The Madras High Court Bench here on Monday dismissed a batch of 18 writ petitions on ‘jallikattu’ and ‘rekla’ (bullock cart) race in view of the ban imposed on the events by the Supreme Court on May 7.

A Division Bench, of Justices V. Ramasubramanian and V.M. Velumani, rejected the petitions filed between 2009 and 2014 en masse, citing the Supreme Court judgment prohibiting the use of bulls as performing animals across the country.

Refusal of permission

Of the 18 petitions, 12 were filed in 2012, most of them challenging the refusal by the police to grant permission for the sport in Madurai, Sivaganga, Pudukottai, Dindigul and Tiruchi districts on various grounds, including lack of facilities.

Some litigants questioned the non-inclusion of their villages in the list notified by the Collectors for permitting Jallikattu every year in accordance with the regulations laid down under the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu (TNRJ) Act, 2009.

Four of the petitions challenged the constitutional validity of Section 22 (ii) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, which authorises the Centre to prohibit the use of any animal as a performing animal through a notification published in the official gazette.

Rejecting the cases, the Bench pointed out that the grounds raised in all 18 petitions had been considered in detail by the Supreme Court, which held the TNRJ Act constitutionally invalid and repugnant to the PCA Act.

Right to issue notification

The Supreme Court also upheld the Centre’s right to issue notifications under Section 22 (ii) of the PCA Act and expressed its desire to Parliament “to elevate the rights of animals to constitutional rights, as done by many of the countries around the world, so as to protect their dignity and honour.”

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