‘Hyderabadi Biryani’ Loses Battle Of Origin

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Hyderabad: Hyderbadi Biryani will no longer have a Geographical Indication (GI) tag as the The Deccani Biryani Makers’ Association has lost a nine-year battle to the GI registry to obtain the same.

The GI registry in Chennai has ruled that the applicant has failed to prove the historical origin of Hyderabad biryani with relevant documents.

Interestingly, the orders sent to the applicant association returned to the GI registry from their address in Dillu Apartment opposite to SP road in Hyderabad.

The GI indicates that a product is certified as possessing certain qualities, and is made according to traditional methods or enjoys a certain reputation according to its geographical origin.

The Deccani Biryani Makers Association applied for the GI tag for ‘Hyderabadi Katchi Gosht Biryani’ in April 2009 and was represented by its secretary Zubair Ahmed.

Details of the method of making the biryani (katchi yakhni method), quality control, and human skill involved were submitted with photographs to GI officials in Chennai.

According to GI Registry’s Assistant Register, Chinnajaraja G. Naidu, after years, a showcause hearing was fixed for January 23, 2017. However, no representative of the applicant showed up for the hearing.

The consultative group A consultation was held initially by P.H. Kurian, Controller General of Patent Designs and Registrar of GI, in 2009. In its examination report, the GI registry directed the applicant to produce documentary evidence of historical data from the Gazetteer and proof of origin of the product.

In 2010, the applicant filed a reply but did not answer the queries raised in the examination report. The applicant can now appeal to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board in Chennai within three months.

Mr Ahmed, secretary of the Deccani Biryani Makers Association, told Deccan Chronicle, “We have given all data. I don’t know how they refused. This is the recipe from a bygone era. On the other hand, they gave GI to Hyderabad haleem. We have produced photos of how it is made and at least three generations of cooks testified to it. The whole world knows it as Hyderabadi biryani. If there is no history it would not have been famous. They should tell us what historical evidence they need. We couldn’t get the Nizam eating biryani. We should not lose the tag to Lucknow who is our competitor.”

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