New Delhi: Jan 12;The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed Centre's notification lifting ban on controversial bull-taming sport Jallikattu during the festival of Pongal in Tamil Nadu.
The Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and N.V. Ramana prima facie agreed with the arguments made by a batch of petitioners, led by Animal Welfare Board of India, that Jallikattu is "inherently cruel" and bulls cannot be used or tortured as performing animals for human festivity.
A stay on the January 7 notification means that the 2014 SC judgment banning jallikattu will continue to prevail during Pongal starting on January 15.
Admitting the petitions, the Bench gave the Tamil Nadu Government and the Centre four weeks to file affidavits in response to the petitions.
Earlier in the day, Justice R. Banumathi recused herself from hearing the jallikattu case in the Supreme Court. She had first banned jallikattu during her tenure as Judge of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.
"What is the necessity of such a festival like Jallikattu? There was no festival for four years," Justice Misra asked in reference to the first prohibitory notification on Jallikattu issued by the Centre on July 11, 2011, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in its 2014 judgment.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said Jallikattu is not the "bull fight of Spain" and care had been taken to include provisions in the 2016 notification to prevent cruelty to the animals.