TN bypassed provision in parent law to provide exemption to jallikattu

The Hindu gets exclusive access to the text of the ordinance

January 23, 2017 11:27 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:58 pm IST

This July, 2013 photo shows jallikattu under way in Palamedu near Madurai.

This July, 2013 photo shows jallikattu under way in Palamedu near Madurai.

The Tamil Nadu specific ordinance to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 provides an exemption to jallikattu by bypassing the provision in the parent law that deals with restrictions on 'performing animals'.

Called the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Ordinance 2017, the new law has amended Section 22 (restriction on exhibition and training of performing animals), by stating that “nothing in this section shall apply to the conduct of jallikattu." There have been persistent demands from various quarters that bulls, which were included in this list through a notification of the Ministry of Environment and Forests in July 2011, be removed from the list.  

After the Supreme Court gave its verdict against jallikattu in May 2014, the Centre, through an executive order in January 2016, sought to provide an exemption for the conduct of the event. But the court stayed the operation of the executive order.   

Four other Sections have been amended and one new Section, called 28A, has been added.

They are: Sections 2 (definitions), 3 (duties of persons having charge of animals), 11 (treating animals cruelly), and 27 (exemptions).

The new Section will be known as 'saving in respect of jallikattu', which comes under the chapter of 'miscellaneous'.

The text of the ordinance, which was promulgated on Saturday and kept virtually confidential, was provided to The Hindu on Monday morning.  

The Explanatory Statement of the ordinance refers to the Supreme Court’s judgment of May 2014, which had held that the conduct of jallikattu violated the provisions of the 1960 law, especially Sections 3, 11 and 22. 

The State government had decided to give the exemption, "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 amendment to the Section 2 defines jallikattu as an event involving bulls conducted with a view of following tradition and culture on such days from the months of January to May of a calendar year and in such places, as may be notified by the State government.   The term includes 'manjuviratu', 'vadamadu', and 'erudhuvidumvizha'.

The Section 3 of the Principal Act has been renumbered as sub-section (1) of that section, after which the following has been added: "notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), conduct of jallikattu, subject to such rules and regulations as may be framed by the State government, shall be permitted."

As for the Section 11, another important provision of the parent law, the clause, called sub-section (f), has been included and it States that “the conduct of jallikattu with a view to follow[ing] and promot[ing] tradition and culture and ensure preservation of native breed of bulls as also their safety, security and wellbeing."

In respect of Section 27, a clause, known as sub-section ( c ), has been added. It says, “the conduct of jallikattu with a view to follow[ing] and promot[ing] tradition and culture and ensure survival and continuance of native breeds of bulls.”

Section 28-A states "nothing contained in this Act shall apply to jallikattu conducted to follow and promote tradition and culture and such conduct of jallikattu shall not be an offence under this Act."

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