A five-judge Constitution bench presided by Justice K M Joseph held that the state amendments did not violate the Constitution and the Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling banning Jallikattu.
The bench also comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy and C T Ravikumar said that in its 2014 judgment, Jallikattu was held to attract restrictions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act due to the manner in which it was practised then. The amendment, however, seeks to minimise the pain and suffering caused to animals. It also noted that the amendments, having received the assent of the President, cannot be faulted.
Saying that the sport is at least one century old, the court, however, did not go into the question of whether Jallikattu is an integral part of Tamil culture, saying that would require a detailed analysis and that the legislature would be more appropriate to do so.
“We are satisfied on materials that Jallikattu is going in TN for last one century… Whether this is part of integral part of Tamil culture requires detailed analysis which exercise judiciary cannot undertake..,” it said.
The bench said that when the legislature has declared that Jallikattu is part of the cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu, the judiciary will not go against the view. The court added that it did not agree with the finding in the 2014 decision that Jallikattu is not a part of the state’s cultural heritage, saying it was of the view that there was not sufficient material before the court to reach such a conclusion.