New Delhi: The Supreme Court rejected a plea today that urged it to pass judgement on the bull taming sport Jallikattu, before the harvest festival of Pongal on Saturday.
A bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and R. Banumathi told a group of lawyers, who had requested the verdict, that it is unfair to ask the bench to pass an order.
The apex court, however, said that a draft of judgement has been prepared but it was not possible to deliver it before Saturday – when Jallikattu is to be organised.
The court had reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the Centre’s notification allowing the sport. The court had earlier questioned the Centre for its January 2016 notification allowing bulls to be used in events like Jallikattu, saying that its 2014 verdict banning the use of the animals cannot be “negated”. Earlier, the apex court had observed that the country cannot “import Roman gladiator-type sport” as it is against a culture of compassion towards animals.
Supporting the tradition, the Centre has said that it could ensure that bulls are not tortured or subjected to alcohol before the sport.
In its 2014 judgement, the court had said that bulls could not be used as performing animals, either for Jallikattu events or bullock-cart races in the states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country, and had banned their use across the country.
The apex court had also dismissed the review petition against its 2014 verdict.
The apex court had also declared the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act, 2009 as constitutionally void, being violative or Article 254(1) of the constitution.
On January 8, last year the Centre had issued a notification lifting the ban on Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu with certain restrictions, which was challenged in the Supreme Court by Animal Welfare Board of India, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, a Bangalore-based NGO and others.
On July 26, last year the court had said that just because the bull-taming sport of Jallikattu was a centuries-old tradition, it could not be justified.
It had said if the parties were able to convince the court that its earlier judgement was wrong, it might refer the matter to a larger bench.
The Supreme Court had on January 21, last year refused to re-examine its 2014 judgement banning the use of bulls for Jallikattu events or bullock-cart races across the country.
The apex court had also stayed the January 8 notification of Centre.