Jallikattu Act passed unanimously

January 24, 2017 01:20 am | Updated 06:57 am IST - CHENNAI

Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao addressing the Assembly in Chennai on Monday. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam is also in the picture.

Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao addressing the Assembly in Chennai on Monday. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam is also in the picture.

: Keeping its promise to enact a legislation to facilitate the conduct of jallikattu in the State, the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, at a special sitting here on Monday, unanimously passed the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act, 2017. The legislation seeks to amend certain sections of the Central Act to ensure that bulls are not barred from being used for the rural bull-taming sport. The Bill, upon receiving the President’s assent, shall effectively replace an ordinance promulgated by the State late last week on the same subject.

The special session of the Assembly was hurriedly convened in the evening after the House met for the Governor’s address in the morning.

“Considering the vital role played by the event of ‘jallikattu’ in preserving and promoting tradition and culture among people in large parts of the State of Tamil Nadu and also considering the vital role of jallikattu in ensuring survival and continuance of native breeds of bulls, the government of Tamil Nadu decided to exempt the conduct of jallikattu from the provisions of the said Central Act 59 of 1960,” the Bill introduced in the House stated.

The Bill, which was introduced by Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, was “wholeheartedly” welcomed by DMK, Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), and later, it was unanimously enacted as an Act.

Mr. Panneerselvam said that the Bill was being introduced only because the ordinance had to be replaced by an Act passed in the Assembly.

Soon after the House sat for a special sitting at 5 p.m., Leader of the Opposition M.K. Stalin and DMK Deputy Floor Leader M. Duraimurugan sought to raise a related issue but were not allowed by Speaker P. Dhanapal.

‘Features not explained’

During the debate on the issue, when Mr. Stalin alleged that the Chief Minister could have explained the features of the ordinance to the agitating students, Mr. Panneerselvam recalled his meeting with them before his trip to New Delhi to meet the Prime Minister last week.

Later, when the Chief Minister charged it was during the UPA regime, of which the Congress and DMK were a part, that jallikattu was banned and a legislation enacted by the DMK regime (to circumvent it) did not receive Presidential assent, Mr. Stalin countered saying though it was true that the Central notification was issued during the DMK regime jallikattu was indeed conducted when the party was in power.

A Raj Bhavan release in the evening said since the Bill seeks to amend a Central Act, which is an earlier law on a “concurrent subject”, it has to be reserved by the Governor for the consideration of the President under Article 254 (2) of the Constitution. “Accordingly, the Governor reserved the Bill for the consideration of the President,” it said.

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