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Supreme Court Upholds Tamil Nadu Law Allowing Jallikattu And Similar Ones Made By Karnataka And Maharashtra

S Rajesh

May 18, 2023, 11:53 AM | Updated 01:05 PM IST


A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has upheld the amendments made by Tamil Nadu to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in 2017 to allow Jallikattu.

Reading out the operative part of the judgement, Justice Aniruddha Bose said that the bench felt that the amendments made by the state have substantially overcome the defects pointed out by the Court in the 2014 judgement banning Jallikattu (Animal Welfare Board of India v A. Nagaraja) and minimise pain and suffering to animals.

It said that it would not like to differ with the legislature's view on whether the sport was a part of the state's cultural heritage and said that it was satisfied with material presented by the state to show that Jallikattu had been going on since a long time.

On similar grounds, it also upheld amendments made by Karnataka and Maharashtra to allow Kambala and bullock cart races respectively.

In its submission to the Court in November last year, the state, amongst other constitutional provisions, had used Article 29 (1), “any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same.”

Some of its submissions were as follows-

  • "Each and every event of Jallikattu is conducted during the Pongal festival as thanksgiving for a good harvest and subsequent festivals are conducted in temples. This shows that the event has great cultural and spiritual significance.”

  • “Jallikattu is not merely an act of entertainment or amusement but an event with great historic, cultural and religious value. People of Tamil Nadu without any distinction to caste or creed celebrate Jallikattu as a religious event."

  • “A practice which is centuries-old and symbolic of a community’s identity can be regulated and reformed as the human race evolves rather than being completely obliterated."

S Rajesh is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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