SC frames 5 questions on Jallikattu case, refers matter to Constitution bench
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has referred the matter relating to Tamil Nadu’s bull taming sport Jallikattu to a Constitution bench. The apex court has framed five questions to be adjudicated by Constitution bench in the matter. “We have formulated five questions for the Constitution bench,” Justice Nariman said while pronouncing the order. The court, while reserving its order, had said the larger bench would decide whether states have the “legislative competence” to make such laws on grounds, including that ‘Jallikattu’ and bullock cart racing fell under the cultural rights enshrined under Article 29(1) and can be protected constitutionally. Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have amended the central law, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and allowed Jallikattu and bullock cart racing, respectively. The state laws have been challenged in the apex court. The top court had referred to Article 25 (right to freedom of religion) and Article 29(1) (protection of cultural and educational rights) of the Constitution and said they may not enable states to make such laws. Jallikattu, also known Eruthazhuvuthal, is a bull-taming sport played in Tamil Nadu as part of the Pongal harvest festival. The apex court had earlier dismissed the Tamil Nadu government’s plea seeking a review of the 2014 judgement banning the use of bulls for Jallikattu events in the state and bullock cart races across the country. The court in its 2014 judgement had said bulls cannot be used as performing animals, either for Jallikattu events or bullock-cart races in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country and had banned their use across the country.