The Centre on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that it was withdrawing its January 7, 2016, notification that permitted Jallikattu – the bull taming sport with some restrictions in Tamil Nadu during Pongal festival.
The central government, in a gazette notification on January 8, removed bulls form the list of animals that are banned from public display thereby allowing the traditional Jallikattu or bull taming sport during the state’s Pongal festival.
Besides, Jallikattu, the January 8 notification had also allowed bullock-cart races in Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Punjab.
Just before the start of hearing on the appointment of Committee of Administrators (COA) to take over the administration of the apex cricketing body, the Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra that government has decided to withdraw the notification permitting Jallikattu and bullock-cart races.
As Attorney General told the court that they would be moving an application informing the court about the withdrawal of the notification, Justice Misra asked the AG to mention the issue before the bench that heard the matter.
The challenge to the January 7 notification was heard by the bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman.
The operation of the notification, which the Centre is now withdrawing, was stayed by the top court on January 12, 2016.
The NGOs Compassion Unlimited Plus Action, the Animal Welfare Board of India, Animal Equality People for Ethical Treatment of Animals India Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations, and animal right activists Gauri Maulekhi challenging the notification.
After holding hearing that was spread over for six days, the bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman had reserved the judgment on December 7, 2016.
Following the widespread agitations in Tamil Nadu, including protests at Chennai’s Marina Beach, the government had moved the top court urging it not to pronounce its judgement for a week as it along with Tamil Nadu government were engaged in tackling the situation.
After court agreed to the request for deferring the pronouncement of its judgement, an ordinance was issued by Tamil Nadu government to permit Jallikattu — a step which was approved by the Centre.