A shop in Delhi displaying cooked chicken
A shop in Delhi displaying cooked chicken
Ahamad Fuwad

The Supreme Court Monday refused to entertain a plea challenging the practice of 'halal' for slaughter of animals for food purposes saying it cannot decide as to who can be "vegetarian or non-vegetarian".

A bench comprising Justices SK Kaul and Dinesh Maheshwari termed the petition "mischievous". The PIL was filed by 'Akhand Bharat Morcha' seeking banning of 'halal' for slaughter of animals.

"The court cannot determine who can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian. Those who want to eat 'halal' meat can eat halal meat. Those who want to eat 'Jhatka' meat can eat Jhatka," the bench said.

The bench said 'halal' is merely a method of slaughtering animals, and some people do 'jhatka' and some do 'halal'. 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.

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

The bench, which heard the matter through video conferencing, rejected the plea and said tomorrow another plea may be filed saying nobody should eat meat.

The plea referred to the provisions of the the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and urged the court that 'halal' being the more painful way of slaughtering animals, be stopped.

"The technique of 'halal' is to performed by a skilled person belonging to a particular community (Muslim). It needs the animal to be alive till the last drop of blood gushes out...this is much more painful than 'jhatka' which involves a strike to the backbone so tha animal is stunned and dead", the counsel for the petitioner said.

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.

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 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.

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

(With agencies)

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