Jallikattu also known Eruthazhuvuthal is a bull taming sport played in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations on Mattu Pongal day.
The Centre's notification lifting the ban on the bull taming sport Jallikattu during Pongal in Tamil Nadu was challenged in the Supreme Court on Monday.
Petitions seeking urgent hearing on the issue were mentioned before a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur which agreed to hear it tomorrow. The pleas were filed by the Animal Welfare Board of India, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and a Bangalore-based NGO.
The four-year-old ban on holding of Jallikattu was lifted on January 8 by the Modi government in poll-bound Tamil Nadu.
The decision to allow Jallikattu, days before traditional harvest festival of Pongal begins, along with bullock cart races in other parts of the country, had come through a government notification despite strong objections from animal rights groups.
Jallikattu, also known Eruthazhuvuthal, is a bull taming sport popular in at least four districts of southern Tamil Nadu during Pongal celebrations on Mattu Pongal day. Last year, the event did not take place due to a ban imposed by the top court. But with elections due in five months, all political parties had demanded that the ban should be lifted. Though the BJP has negligible presence in Tamil Nadu, many say this was seen an opportunity to earn a toehold in assembly elections.
"...Central Government, hereby specifies that following animals shall not be exhibited or trained as performing animals with effect from the date of publication of this notification, namely bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, lions and bulls," the government's notification said.
"Provided that bulls may be continued to be exhibited or trained as a performing animal, at events such as Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu and bullock cart races in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Kerala and Gujarat in the manner by customs of any community or practiced traditionally," it had said.