the notification.

During the hearing today, Justice Gavai said that the same order, which was passed while granting interim protection to Mahmood Madani and other office bearers of Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind Halal Trust earlier this year, can be passed in the matter. 

The top court in January had granted interim protection to Mahmood Madani, president of the Mahmood faction of the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, and other office-bearers of the Halal Trust from any coercive actions as the state government banned the manufacture, sale, storage and distribution of Halal-certified products.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had also issued notice to the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government on a plea seeking the quashing of the November 18 notification which barred manufacture, sale, storage and distribution of halal-certified products.

The Jamiat Ulama-E-Maharashtra and Halal India Pvt. Ltd. approached the Supreme Court against the November 18 notification by the Uttar Pradesh’s Food Safety and Drug Administration and FIRs lodged against them.

They have challenged the notification as arbitrary, saying that it is based on unreasonable classification as it excludes other certifications like Jain, Satvik and kosher. The petitioners added that the state government arbitrarily singled out one certification on the basis of religion which is impermissible.

Consecutively, the petitioners prayed the top court to examine whether such a notification could be issued. They further contended whether they could be prosecuted for providing such a certification.

Reportedly, an FIR was filed against the petitioners and several others in Hazratganj police station in Lucknow for allegedly extorting money in the name of halal certification, promoting enmity in the name of religion and providing funds to anti-national and terror organisations.

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