A Division Bench of Justice MM Sundresh and S Ananthi, after hearing, allowed the conduct of jallikattu in Avaniyapuram with all conditions like how it was organised last year. The bench also issued directions to the organising committee, including opening up of bank accounts to record donations being received for the event and also to ensure transparency. The bench also directed not to erect banners kindling any castiest or political feeling.
The row over the conduct of jallikattu in Avaniyapuram started when AK Kannan self-styled himself as president of ‘Thenkaal Paasana Vivasayigal Sangam’ and started conducting jallikattu as his own function over a few years, said T Anbarasan of the village in his petition.
The traditional event was conducted on behalf of the village people of Avaniyapuram as ‘Grama Pothumakkal Avaniyapuram’ and no one was styled as president or secretary until 2014. However, Kannan without consulting the villagers acted as president of the Thenkaal Paasana Vivasayigal Sangam and gave representation to the Madurai Collector on December 11, 2020 seeking permission to conduct jallikattu at Avaniyapuram on January 14, 2021 under the name ‘Thenkaal Paasana Vivasayigal and Avaniyapuram Grama Pothumakkal.’ Hence, many filed objections against Kannan. He also received lakhs of rupees in donations and prizes for the event, but no proper account was submitted to the Jallikattu Organizing Committee of Avaniyapuram village.
On December 31, 2020, the Revenue Divisional Officer, Melur Sub Division issued summons and peace committee meeting was held on January 2, 2021, at Avaniyapuram police station and many objected there also.
When the organising committee conducted jallikattu at Avaniyapuram in 2019 no ‘Mudhal Mariyathai’ was conferred on anybody and while calling the bull tamers and the owners of the bull, caste name was not used and no flex-board was permitted to be erected at the venue. Citing these, the petitioner sought intervention of the court to pass an order of interim stay on the Collector’s order dated January 6, acknowledging Kannan’s role in the organising committee and also to reconstitute the committee.