Mixed response to SC stay on `Jallikattu’

Chennai, Jan 12 (IANS) Animal activists on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court’s order staying the central government’s notification on Jallikattu, a bull taming sport, but politicians expressed disappointment.

“I am delighted after hearing the news. It is a pity that the battle has to be fought continuously,” S. Chinny Krishna, vice chairman, Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) told IANS here.

He said whether the battle is over after the apex court’s decision on Tuesday or would have to continue depends on the government’s decision.

Observing that Jallikattu amounted to heaping cruelty on animals, an apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Mishra said it cannot be permitted in the 21st century.

The ruling came two days ahead of the start of Pongal festival when Jallikattu is played in rural parts of Tamil Nadu.

Having stayed the notification issued by the central government on Friday, which effectively permitted Jallikattu, the apex court issued notice to the respondents.

One of the oldest living sports, bulls are specifically bred for the event. Jallikattu has led to numerous deaths in recent decades as young men try to tame the bulls.

Expressing disappointment at the apex court’s order T. Velmurugan, founder of Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai 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.”

According to him, the state government, after consulting legal experts, can look at promulgating an ordinance/law allowing `Jallikattu’ as a sport since sports also falls under the concurrent list of the Constitution.

Velmurugan cited the views of former chief justice of the Madras High Court Markandey Katju on the issue.

PMK founder S.Ramadoss said the central and the Tamil Nadu governments are responsible for the bar on `Jallikattu’ during the Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu.

Reacting to the interim stay order of the Supreme Court on the operation of the central government’s notification that allowed Jallikattu subject to certain conditions, Ramadoss said both the governments took action that was legally untenable.

Ramadoss charged the Tamil Nadu government of not taking appropriate steps so that the apex court could hear its petition on Jallikattu early.

He said the state government had filed a review petition in May 2014 in the apex court against its order banning Jallikattu.

Ramadoss 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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