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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the operation of a central government notification that allowed 'Jallikattu' or bull taming sport in Tamil Nadu. Observing that Jallikattu amounted to heaping cruelty on animals, an apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Mishra said it cannot be permitted in the 21st century.
The ruling came two days ahead of the start of Pongal festival when Jallikattu is played in rural parts of Tamil Nadu. The Supreme Court had in May 2014 banned the sport. On Friday, the central government issued a notification, in response to appeals from the Tamil Nadu government, effectively reversing the 2014 decision.
Petitioner Gauri Maulekhi said they wanted the notification quashed. "The court has stayed it." The apex court on Tuesday issued notices to the central government and other respondents. Jallikattu is reputedly one of the oldest living sports. Bulls are specifically bred for the event, where young men try to tame the powerful animals. Many youths get killed or are injured in the process.
Animal rights activists say there can be no justification for any sport where animals are treated harshly.