Supreme Court of India on 7 May 2014 banned use of bulls for Jallikattu (bull-fighting) events or bullock-cart races across the country.
The court in its verdict said that even bulls have rights against torture and hoped that the parliament would elevate the rights of animals to that of constitutional rights. In its observation the bench said that an animal also has honour and dignity and cannot be arbitrarily deprived of its rights.
The bench of the apex court headed by Justice KS Radhakrishnan and included Pinaki Chandra Misra has directed the governments and the Animal Welfare Board of India to take steps to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals.
The bench also termed that rights guaranteed to the bulls under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act 1960 could not be taken away or curtailed. The use of bulls in such events like Jallikattu, bullock-cart races and other similar events violates, the PCA Act 1960. In its findings it held the events constitutionally void being violative of Article 254(1) of the Constitution of India.
Previous Verdict of the Supreme Court on Jallikattu
Earlier, similar ban was imposed on the practice by the Supreme Court in January 2008. Further, order of ban was reversed after four days by stating that the sport could be allowed if certain guidelines were followed. The order was reversed following the appeal of the state government against the verdict in which it claimed that the ban hurt the sentiments of the people and also assured the apex court that it would follow the guidelines to make the events a safe sport.
As per the assurance, the state government in 2011 introduced a law to regulate jallikattu to prevent deats and injuries to spectators during the sport.
Organises of the sport claims that the jallikattu is a sacred Indian tradition as mentioned in ancient scriptures and had an integral part of the Tamil culture for more than 2000 years.
Jallikattu bull fights
Jallikattu bull fights are a centuries-old annual sport of Tamil Nadu played as a part of Pongal celebrations on Mattu Pongal day. The sport is participated by thousands of men, who chase the bulls to grab prizes tied to their horns.
Who: Supreme Court
Where: across the country
When: 7 May 2014