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Jayalalitha requests center to bring ordinance to allow Jallikattu, after SC orders Stay

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The participant is seen holding onto the hump of the Bull. Photo: www.in.com
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Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Tuesday urged the central government to immediately issue an ordinance to permit Jallikattu, hours after the Supreme Court stayed the bull taming sport citing cruelty to the animal.

As news of the ruling stunned Tamil Nadu where the event is held during Pongal celebrations starting on January 14, Jayalalithaa said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi: “I strongly reiterate my earlier request to promulgate an ordinance forthwith to enable the conduct of Jallikattu.”

Jallikattu, reputedly one of the oldest living sports, was part of the traditional festivities ingrained in the cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu, the chief minister said.

“It is very important that the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu, who have a deep attachment to the conduct of the traditional event of Jallikattu, are respected,” she added. “On behalf of the people of Tamil Nadu, I urge you to take immediate action in this regard.”

Jayalalithaa’s communication followed a Supreme Court stay on the operation of a central government notification issued on Friday that gave the green signal to Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu.

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

The Supreme Court had in May 2014 banned the sport. On Friday, the central government issued a notification, in response to appeals from the Tamil Nadu government, effectively reversing the 2014 ban.

Petitioner Gauri Maulekhi said they had wanted the central government notification quashed. “The court has stayed it.” The apex court issued notices to New Delhi and other respondents.

Bulls are specifically bred for Jallikattu, which involves young men trying to tame the powerful animals. Many youths get killed or are injured in the process, but the event’s popularity has only grown.

Animal rights activists, who welcomed the Supreme Court order, say there can be no justification for anything where animals are treated harshly.

“I am delighted,” S. Chinny Krishna, vice chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), said in Chennai.

“This is a huge victory for animals. We hope the government of Tamil Nadu will follow this order and not allow Jallikattu to take place,” added N.G. Jayasimha of AWBI.

But T. Velmurugan, founder of Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi and a former legislator, said: “As per the law of the land, the Supreme Court has decided. The fault (is with) the central government. It could have amended the law properly by deleting bull from the banned list.”

According to him, the Tamil Nadu government can allow Jallikattu as a sport since sports fall under the concurrent list of the constitution.

PMK founder S Ramadoss said the central and the Tamil Nadu governments were both to blame for the bar on Jallikattu.

In a related development, an expert on cattle warned that a blanket ban on Jallikattu would greatly harm Indian breeds of bulls in the long run and lead to the import of foreign animals.

“The banning of Jallikattu and the demand for ban on other rural sports will ultimately result in the vanishing of native species,” K. Sivasenapathy of the Senaapathy Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation stated in Tamil Nadu.

He said there was no chance of cruelty to the Jallikattu bulls as they were checked by doctors before and after the event.

The bull runs for a short distance in an open ground, during which time youths have to hold on to its hump for a minimum period of time, he said.

“The government should jail the owners if their bull is found to be tortured. Punish the guilty and not the sport,” Sivasenapathy said. (IANS)(Photo: www.in.com)

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Animal rights organisations challenge new law on Jallikattu by Tamil Nadu government in SC

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Jallikattu, Wikimedia

Tamil Nadu, Jan 25, 2017: Animal Welfare Board of India and other animal rights organisations have challenged the new law passed by Tamil Nadu Assembly to allow bull taming sport Jallikattu in the state.

The Justice Dipak Misra headed bench agreed to hear the pleas which were listed urgently before the bench. Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Anand Grover were asked to file their applications. These applications will be taken up for hearing on 30th January when the Centre’s plea for withdrawing the January 6, 2016, notification will be taken up.

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The animal rights organisations have mentioned in their pleas that the new law passed by Tamil Nadu Assembly to allow Jallikattu has over reached the earlier verdict of apex court. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi gave a statement saying that the Centre has decided to withdraw the January 6, 2016 notification allowing Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu. The apex court, which had reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the notification, had said that the concerned bench would take a decision on when the application of the Centre would come up for its consideration.

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The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment), Act, 2017 piloted by Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, was adopted unopposed on January 23 by a voice vote in the assembly after a brief debate.

To seek prior hearing if pleas challenging the new legislation allowing Jallikattu in the state come up for consideration, nearly 70 caveats have been filed in the Supreme Court . The caveats were filed a day after the AIADMK government moved the apex court seeking a prior hearing before any order is proposed to be passed in the matter.

prepared by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks