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Service in the interest of Justice

Jallikattu Ban stirs incessant war between Animal, Sport and Culture lovers!

Bulls definitely are the hottest and controversial topic in the running year 2017.Only God knows in this situation who is right and who is wrong. On one hand, we are trying to make this world more livable, affable, and full of care and brotherhood for each other, our culture and traditions are not letting us leave the old as they say ‘old is gold’. But who stays to see old remains gold is another interesting thing to watch. I was told, cultures are built first and then lived and every new culture has to go through the test of time which is now.

When was it banned first and subsequently- Justice R. Banumathi first banned the sport on March 29, 2006 as a Madurai Bench of Madras High Court, and Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Pinaki Chandra Ghose of Supreme Court banned it on May 7, 2014 citing harm to human lives as the core reason to ban.

Now that Tamil Nadu has promulgated the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 which seems to be untenable at the moment.

Let’s take the legal view of the situation here:

  1. Article 51A(g) puts fundamental duties on humans to protect all living creatures including bulls. This prohibits any kind of beating, driving, over-loading, tortures, pain and suffering etc.
  2. Supreme Court (SC) put down the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act of 2009 on similar grounds.
  3. The present Ordinance discusses preservation of heritage of Tamil Nadu to ensure survival and well being of native breed of bulls. Part of cultural heritage is already been declared untenable by SC. The only test remaining left is how ordinance will stand survival of native breed. It is also difficult for SC to survive the current ordinance if it is challenged.
  4. Sec 11(3)(E) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 prevents infliction of only ‘unnecessary’ pain or suffering on animals and that permits killings of animals for food with a condition that animals should not be subjected to unnecessary pain or suffering while being killed.
  5. Now ordinance by state government under Art 213 of COI when assembly is not in session and governor is satisfied, Ordinance have to approved by state legislature within 6 months.
  6. Art 251 – in case of concurrent list – law passed by parliament will prevail over state law. Central law succeeds over state law  which is Prevention of Cruelty against Animals Act, 1960. Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act was passed  in 2009.
  7. SC struck the provisions in 2014 under 254 (1) .State ordinance can prevail if it is not contrary to central law. Subject to judicial review and can be challenged in court.
  8. Strict provisions in ordinance should be there to ensure no animal cruelty, compliance to Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), and contraventions should be punished harshly.
  9. State Government against Central government can be promulgated if the president sanctions it but subject to courts scrutiny under Art 254 (2). Theoretically possibly making it as sport, SCHEDULE 7 of COI (CONSTITUTION OF INDIA) – State Government has exclusive power to make laws for the subject.

But after this ordinance, a legal case will ensue for sure.

SC has pronounced JalliKattu intrinsically cruel to the bull on previous occasion. Matter is sub judice, only a watertight law that can stand this legally complex challenge. Till then, just wait-watch.

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