SC upholds amendments allowing bullock cart race in Maharashtra and Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu

Supreme Court’s verdict

(Credit : Organiser)

New Delhi – A five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday (May 18) upheld the amendments made by the legislatures of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Karnataka to The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, allowing bull-taming sports like jallikattu, kambala, and bullock-cart races.

The Bench further observed, “We are satisfied on materials that in Jallikettu is going in TN for last one century. Whether this as part of integral part of Tamil culture requires greater detail, which exercise judiciary cannot undertake…When legislature has declared that jallikettu is part of cultural heritage of TN state, judiciary cannot take a different view. Legislature is best suited to decide that.”

The bench added that its decision will similarly apply laws on Kambala and bull-cart racing in Maharashtra and Karnataka and directed that these laws be followed strictly. District Magistrates concerned have been asked to ensure strict compliance.

(Credit : India Today)

What is jallikattu?

Jallikattu, also known as eruthazhuvuthal, is a bull-taming sport traditionally played in Tamil Nadu as part of the Pongal harvest festival. The festival is a celebration of nature, and thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest, of which cattle-worship is part. However, the practice of jallikattu has long been contested, with animal rights groups and the courts expressing concern over cruelty to animals and the bloody and dangerous nature of the sport that sometimes causes death and injuries to both the bulls and human participants.