Jallikattu poses threat to life, petitioners argue in SC

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice K M Joseph commenced hearing arguments on a batch of petitions challenging the Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra laws allowing “jallikattu” and bullock-cart races.
(L) Supreme Court, Jallikattu
(L) Supreme Court, Jallikattu

NEW DELHI: Bull-taming sport “jallikattu” leads to injuries and even fatalities of animals as well as humans and something that involves cruelty cannot be allowed, the Supreme Court was told on Thursday.

Some of the petitioners, who have challenged a Tamil Nadu law allowing “jallikattu”, argued in the court that perpetuating cruelty cannot be permitted and one cannot have a provision that is destructive of the purpose of a legislation like the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice K M Joseph commenced hearing arguments on a batch of petitions challenging the Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra laws allowing “jallikattu” and bullock-cart races.

“The first issue is, what was the purpose of the legislation and therefore, can you have provisions which are destructive of the purpose....,” senior lawyer Sidharth Luthra, appearing for the petitioners in three separate pleas filed in the top court, said. The bench, also comprising justices Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy and C T Ravikumar, is considering five questions referred to it by a two-judge bench of the SC in February 2018.

“The Tamil Nadu Amendment Act states that it is to preserve the cultural heritage of the state of TN. Can the impugned TN Amendment Act be stated to be part of the cultural heritage of the people of the state of Tamil Nadu so as to receive the protection of Article 29 of the Constitution?” reads one of the questions referred to the larger bench.

“There are human fatalities also and year after year, there are reports to that effect that the number of injuries caused both to animals and humans has risen,” he said during the arguments that would continue on Nov. 29.

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