New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday has upheld the validity of the Tamil Nadu government’s law allowing the bull-taming sport ‘Jallikattu’ in the state. The Court said that it cannot intervene into the matter as ‘Jallikattu’ is part of the cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu. The Court added that its decision will similarly apply to laws on kambala (buffalo racing sport) and bullock-cart racing in Maharashtra and Karnataka and directed that these laws be followed strictly.
The verdict was declared by the five-judge constitution bench of Supreme Court headed by Justice KM Joseph. Justice Ajay Rastogi, Justice Aniruddha Bose, Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice C T Ravikumar were the other members of the bench. The Court dismissed petitions filed by the Animal Welfare Board of India, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other animal rights groups.
The pleas were filed against the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TN Amendment) Act of 2017 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules of 2017.
‘Jallikattu’, also known as ‘Eruthazhuvuthal’, is a bull-taming sport played in Tamil Nadu as part of the Pongal harvest festival. The sport involves young men attempting to tame a bull by hanging on to it for as long as possible. The ‘Kambala’ race, held in the state of Karnataka between November and March, involves a pair of buffaloes tied to a plough and anchored by one person. They are made to run in parallel muddy tracks in a competition in which the fastest team wins.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has hailed the Supreme Court verdict and said it was a verdict worth “engraving in gold in the history” of the state.
The BJP’s state unit thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his persistent efforts for the removal of the ban. K Annamalai, Tamil Nadu BJP chief has posted a tweet expressing gratitude to Prime Minister Modi.
On behalf of @BJP4TamilNadu & the people of Tamil Nadu, we thank our Hon PM Thiru @narendramodi avl for his persistent effort to ensure the ban on the Cultural sport of TN, Jallikattu was lifted in its entirety.
The Supreme Court today dismissed a batch of petitions that… pic.twitter.com/xdFbO4bMp7
— K.Annamalai (@annamalai_k) May 18, 2023