BJP in a bind as Jaya demands ordinance
The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the Centre\'s notification lifting ban on the controversial bull-taming sport Jallikattu during the festival of Pongal in Tamil Nadu, even as Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa urged the Centre to issue an ordinance to enable the conduct of the sport.
Protests across TN over Apex court order
New Delhi/Chennai: It’s silly season again as Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu draw closer and the bull is the centre of attention in the southern state. The traditional Tamil sport of Jallikattu, usually held around mid-January following the harvest festival of Pongal, is now under a cloud.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the Centre's notification lifting ban on the controversial bull-taming sport Jallikattu during the festival of Pongal in Tamil Nadu, even as Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa urged the Centre to issue an ordinance to enable the conduct of the sport.
"As an interim measure, we direct that there shall be stay of notification dated January 7, 2016, issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF)," a bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and N V Ramana said.
The bench also issued notice to the MoEF and Tamil Nadu on petitions filed by various bodies, including Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), seeking striking down of the Centre's notification and sought their replies within four weeks.
Earlier during the day, a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur referred the petitions to the present bench as one of the judges Justice Banumathi, who hails from Tamil Nadu, recused herself from hearing the batch of petitions.
A battery of senior lawyers, including K K Venugopal, Anand Grover, C A Sundaram and Siddharth Luthra, sought an interim stay on MoEF's notification citing relevant portions of the earlier apex court judgment and said that in the 21st century, an animal cannot be subjected to cruelty in the name of culture and tradition.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, opposed the plea saying no fundamental rights of any of the petitioner bodies have been violated and moreover, the notification provides for measures to ensure that no bulls are subjected to any kind of cruelty during Jallikattu.
Jayalalithaa writes to PM
Jayalalithaa, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said, "I strongly reiterate my earlier request to the government to promulgate an ordinance forthwith to enable the conduct of Jallikattu."Her letter comes after the Supreme Court went against the Centre and stayed a notification that allowed the sport to be organized.
The notification, in turn, was issued this year despite the fact that the SC had banned Jallikattu in May 2014.It is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is facing most of the flak in this issue.