Deep dive into the FIR behind ban on halal certified products in UP: Economic gains, terror funding & more
"In the interest of public health, the production, storage, distribution, and sale of halal-certified edible items are banned in Uttar Pradesh with immediate effect," read an order issued by the UP Food, Safety and Drug Administration Commissioner Anita Singh.
The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday, under the leadership of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, imposed a ban on the sale of halal-certified products. This action came after the Lucknow police filed cases against certain organizations for issuing counterfeit certificates to retailers. "In the interest of public health, the production, storage, distribution, and sale of halal-certified edible items are banned in Uttar Pradesh with immediate effect," read an order issued by the UP Food, Safety and Drug Administration Commissioner Anita Singh.
The order stated that the halal certification of food products constitutes a parallel system, causing confusion about the quality of food items, and is not sustainable under Section 89 of the 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 added.
A separate decree from the Uttar Pradesh government stipulates that legal action will be taken against pharmaceuticals, medical gadgets, and cosmetic items labeled as halal-certified. However, an exemption has been made for halal-certified food products meant for export.
"Action will be taken against the concerned person/firm under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and related rules," the order read.
This decision follows the registration of a case by the Lucknow police on Friday against a company and several other organizations for allegedly exploiting religious sentiments to boost sales through the provision of forged halal certificates.
The case has been filed against Halal India Private Limited in Chennai, Jamiat Ullema Hind Halal Trust in New Delhi, Halal Council of India in Mumbai, and Jamiat Ullema in Mumbai. The Hazratganj police station registered the case based on a complaint filed by Shailendra Kumar Sharma, a resident of Motijheel Colony in Aishbagh and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) office-bearer.
Details of complaint that led to ban on halal certified products in UP
The complainant has expressed concerns about a potential large-scale conspiracy, indicating efforts to diminish the sales of products from companies without the halal certificate, which is deemed illegal.
There is a fear that this unfair advantage may be exploited by anti-social and anti-national elements, according to the complaint.
Furthermore, the complaint alleges that the issuance of halal certificates for vegetarian products such as oil, soap, toothpaste, and honey, where such certification is unnecessary, suggests a deliberate criminal conspiracy targeting a specific community and its products.
The complainant also claims that, under the guise of religion, there is "unrestrained propaganda" within a particular section of society to discourage the use of products lacking a halal certificate.
Kumar has also expressed concern that these individuals may be accumulating disproportionate profits and potentially channeling funds toward supporting terrorist organizations and anti-national endeavors, the statement added.
"It has come to my notice that some companies have started certifying certain products as halal to increase their sale among people from a certain community. This is being done for monetary gains with use of deceit. You can see such products in markets across the state and this is like toying with the public’s faith. Through these certificates (for halal), part of a conspiracy, advertisements are being done," Sharma wrote in the complaint.
The complaint added, "These companies are preparing these certificates targeting one specific community, and the criminal act of reducing the sale of products without these certificates is being done. I suspect that unsuitable benefits from these actions are being handed out to anti-social and anti-national elements.”
“Even vegan products like beauty oil, soaps, toothpaste etc. are being given halal certificates. Such products don’t need a halal certificate. It is also being advertised among a community that products without halal certificates given by these companies should not be used. This is causing loss to businesses of the other community. This is being done not just for economic and material gains, but also to create animosity in society among communities. It is part of a conspiracy to weaken the country,” the complaint said.
The complaint also claimed that “financial gains from the activity are being used to fund terror outfits”.
Regarding the charges, the case has been 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 the purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).