SC wants stringent curbs on 'Jallikattu' in Tamil Nadu

A Bench of Justices R V Raveendran and H L Gokhale, expressed disatisfaction with the recent legislation enacted by the state to curb the traditional sport and suggested imposition of high deposit fee of Rs 20 lakh and restrict the event to just two months.
"It has become an industry. We do not know whether people are making money. It should not have even spread towards summer but it is extending towards the monsoon," the Bench said.

"Think of the danger to human beings. They (bulls) run amuck after being fed with liquor. If you don't feed them liquor, they will be docile and people will not have the interest. So, they feed them with liquor. This (sports) must be restricted to two months," the apex court said.

The apex court made the remarks after Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam submitted the state had come out with Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act -2009 to restrict the sport to five months between January and May and impose a deposit fee of Rs two lakh on the organisers.

Besides, he said, 125 places in the state have been notified for conducting the event and those organising it without permission or in non-notified areas can be imprisoned upto one year.

However, the submission failed to convince the Bench which said the present deposit fee was grossly inadequate and instead suggested the same could be increased upto Rs 20 lakh.

The apex court was of the view that enhancing the desposit fee to Rs 20 lakh would ensure that in case of death of the fighters or others watching the sport, they could be adequately compensated from the amount.

Further, it said the traditional sports festival can be restricted only to January-February during the pongal season.

"There are many chieftains who make it a regular practice saying we are having it for our deities . In this way, it would go throughout the year," the Bench said.

Later, the Bench granted four weeks to the Animal Welfare Board to come out with its views based on the suggestions made by it to discourage the sport.

In many villages of Tamil Nadu, "Jallikattu" is conducted mostly during pongal festival during which many people have lose their lives.

A PIL was earlier filed in the Supreme Court seeking a ban on the sport on the ground that it not only endagered the lives the fighters and general public but also amounted to cruelty to the animals.

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