How jallikattu saves native bull breeds: SC to TN

One-liner: The SC, which is hearing a challenge to a Tamil Nadu law allowing jallikattu, on Thursday asked the state govt how is the bull-taming sport necessary for preserving the native breed of bulls.

Bull-taming sport: Jallikattu is a bull-taming sport played in Tamil Nadu as part of the Pongal harvest festival.

Bench query: A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice K M Joseph also asked the state whether an animal can be used, as in jallikattu, for the entertainment of humans.

Sibal's argument: Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for TN, told the top court that jallikattu is not per se (in itself) entertainment and the person who showcases his bull treats the animal with great care and compassion.

Can a state allow this: The bench asked should the animal, for whom one is supposed to have compassion as a constitutional value, be subjected like this for the entertainment of humans and can a state allow this on the basis of its perception of cultural rights.

Bench shot back: When Sibal said the sport in not about entertainment, the bench shot back, asking "not entertainment? Then why are people gathering there?". He responded, contending it is to demonstrate the vigour of the bull, how you have brought it up and also how strong it is.

Bulls can't be used: The apex court had, in its 2014 judgment, said bulls can't be used as performing animals either for jallikattu events or bullock-cart races and banned their use for these purposes across the country.

TN govt's plea dismissed: It had earlier dismissed the TN govt's plea seeking a review of its 2014 judgment banning the use of bulls for jallikattu in the state and bullock-cart races across India.

  • TN had amended the central law -- The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 -- and allowed jallikattu in the southern state

Is jallikattu necessary: During the day-long hearing on Thursday, the bench asked, "The point is how is the holding of jallikattu necessary for the preservation of the native breed."

Religious significance: The TN govt recently told the top court that jallikattu is a religious and cultural festival that bears a religious significance to the people of the state and does not violate the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.

What TN said: In a written submission filed in the apex court, the state said jallikattu is not merely an act of entertainment or amusement but an event with great historic, cultural and religious value.

Source: PTI

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