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New Delhi: Supreme Court on Monday rejected a plea seeking ban on Halal form of slaughtering of animals which is adhered to by the Muslim community.

A bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul questioned the intention of the petitioner and also said that court cannot interfere with the food habits of people.

“Court cannot determine who can be a 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 meat,” the bench which also comprised justice Dinesh Maheshwari said.

The court was hearing a petition filed by an organisation, Akhand Bharat Morcha, challenging Section 28 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

The said section provides that killing of animal in a manner required by the religion of any community will not be an offence under the act.

Various forms of killing of animals, like Halal in which jugular vein of the animal is severed leading to blood of animal draining out leading to death of animal and Jhatka where animal is killed instantaneously by a single strike of sword to sever the head, are protected by Section 28.

While Halal is practiced by Muslims, Jhatka meat is consumed by Hindus.

The petitioner argued that killing of animals by Halal method is extremely painful for the animal and such exemptions under Section 28 in a secular country should not be allowed.

“Halal is extremely painful. Inhuman slaughter of animals in the name of Halal should not be permitted,” it was submitted.

It was also pointed out that Jhatka does not cause suffering for animals since it dies instantaneously in such method of slaughter while in Halal, the animal dies a painful death.

The bench, however, declined to entertain the plea.

“Your petition is mischievous in character,” the top court said.

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