UP government bans halal-certified products after FIR against several firms
The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has imposed a state-wide ban on the sale of halal-certified food products with immediate effect.
The move comes in the wake of Lucknow police registering case against a company and a few other organisations for allegedly exploiting people's religious sentiments to boost sales by providing "forged" halal certificates.
“In the interest of public health, production, storing, distribution and sale of halal certified edible items banned in Uttar Pradesh with immediate effect,” said the order issued by the Food Commissioner's Office.
As per the order, the halal certification system creates confusion regarding the quality of the food products and is not tenable under Section 89 of the Food Law Food Safety and Standards Act.
"The right to decide the quality of food items lies only with the authorities and institutions given in Section 29 of the said Act, who check the relevant standards as per the provisions of the Act", it said.
According to reports, the state government has issued a separate directive as per which pharmaceuticals, medical gadgets, and cosmetic items bearing halal-certified labelling would face legal action.
Earlier, a case was registered at the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow against entities such as the Halal India Private Limited Chennai, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust Delhi, Halal Council of India Mumbai, Jamiat Ulama Maharashtra and others for allegedly exploiting religious sentiments to boost sales by providing halal certificates to customers of a specific religion.
The state government said in a statement that the said companies allegedly issued forged halal certificates to various companies for financial gains, fostering not only social animosity but also violating public trust.
The case was filed under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 298 (uttering words, etc, with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings), 384 (extortion), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the IPC.