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SC lifts ban on Jallikattu

The DMK Government may have got a relief from Supreme Court on Tuesday...

Written by Tannusharma | New Delhi | January 15, 2008 11:08:09 pm

The DMK Government may have got a relief from Supreme Court on Tuesday, which agreed to lift the ban on Jallikattu, the traditional sport of bull-fight in Tamil Nadu, but the arguments presented before the apex court are bound to cause a dent in another politically-crucial case — Sethusamudram — that will come up for hearing on Wednesday before the Bench headed by Chief Justice (CJI) K G Balakrishnan.

As Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Gopal Subramaium, appearing for Tamil Nadu Government, argued on Tuesday for lifting the ban on the ground that it’s not merely associated with the cultural but also the religious sentiments of the people, the Bench remarked how the state Government has chosen to use religious sentiments in one case while choosing to ignore it in the other case. “While in one case, the Government is using religious sentiments but in other case, it is quite different,” the court observed, clearly referring to the Ram Sethu case. Though the Bench, also comprising Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal, chose not to name the particular case, senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for Animal Welfare Board, brought out the evident. “We know it is the Ram Sethu case,” he said, though Justice Raveendran said, “We are not taking any names.”

Opposing the application moved by the DMK Government to get the earlier order modified, Venugopal pointed out how in the present case, the state Government is using religion to promote its political interests. “It’s extremely unfortunate that the state is evoking religious sentiments to promote a sport that involves cruelty towards animals,” argued the advocate, as he contended that by arousing religious and social feelings, the state can’t ask for lifting the ban on the sport.

The CJI pointed out the evident contrast, as the Bench noted, “Jallikattu might be a traditional sport in few districts of Tamil Nadu, but where the sentiments of the entire country are involved, it has been different.” The remarks came during the hearing of the application filed by the Tamil Nadu Government, which has been desperate to see that the ban on Jallikattu is lifted. On January 11, the Bench had refused to vacate the stay on holding the sport.

On Tuesday, the ASG submitted a list of guidelines which would be complied with before organising the event. “The aim is to protect the salient features and components of the festival, which is in the interest of larger public and societal sentiments,” he said. Assuring that there will be no form of cruelty, like putting chilli powder in eyes of bulls or intoxicating them with drugs or alcohol, Subramanium said that the event will be videographed and a CD will be submitted before the court.

The Bench said that the district authorities will have to take precautions to prevent injury either to the spectators or animals. “Any organisation or club with intent to hold Jallikattu will have to inform the concerned District Collector three days prior to the event,” it ordered. The officials of the Animal Welfare Board will have to witness the event. After the event, the District Collector will furnish his report within two weeks.

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