The Telegraph
Thursday , January 12 , 2017

SC rejects plea for jallikattu ruling before D-day

New Delhi, Jan. 3 (PTI): The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a plea urging it to pass judgement on the bull-taming sport jallikattu before the harvest festival of Pongal on Saturday.

The court had reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the Union government’s January 2016 notification allowing the sport, which had been prohibited by the court in 2014.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R. Banumathi told a group of lawyers who requested for the verdict that it is unfair to ask the bench to pass an order.

The court said that the draft of the judgment has been prepared but it was not possible to deliver it before Saturday, when jallikattu is to be organised.

The court had earlier questioned the Centre for its January 2016 notification allowing use of bulls in events such as jallikattu, saying that its 2014 verdict banning the use of the animals cannot be “negated”.

Supporting the tradition, the Centre has said that it could ensure that bulls are not tortured or subjected to alcohol before the sport.

Earlier, the apex court had observed that the country cannot “import Roman gladiator-type sport” as it is against the culture of compassion towards animals.

The court, in its 2014, judgment had said that bulls could not be used as performing animals, either for jallikattu events or bullock-cart races in the states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country, and had banned their use across the country.

The apex court had also dismissed the review petition against its 2014 verdict.

The apex court had also earlier declared the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act, 2009, as constitutionally void, being in violation of Article 254(1) of the Constitution.

On January 8, last year the Centre had issued a notification lifting the ban on jallikattu in Tamil Nadu with certain restrictions, which was challenged in the apex court by Animal Welfare Board of India, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, a Bangalore-based NGO and others.

On July 26 last year, the apex court had said that just because the bull-taming sport of jallikattu was a centuries-old tradition, it could not be justified.

It had said if the parties were able to convince the court that its earlier judgment was wrong, it might refer the matter to a larger bench.

On January 21 last year, the Supreme Court had refused to re-examine its 2014 judgment and also stayed the January 8 notification of the Centre.

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