In a major relief to the governments of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka, the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the legality of traditional sports Jallikattu, Kambala and bullock cart races. The Supreme Court in its judgment said that the Acts of all the three states are legally valid. Commenting on this, the Supreme Court said that when the government has accepted Jallikattu as a cultural part of the state, how can we disrupt it. This decision has been given by a constitution bench of five judges headed by Justice KM Joseph.
Jallikattu, also known as “Eruthazhuvuthal”, is a sport played during the Pongal harvest festival in Tamil Nadu. The game is very popular in Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Theni, Pudukkottai and Dindigul districts. It is also known as Jallikattu belt. These petitions, filed by animal rights body PETA, challenged the law that allowed the sport of bull taming in Tamil Nadu, but the court refused to stay it. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 2017 was amended.
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Tamil Nadu government had kept its stand
During the last hearing in the Supreme Court, the Tamil Nadu government had said that a game like Jallikattu is not played only for entertainment, but it also has a historical, cultural and religious significance. There is no cruelty to animals in this game. Citing examples, the Tamil Nadu government said that foreign countries like Peru, Colombia and Spain consider bullfighting as their cultural heritage. At the same time, the government argued that the bulls involved in Jallikattu are trained by farmers throughout the year, so that any possible danger can be avoided.