Apprentice Lawyer

Bulls on Parade: TNNLS students show solidarity towards Jallikattu

Aditya AK

Even as the Supreme Court’s judgment in Compassion Unlimited Plus Action v. Union Of India And Ors is awaited, sixty students from the Tamil Nadu National Law School (TNNLS), Tiruchirappalli, have expressed their support for Jallikattu.

In a release, the students describe the practice as an Indian tradition that is being followed for more than five thousand years. They also say that it has scientific value.

“It is one of the best methods not only to sustain our breeds but also to select the genetically superior variety of bull for mating…

…Given the dwindling bull population, an outright ban on Jallikattu only further intensifies it. We are concerned about our native bulls which would be sold at throwaway prices if such traditions are not in place…”

The letter goes on to say that they “vehemently oppose” the allegations of the Animal Welfare Board of India that the bulls are harmed during Jallikattu, an argument which led the Supreme Court in 2014 to condemn the practice as a violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act.

In January 2016, the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change issued a notification permitting the use of bulls for Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu. The same was promptly challenged by NGO Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA).

Then, in November last year, the Tamil Nadu government unsuccessfully filed a review petition against the apex court’s 2014 judgment. Just when will the verdict be delivered is anybody’s guess although this report in the Indian Express says that the “draft” of the judgment has been made.

In CUPA’s challenge, the bench of Dipak Misra and Rohinton Nariman JJ reserved judgment in December last year.

On the eve of Pongal, the festival during which the bull races are performed, the TNNLS students have demanded that an ordinance be passed allowing Jallikattu to be legally conducted this year. They have also demanded that the Central de-notify bulls as ‘performing animals’ and called for the addition of an exemption for Jallikattu under Section 11(3) of the PCA Act.

Read the TNNLS students’ letter:

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