A text message is being widely shared on WhatsApp and social media platforms, which claims that during a court hearing in Tamil Nadu, Muslim groups admitted that the process of ‘halal’ was complete only if it was spat on. The message also contains a tweet by Tamil Nadu’s Indu Makkal Katchi from November, 2021 and warns users against eating in Halal restaurants. Newschecker found these claims to be untrue.
The text message has been shared on Facebook by user Dilip Raval which has garnered 146 likes and 95 shares on the platform.
Newschecker found similar claims with similar captions on Facebook.
Fact Check /Verification
We started our investigation by conducting a keyword search on Google with the words “Halal”, “spitting”, “Court case in Tamil Nadu” and found no reports of any such case that happened in Tamil Nadu.
Upon further investigation, we found a case where the petitioner had claimed that ‘halal’ was not complete without spitting in the food. The case was filed in the Kerala High Court by SJR Kumar, general convener of the Sabarimala Action Committee, who objected to the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which oversees the Sabarimala temple, using halal-certified jaggery to prepare the Nivedyam and Prasadam.
One of the multiple accusations levelled by the petitioner against the use of halal-certified products reads “The religious scholars of the Muslim community have been proclaiming publicly that saliva is a necessary ingredient for certifying Halal in the preparation of food materials. The religious scholars took the above view by interpreting holy texts and its valid interpretations. However, different views were also expressed by a section of religious leaders.”
Newschecker found that the claim stated in the viral message was made by the petitioner as part of their argument and not by any Muslim group.
We further found that the Kerala High Court questioned the petitioner about their understanding of the term “halal” during the hearing. “Halal merely states that some things are forbidden and all other things are permitted. This certification just states that a product does not contain certain forbidden components,” the court said according to a LiveLaw report.
Newschecker also found a report by the News Minute titled ‘Do you know meaning of halal? Kerala HC asks petitioner over Sabarimala jaggery row’ uploaded on their website on 25th November, 2021. The report states that Justices Anil K. Narendran and PG Ajithkumar’s division bench advised Kumar to thoroughly understand the meaning of halal.
“On November 18, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, told the court that the jaggery received by it had ‘halal’ mentioned on the packaging as they are also exported to Arab countries by the company supplying to them,” the report added. However, the bench observed that a more detailed hearing would be necessary before making any judgements in the matter.
Newschecker could not find any recent reports related to the said case.
The viral WhatsApp forward claiming that Muslim groups, during a legal hearing in Tamil Nadu, admitted to spitting being an integral part of ‘Halal’, is false. Newschecker found that the actual court case was filed in the Kerala High Court by a petitioner named SJR Kumar and the claim was one of the multiple accusations made by the petitioner in the plea.
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