Karnataka disputes PETA claim on Kambala ordinance

The Karnataka government on Monday termed as "misconceived and incorrect" the contention made by the PETA India before the Supreme Court that the ordinance on Kambala was issued when the state legislature was in session.

Additional Advocate General Devdutt Kamat, appearing for the state, also denied before a bench presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the earlier Bill on the subject was returned by the President without giving his assent and this was sought to be circumvented by the ordinance.

In his brief submission, he submitted that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, was promulgated on July 20 after getting the approval from the President on July 3.

The 14th session of the 14th Karnataka Legislative Assembly was prorogued by the Governor on July 13, an affidavit filed by the state government stated.

The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, posted the PIL filed by PETA India, for consideration on Friday.

Giving a detailed chronology of events, the state government, in its affidavit, also maintained, "there is no legal infirmity in the promulgation of the Ordinance".

"The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2017, for approval under Article 213(2) of the Constitution is currently pending before the state legislature in the present session.

The Legislative Assembly has passed the same on 17.11.2017 and the same is now pending before the Legislative Council," it stated.

On a plea by PETA India challenging the validity of the move, the Supreme Court had on November 17 asked the Centre as well as the Karnataka government to explain how an ordinance could be issued, allowing 'Kambala', when a bill on the traditional buffaloes sport was returned by the President. The top court called the situation "disturbing" and "piquant" with "far-reaching implications."

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