NATIONAL

Jallikattu issue to go to Constitution Bench

Though used to protect interests of minorities, it says “any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same.”

“It has never been looked into whether a State can claim constitutional protection under Article 29 (1) for what it thinks is a cultural right,” Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra orally observed.

“This may have a far-reaching effect. So far, nobody has plumbed the depths of Article 29 (1),” Justice Rohinton F. Nariman said.

Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal said people’s support to jallikattu was irrespective of religion or caste.

Justice Nariman referred to the part of Article 29 (1) which says “any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India.”

“And Tamil Nadu is definitely a part of India,” Justice Nariman remarked orally. Mr. Venugopal referred to the Ahmedbad St. Xavier’s College Society case in which the court had said Article 29 (1) may well cover the rights of the majority also.

PETA contends that the new law violates the five internationally recognised animal freedoms – freedom from hunger, malnutrition and thirst; from fear and distress; from physical and thermal discomfort; from pain, injury and disease; and the freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour.

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