The Animal Welfare Board of India together with other activists moved to Supreme Court, challenging Tamil Nadu’s law allowing Jallikattu in the state, two days after it was hastily passed at the state Assembly. The apex court will hear the plea on Monday.
The decision to challenge the new Jallikattu law comes a day after the Centre informed the Supreme Court that it will file an application seeking to withdraw its 2016 notification allowing the bull-taming sport.
The Supreme Court was supposed to give its verdict on the case this week, but the Centre’s move on Tuesday rendered the case infructuous.
Following the large-scale protests at Alanganallur, Marina beach and the rest of Tamil Nadu, the state government hurriedly promulgated an ordinance lifting the ban on Jallikattu on Saturday, after receiving the assent of the Home Ministry, the President and the Governor.
On Monday, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam tabled the Jallikattu Bill in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, which was then passed unanimously by the House, making the bull-taming sport legal once again.
The Supreme Court had, in May 2014, banned Jallikattu on the grounds of torture and cruelty to the bulls.
Two years later, however, the BJP government at the Centre issued an executive order on 7 January 2016 that allowed the conduct of the bull-taming sport by making an exception to “events such as Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu and bullock cart races in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Kerala and Gujarat in the manner by the customs of any community or practiced traditionally under the customs or as a part of culture”.
However, after animal rights groups challenged the executive order, the Supreme Court stayed the Centre’s notification asking, “What is the necessity of such kind of festivals?”