'Can't say be veg or non-veg': SC junks PIL to ban halal

Published: 12 October, 2020 19:18 IST | IANS | New Delhi

Court cannot determine who can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian.

This picture has been used for representational purposes
This picture has been used for representational purposes

The Supreme Court on Monday said it cannot determine who can be a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian, as it junked a PIL challenging the practice of 'halal' for slaughter of animals for food. It also termed the petition "mischievous".

A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Dinesh Maheshwari said 'halal' is merely a method of slaughtering animals, and some people do 'jhatka' and some do 'halal'.

"How is it a problem?" the bench asked counsel for the petitioner, the Akhand Bharat Morcha.

The bench noted that some people want to eat 'halal' meat and some want 'jhatka' meat, even as the petitioner argued that even the European Court of Justice has ruled that 'halal' is extremely painful and animals don't have a voice of their own and cannot reach out to the court.

Submitting that reports say that 'halal' induces extreme pain and suffering on the animals, the petitioner also cited the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, saying its Section 3 makes it the duty of every person to take care of any animal and ensure its well-being.

As the petitioner also argued that the act's Section 28 exempts the killing of an animal in any manner in pursuance of the religion of any community or for any religious rites, the bench replied that the petitioner may say that tomorrow onwards, nobody should eat meat.

"Court cannot determine who can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian," it said.

Justice Kaul, noting that the plea is totally misconceived, told the petitioner those who want to eat 'halal' meat can eat it and those who want to eat 'jhatka' can eat it too.

The petitioner reiterated why there should be cruelty to animals and killing should be done in a manner, wherein some humanity is expressed towards the animals. Elaborating on the process of 'halal', the petitioner argued that a skilled person carries out the process where the animal is alive till the last drop of blood gushes out. However, the bench insisted that these are issues where courts cannot get into.

After a brief hearing in the matter, the bench told the petitioner that the plea is mischievous in character.

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