TN jallikattu amendment colourable exercise, Advocates tell SC
Luthra told the bench, also comprising justices Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy and CT Ravikumar, that the rights were explained in the 2014 verdict of the top court
NEW DELHI: The petitioners challenging a Tamil Nadu Law allowing bull-taming sport jallikattu argued in the Supreme Court on Tuesday that when the law prohibits cruelty to animals there cannot be an amending Act which perpetuates cruelty.
Jallikattu is a bull-taming sport played in Tamil Nadu as part of the Pongal harvest festival. Arguing before a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice KM Joseph, senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for some of the petitioners, said the Constitution recognises that cruelty to animals is an activity which ought not to be perpetuated.
When arguments regarding the rights of animals were raised, the top court asked, “In such a complex interplay of rights, would it not be safer to leave it to the legislature than taking on ourselves the duty to categorise these rights?”
Luthra told the bench, also comprising justices Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy and CT Ravikumar, that the rights were explained in the 2014 verdict of the top court.
The bench observed that majority of the petitions before it in the matter are under Article 32 of the Constitution which relates to enforcement of rights. “The question is whose fundamental rights?” it asked.
During the day-long arguments, senior advocate Shyam Divan, who appeared for the petitioners in one of the pleas, contended that a major of thrust of his submissions is that the Tamil Nadu Act amending the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 is a “colourable exercise.”
“When the legislation and legislative entry talks of prevention of cruelty, we cannot have amending Act which perpetuates cruelty,” Luthra argued.
The bench observed that after the amendments were made subsequent to the apex court verdict, the states were conscious and they prescribed certain rules in order to ensure safety. The arguments will continue on Wednesday.