The Madras High Court Bench here on Friday gave its nod for the conduct of jallikattu (bull taming sport) during the Pongal season next month at Alanganallur and Avaniapuram near here, besides some other places.

A Division Bench of Justice M. Jaichandren and Justice S. Nagamuthu granted permission on the same lines as it was granted by the court in January this year. The orders were passed in a batch of writ petitions filed by the organisers of the sport. The petitioner’s counsel, K. Mahendran and R. Gandhi, contended that the Madurai Collector had passed an order on December 13 asking all jallikattu organisers to approach the High Court and obtain its consent before approaching him for permission.

Appearing on behalf of the Collector, Additional Advocate General K. Chellapandian said that he was not against the conduct of the bull taming sport but only wanted the court to take notice of the issue and pass appropriate orders which should be complied in letter and spirit.

Recording his submission, Mr. Justice Jaichandren said that the State as well as the organisers should take all safety measures, including double barricading of the sporting arena and deployment of adequate police personnel, in the interest of the bulls, tamers and spectators.

As per the orders passed in January this year, the bull yard must have a double barricade for a height not less than eight feet.

Coconut fibre or saw dust must be strewn on the passage through which bulls run amok after entering the arena through the ‘vaadi vaasal.’ There must be a collection yard at the end of the passage to prevent the animals from straying into residential areas. The bulls must be tied at the yards and provided with sufficient fodder. Further, all-out efforts should be taken to ensure that the bulls were not tortured in any way.

The bull tamers must be provided with identity cards after making sure that none of them were under the influence of alcohol or narcotic substances.

The spectators must be confined to their galleries and should not be allowed to spill over to the sporting arena at any cost.

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