The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea seeking a ban on halal form of slaughtering animals for food, Live Law reported. Halal meat is prepared by slaughtering the animal quickly with a sharp knife, as mentioned in the Hadith. The Hadith is the record of words and actions ascribed to Mohammad.
“Halal is only a method of doing so [the slaughtering],” observed Justice SK Kaul. “Different ways are possible – there is halal, there is jhatka. Some people do jhatka, some do halal, how is it a problem? Some people want to eat halal meat, some want to eat jhatka meat, some want to eat reptile meat.”
The court was hearing a petition filed by Akhand Bharat Morcha, an organisation formed by former Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker Baikunth Lal Sharma, challenging Section 28 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, according to the Hindustan Times. The petitioner argued that Section 3 of the act makes it the duty of every person having the care or charge of any animal to ensure that prevention of inflicting unnecessary pain or suffering upon the animal concerned. It also said that the European Court of Justice has ruled that halal was “extremely painful”.
The court said that the plea was “totally misconceived”. “Tomorrow you will say nobody should eat meat?” asked Justice Kaul. “We cannot determine who should be a vegetarian and who should be a non-vegetarian.”
The petitioner then asked even if one was a vegetarian, why should there be cruelty to animals. It pointed to the jallikattu case. “The theory of necessity was reiterated [in the case] – it was said that killing of animals for food is allowed but even such killing has to be done in a manner to show humanity to animals.” It added that the process of slaughtering animals using halal requires them to be alive till the last drop of blood is drained out, causing more pain than jhatka, which involves a swift blow to the backbone of the animal, stunning and killing the animal.
“Inhuman slaughter of animals in the name of halal should not be permitted,” the petitioner argued. The court, however, declined to entertain the plea and said the petition was “mischievous in character”.