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SC order on Jallikattu disappoints politicians

Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalita thanked prime minister Modi earlier this month for lifting the ban on Jallikattu, a bull taming sport

Jallikattu

Politicians expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court’s Tuesday order staying the central government’s notification on Jallikattu, a bull taming sport.

“As an interim measure, we direct that there shall be stay of notification dated January 7, 2016 issued by Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF)," a bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and N V Ramana said.

A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur referred the petitions to the present bench as one of the judges Justice Banumathi, who hails from Tamil Nadu, recused from hearing the batch of petitions.

The four-year-old ban on holding of Jallikattu was lifted on January 8 this year by the Modi government in poll-bound Tamil Nadu with certain restrictions.

PETA India had filed a petition in the Supreme Court demanding the Centre’s notification allowing Jallikattu to be ‘struck down’.

While animal activists welcomed the decision, several quarters of the political fraternity expressed their disappointment.

T Velmurugan, founder of the Tamil political party Tamizhaga Vazhurumai Katchi and a former legislator told IANS, “As per the law of the land the Supreme Court has decided."

"The fault is on the central government. It could have amended the law properly by deleting bull from the banned list. The central government seemed to have acted with an eye on votes with its notification," Velmurugan added.

Justice Dipak Mishra, the head of the court bench that passed the order, observed that Jallikattu amounted to heaping cruelty on animals and that it cannot go on in the 21st century. The ruling was passed two days ahead of the start of the Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu, when Jallikattu is played in rural parts of the state.

The Tamil politician proposed that the state government, after consulting legal experts, could look to pass an ordinance allowing Jallikattu as a sport as sports fall under the concurrent list of the constitution. He believes that there is no need for Jallikattu to be banned.

PMK founder, S Ramadoss said that the central and Tamil Nadu governments are responsible for the ban on the ‘sport’.

Ramadoss charged the Tamil Nadu government of not taking appropriate steps so that the apex court could hear its petition on Jallikattu early. The political leader also charged the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government of inaction, saying the government could have amended the law removing the bull from the list of performing animals. 

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