New Delhi (Agency): In a significant move, the Uttar Pradesh government has declared an immediate ban on products carrying the ‘Halal’ certification. This decision, announced late on Saturday, encompasses the prohibition of production, storage, distribution, and sale of food products with Halal certification within the state. However, products intended for export are exempt from these restrictions.
According to an official order, strict legal actions are mandated against any individuals or firms involved in handling Halal-certified medicines, medical devices, and cosmetics in Uttar Pradesh. The state government’s decision is grounded in the assertion that Halal certification leads to confusion over the quality of food items, challenging the legitimacy of the certification under Section 89 of the Food Safety and Standards Act.
The official statement further clarified that the quality assessment and certification rights of food items are exclusively reserved for authorities and institutions designated under Section 29 of the same Act. These bodies are responsible for ensuring compliance with established standards.
The government has highlighted discrepancies in the current practice of Halal certification, especially in sectors unrelated to food. It noted that several medicines, medical devices, and cosmetic products bear the Halal certificate on their packaging or labels. This practice is deemed problematic as there are no provisions for Halal certification markings in the government rules related to drugs, medical devices, and cosmetics, nor is it mentioned in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and its related rules.
This ban follows a recent police case against several entities, including Halal India Private Limited Chennai, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust Delhi, and others. These organizations are accused of “exploiting people’s religious sentiments” to increase sales by providing what the government termed as “forged” halal certificates. The case alleges a larger conspiracy aiming to reduce the sale of products from companies not possessing a Halal certificate, an act declared illegal by the Uttar Pradesh government.
This move has sparked widespread discussion and debate, reflecting the complex interplay of religion, consumer rights, and legal frameworks in the realm of product certification and marketing in India.