New Delhi: The Centre on Friday cleared the ordinance on Jallikattu proposed by the Tamil Nadu government, a move that will allow the state to take the ordinance route to promulgate the bull-taming sport.
Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said the state government had earlier this week sent the proposal seeking an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and removal of “bull” from the list of “performing” animals to Home Minister Rajnath Singh and it was shared with other relevant ministries.
The ministries of environment, law and culture approved the proposal. It is learnt that the state government took the plea that Jallikattu is a sport and since sports is a state subject, only the Centre’s concurrence is required for the state to legislate on the matter.
“The environment ministry is ready with its response and we will not waste any time in sending it across. We want to bring in a thorough process without any lacunae,” Dave had said earlier in the day.
As per the procedure, the state government’s proposal needed the nod of relevant ministries and then the Presidential assent to be promulgated as an ordinance. With President Pranab Mukherjee returning to Delhi only late Friday evening, the assent is expected only by Saturday.
Briefing media persons after a meeting with MPs from the AIADMK, the environment minister had also said the sentiments and “cultural values” of Tamil Nadu would be respected.
He also expressed his appreciation for the peaceful nature of protests being organised in Tamil Nadu. Without naming the previous Congress-led UPA government, Dave said the current situation had erupted only because in 2011, the bull was included in the list of animals that cannot be used for exhibiting or performing.
The environment ministry had issued a notification in 2011 under Section 22 of the PCA Act naming six animal species — bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, lions and bulls — that shall not be exhibited or trained as performing animals. This also spelt a ban on Jallikattu.
The Animal Welfare Board of India had moved the apex court proposing a complete ban on the sport. The SC had in 2010 allowed the state to conduct Jallikattu in a limited manner. The 2011 environment ministry notification, however, categorically banned use of bulls as performing animals.
The Tamil Nadu government through a state law found a way to permit it until it was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2014. In January 2016, the environment ministry under Modi government once again made way for the tradition under certain conditions but the apex court stayed the ministry’s order in July. It dimissed, earlier this month as well, pleas to lift the stay on the sport. The issue is set to come up again for hearing at the apex court next week.