: The Madras High Court Bench here has granted permission to the villagers of Kodaioor village in Aravakurichi Taluk of Karur district to conduct a cock fight in view of Deepavali coinciding with a three-day local temple festival between October 25 and 27.

A Division Bench of Justices K.N. Basha and M. Venugopal granted the permission subject to conditions that the event shall be supervised by the police and held in the presence of veterinarians for the purpose of diagnosing the cocks at petitioner's expense.

The orders were passed while allowing a public interest litigation petition B.K. Karthikeyan, a village headman, through his counsel R. Vijayakumar and S. Gokulraj. The petitioner claimed that the villagers' religious sentiments would be hurt if the cock fight was not allowed.

“I state that every family in our village nurtures their own cocks which are made to participate in the fight. The villagers treat the cock fight as part of their culture and tradition and they feel privileged to identify themselves with it,” he said. Stating that the Karur police had orally refused permission to hold cock fight in their village during the Deepavali festival, the petitioner pointed out that there was no prohibition for conducting the fight under any legislation. When similar cases were filed earlier, the High court too did not ban the event. Instead, it permitted the event subject to conditions that the cocks should not be harmed, he said.