A group of Hindus sued a New Jersey restaurant, Moghul Express, for accidentally serving them meat during an India Day celebration. Now, the group wants the restaurant's owner to pick up the tab for a trip to India's Ganges River, where they say they must cleanse themselves in order to save their souls after eating the meat.
In 2009, the 16 diners went to the restaurant and ordered vegetable samosas. After the staff confirmed that the pastries were indeed vegetable, people in the group realized they had actually eaten a meat-filled version of the pastry.
Last year, the group brought the lawsuit to the New Jersey Superior Court, citing negligent infliction of emotional distress, consumer fraud, products liability and breach of express warranty, according to the New Jersey Star Ledger.
The judge dismissed the case, but the newspaper reported Tuesday that a three-person appeals jury reinstated the suit because the waitstaff "breached express warranty" when they incorrectly confirmed that the food was vegetarian.
Lawyers for both parties refused to comment on the pending case.
"If you follow the scriptures, it's definitely a huge cost," said Mehul Thakkar, a spokesman for the Yogi Divine Society, told the Star Ledger. "If they are very strict about it, there definitely is a fee involved."
But other cultural groups are not buying it.
"God blesses you for forgiving someone," said Pradip Kothari, president of the Indo-American Cultural Society. "Eating meat will not cause them permanent damage. I'm surprised our judges entertain these types of people.
"These people should be treated like criminals," Kothari said. "When they're putting out this lawsuit, they're committing a sin. They're going to punish this small business owner by putting him out of business? That would make them happy?"