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Halal products: Supreme Court seeks response from Uttar Pradesh government in petitions challenging ban

The Supreme Court has today issued notice on petitions which challenges the recent decision by the government of Uttar Pradesh to ban the storage, distribution and sale of food products with Halal certification.

The petitioner was asked to approach the High Court first by the bench comprising of Justice BR Gavai and Justice Sandeep Mehta.

Justice Gavai asked as to why should the bench entertain it under Article 32? 

The Justice said thay it is ok that it has Pan India ramifications etc. but High Court should look into it first.

The counsel representing the petitioners said that the decision to ban such products also affects religious practices.

The Counsel added that this was not the first time as such demands are already being made in Karnataka and Bihar. He added that the matter was not under FSSA (Food Safety and Standards Act)and could be addressed.

The counsel asked the Central Government to take a stand since inter-State trade and commerce is affected by the decision.

The Counsel stated that the matter is that of the public health along with its immediate impact is on trade, commerce, consumers and religious feelings which is a pan India issue.

The Court after listening to the counsel issued notice to the government of UP in the matter, returnable in two weeks and granted the petitioners liberty to serve the State’s Standing Counsel.

The Court was hearing a petitions filed by Halal India Private Limited, Jamiat Ulama-E-Maharashtra and the Jamiat Ulama Halal Foundation (JUHF) Certification Private Limited seeking the quashing of a notification banning Halal products.

The petitioners also prayed that a declaration be issued that the identification and consumption of Halal products is a protected activity for Muslims, being part of their religious and personal laws under Article 26 and 29 of the Constitution.

It was contended that the ban is unconstitutional and violative of fundamental rights.

Further, the petitioners also sought the quashing of criminal cases registered citing a violation of the ban.

The petitions were filed through advocates Sugandha Anand and Ejaz Maqbool.

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