basmati rice 3According  to  the sources, with tussle over getting a geographical indication tag for Basmati rice on, as Pakistan had laid claims over the origins of the variety of rice grown here, an Organiser magazine termed the neighboring country’s “illegible claim” as one of the unfinished agendas of partition . An article in the magazine indicated that Basmati Growers Association (BGA), Lahore, has claimed and registered a case that Basmati Rice is owned only by Pakistan but India does not ‘own nor have rights’.

In this regard, hitting out at the Pakistan’s attempt to lay sole claim over the origin on basmati rice, the article added, “Basmati rice is one of the testimonies for Bharat’s deep-rooted history, culture and civilization, where Basmati Rice has relationship with ‘Kuru Vamsa’ of Mahabharat. A detailed legal and cultural history of Basmati Rice is not available. Contrary to the claim of Basmati Growers Association Lahore, there are number of facts to prove that Bharat owns (exclusively) Basmati but it never claimed so. Further, talking about the legal issues starting from the partition, it has been stated that the Partition Proceedings never mentioned basmati rice to be shared with Pakistan by United Bharat or Bharat. Further, an agreement between Pakistan and Bharat on certain outstanding financial issues dated of June 12, 1955 at Karachi does not capture in the list of issues provided by India as well as Pakistan anything relating to sharing of Intellectual Property Rights or Basmati.

According to the historical evidence of rice growing, it has been said that The Royal Commission on Indian Agriculture in 1926 and its subsequent development of Rice Research Stations including Doiwala, Dehradun and Kala Shah Kaku, Pakistan under the charge of Late Sardar Mohammed Khan, who had special training in rice breeding in Madras, provides fact about real geographical origin of basmati rice. The phenomenon of commercial basmati rice production in Pakistan Punjab was merely from the year 1933 and a lack of history on basmati production in Pakistan Punjab underlines the fact that Basmati Rice Geographical Indication is exclusively owned by India.

Furthermore, suggesting that India solely owns the rights over basmati, the Organiser article added that the legal and historical facts provide ability to register Basmati Rice as an exclusive GI of India. Such exclusive ownership position of Bharat has authority to claim penalty or royaltyShanti Agro Industries Pvt. Ltd. on infringement of use of word “Basmati Rice” by Pakistan in International Court or WTO, which could run several billion dollars compensation to Bharat.

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