Jallikattu on Hold: Supreme Court stays govt notification to allow bull taming – Bhadra Sinha

Supreme Court of India

BullsIn an apparent last-ditch effort to get the nod for conducting Jallikattu after the Supreme Court stayed a central notification, Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promulgate an ordinance to allow the traditional Tamil sport to be held. — PTI

The Supreme Court stayed on Tuesday a central government notification that paved the way for a return of the banned bull taming sport Jallikattu, effectively scuttling plans of staging the event during Pongal celebrations in Tamil Nadu later this week.

The top court also issued notices to the Centre, Tamil Nadu and other states where the controversial sport is played, days after the environment ministry issued new guidelines that permitted the popular event to go ahead, overriding protests from animal rights activists and the law ministry.

The sport that has been an integral part of Pongal festivities was banned by the Supreme Court in 2014, following demands from rights groups who pointed to animal cruelty and human deaths during the event.

The new norms triggered howls of protests and animal welfare organisations—including the animal welfare board—filed a clutch of petitions in the court.

But the Centre objected to the pleas, saying no fundamental right of the petitioners were violated and questioned the maintainability of the petitions. The court also issued a notice on whether the petitions could be heard or not.

Both the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government assured the court that the new notification underlined safety measures and precautions to be taken during the festival.

Under the rules, permission has to be given by the district collector or magistrate and bullock cart races must be held on a proper track. Bulls, once they leave the enclosure, have to be tamed within a radial distance of 15 metres, the government order said.

The new norms came after a concerted political push by parties in the poll-bound Tamil Nadu, where the banned sport has a strong connection with thousands of people who view it as a part of their culture.

Chief minister J. Jayalalithaa had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, backing the sport, which wasn’t held last year for the first time in decades. – Hindustan Times, 12 January 2016

JayalalithaaAfter SC stay, Jaya asks Centre for ordinance to allow Jallikattu

In an apparent last-ditch effort to get the nod for conducting Jallikattu after the Supreme Court stayed a central notification, Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promulgate an ordinance to allow the traditional Tamil sport to be held.

Recalling that she had requested Modi on December 22 last year to promulgate an ordinance allowing Jallikattu to be held, she said: “Considering the urgency of the issue, I strongly reiterate my earlier request to promulgate an Ordinance forthwith to enable the conduct of Jallikattu.”

“On behalf of the people of Tamil Nadu I urge you to take immediate action in this regard,” she said in a letter to the Prime Minister.

Asserting that sentiments of the people should be respected, Jayalalithaa said arrangements have already been made by organisers all over the state for conducting the bull-taming ritual.

After she had requested an ordinance, the Centre issued a notification on January 7 enabling conduct of Jallikattu in different parts of Tamil Nadu as part of the Pongal festivities, she said.

“On receipt of the notification, circulars were sent to the District Collectors regarding arrangements to be made for the conduct of Jallikattu, strictly in accordance with the conditions and safeguards indicated in the notification. On this basis, arrangements have been made by organisers all over the state for the conduct of Jallikattu,” she said.

As the Supreme Court has now granted an interim stay of the notification, Jallikattu cannot be conducted now, Jayalalithaa had added.

“With the Pongal festivities commencing from January 14, the public in the rural areas of Tamil Nadu have made all arrangements and preparations and are eagerly looking forward to the conduct of Jallikattu as part of the traditional festivities ingrained in the hoary cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu,” she said.

“It is very important that the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu, who have a deep attachment to the conduct of the traditional event of Jallikattu, are respected,” the chief minister said while requesting an ordinance to facilitate the conduct of the sport. – Hindustan Times , 12 January 2016

Animal Welfare Board of IndiaAWBI vice-chairman Chinny Krishna

2 Responses

  1. Lady Justice

    Ordinance will amount to legislative overreach – Legal Correspondent – The Hindu – 13 January 2016

    Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s reiteration that an ordinance be promulgated as a last-ditch attempt to allow the conduct of jallikattu in 2016 may be untenable in law.

    Legal experts say such an ordinance, if promulgated, would be seen as the legislature usurping judicial powers. Secondly, the ordinance would go against the very essence of the Supreme Court judgment and its conclusion that bulls are not performing animals.

    They say that delegated legislations in the nature of ordinance have no validity if they violate the legislative intent of an existing statute on the same subject, passed by the Parliament and reinforced by the Supreme Court in a judgment.

    Legal experts point to the 2005 Supreme Court judgment in Sarbananda Sonowal versus Union of India, which bestows the right to any public-minded citizen to approach the highest judiciary under Article 32 of the Constitution if a law made by the legislature has a “disastrous effect.” An ordinance now in the jallikattu case may trigger a second litigation and further worsen the government’s stand in the highest court of the land

    In the Dr. D.C. Wadhwa versus State of Bihar case, the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held that the Executive has no arbitrary right to promulgate ordinances. The apex court held that it is the right of every citizen to insist that he should be governed by laws made in accordance with the Constitution and not law made by the Executive in violation of the constitutional provisions.

    Promulgation of an ordinance now would also be seen as defeating the very basis of the 2014 Supreme Court judgment and Tuesday’s interim stay, both of which are based on the fact that jallikattu is “inherently cruel” and the very “nature” of bulls does not allow them to be categorised as performing animals.

    Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan’s judgment on May 7, 2014 holds that Section 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 gives no right to humans to inflict pain on the animals.


  2. Jallikattu Graphic

    SC redflags jallikattu, stays nod for bull race – Dhananjay Mahapatra – Times of India – TNN – Jan 13, 2016

    NEW DELHI: The attempt to score some electoral points by reviving jallikattu on election eve in Tamil Nadu came to naught as the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed a central government notification allowing bull-taming and bullock cart racing.

    The NDA government had on January 7 issued a notification allowing jallikattu and bullock cart racing in TN, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat. The ruling AIADMK and opposition DMK in Tamil Nadu had welcomed the move, which lifted the ban imposed on the two harvest season traditional sports by the Centre’s July 11, 2011 notification.

    There were many petitions including those by Animal Welfare Board of India and NGO ‘Compassion Unlimited Plus Action’ which challenged the revival of jallikattu and bullock cart racing. Many senior advocates – C A Sundaram, K K Venugopal, Sidharth Luthra, Anand Grover and Dushyant Dave – pitched in to term the January 7 notification a clear violation of the SC’s May 7, 2014 order that had upheld the Centre’s 2011 notification banning the two traditional sports.

    A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and N V Ramana asked, “What is the necessity to revive such a festival? There was no such festival for the last four years.”

    Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi said the notification provided for an elaborate mechanism to ensure that animals were not tortured or physically harmed during the traditional sports. “A certain breed of bull is used for these sports and if it is banned, then this breed will have no use and go extinct,” the AG said.

    Finding the going tough, the AG took a final shot, “The regulations are so stringent that the bulls will never come to harm or injury. Maybe the men participating in jallikattu can get injured or even die. This is unlike bull fighting in Spain where either the animal is speared to death or the men get gored to death. It is a traditional sport of taming the bull with bare hands by attempting to arrest its run by holding on to its hump.”

    But the bench remained unconvinced. It issued notices to the Centre and states seeking their response to the PILs against jallikattu and bullock cart racing in four weeks. “In the meantime, operation of the central notification of January 7 will remain stayed,” the SC ordered. This means, there will be no jallikattu or bullock cart racing this year.

    The Centre’s July 11, 2011 notification banning Jallikattu and bullock cart racing terming these two sports as violating the provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act was centre of debate before the SC.

    The SC on May 7, 2014 had delivered its judgment holding that Animal Welfare Board of India was “right in its stand that jallikattu, bullock cart race and such events per se violate Sections 3, 11(1)(a) and 11(1)(m)(ii) of PCA Act and hence we uphold the July 11, 2011 notification issued by the Centre. Consequently, bulls cannot be used as performing animals, either for the jallikattu events or bullock cart races in the state of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country.”


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