SC upholds laws allowing jallikattu, kambala, bull-cart racing in TN, K'taka & Maharashtra

From the jallikattu bull taming sport held at Avaniyapuram in Tamil Nadu's Madurai district on Sunday. Photo: Manorama/Reju Arnold

New Delhi: A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has dismissed a batch of petitions challenging the constitutionality of laws permitting jallikattu, kambala and bull-cart racing in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

"Jallikattu has been going on in Tamil Nadu for the past one century. Whether this is an integral part of Tamil culture requires greater discussion detail...When the legislature has declared that jallikattu is part of the cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu state, the judiciary cannot take a different view. The legislature is best suited to decide that," the bench comprising Justice K M Joseph, Justice Ajay Rastogi, Justice Aniruddha Bose, Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice C T Ravikumar observed.

The bench added that its decision will similarly apply to 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.

The batch of petitions were initially filed to quash and set aside a notification issued by the Centre in 2016 which allowed the conduct of these traditional activities.

The petitions filed by the Animal Welfare Board of India, PETA and other animal rights groups sought to direct the concerned states to comply with the 2014 Supreme Court judgment that banned jallikattu.

(With inputs from Live Law)

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