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Supreme Court: Jallikattu & Kambala Ruling



  Apr 16, 2024

Supreme Court: Jallikattu & Kambala Ruling



What was the Supreme Court's decision on Jallikattu and other similar animal sports?

The Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the state amendments made to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. These amendments allow the conduct of animal sports like Jallikattu, Kambala, and bull-cart racing in these states.

What are the key points from the state amendment acts?

The amendments specify rules to minimize cruelty, such as the prohibition of physical harm to the animals, including beating, poking with sharp objects, and other harmful practices. The states have formulated rules to ensure the welfare of the animals during these events.

What was the basis for the Supreme Court's decision?

The Court noted that the amendments substantially changed how these sports were traditionally practiced, reducing the cruelty involved. It held that the new rules and regulations, if properly enforced, would not constitute the type of cruelty that the original laws intended to prevent.

Did the Supreme Court address the cultural significance of these sports?

Yes, the Court recognized that sports like Jallikattu are integral to Tamil Nadu's culture and heritage(Art.29). It stated that determining the cultural value of such practices is more appropriately handled by the legislature rather than the judiciary.

What does the ruling say about the legislative competence of the states?

The Court confirmed that the Tamil Nadu Amendment Act is referable, in pith and substance, to Entry 17, List III of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India, indicating that it is within the state's competence to legislate on this matter.

Is there any discussion on the rights of animals in the judgment?

The Court discussed that while animals cannot invoke Article 14 for rights as persons, the legislation can still be challenged and reviewed for reasonableness (Art.19)and compliance with animal welfare standards by humans or juridical persons advocating for animal welfare.

What are the implications for animal welfare under the new amendments?

According to the Court, the amendments, along with their accompanying rules and notifications, sufficiently address the animal welfare concerns previously cited in the Nagaraja judgment. It believes that the amended acts allow the continuation of these traditional sports with significantly reduced cruelty to animals.

How does this decision impact the legal status of animal sports in other states?

While this judgment directly pertains to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Maharashtra, it sets a legal precedent that could influence the regulation and legality of similar sports in other states, potentially leading to further legislative changes elsewhere.
This decision marks a significant moment in the legal treatment of traditional sports involving animals, balancing cultural preservation with animal welfare considerations.


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