Mumbai police on Wednesday filed a criminal case against a city-based builder and his employee for allegedly refusing to sell a flat to a youth on the ground that he is a non-vegetarian.
"On the basis of the complaint filed by Vaibhav Rahate, we have booked Rajesh Mehta and his staffer Pankaj Mehta under Section 153(b)(1)(B) of IPC," Malad police station senior inspector Milind Khetle said. The section punishes any imputations or assertions that are prejudicial to national-integration.
In his complaint, Rahate, a car dealer, alleged that a staff member in the office of Shrinathji Group had told him on May 4 that apartments in their projects are not for sale to 'Maharashtrians and Muslims as they are non-vegetarians', implying that only those communities with pure vegetarian diets can buy flats in their project.
Responding to a query on whether the builder would be arrested, the police officer said, "We have registered a case today and are investigating the matter." Rahate had alleged that Malad police did not take any action against the builder for 25 days, but relented only after Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam staged a protest outside the police station.
The instances of discrimination against citizens on the ground of their religion or even the culinary preferences are growing, with a Muslim woman PR professional recently alleging that she was denied rented accommodation in a suburb due to her religion.