Jallikattu committee: HC dismisses plea

Court asks petitioner to approach Collector for inclusion of SC members

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has dismissed a petition that sought a direction to authorities to ensure inclusion of the members of the Scheduled Castes in Palamedu jallikattu organising committee.

A Division Bench of Justices Pushpa Sathyanarayana and P. Velmurugan observed that it was the Collector who could form the committee for jallikattu as per rules.

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act, 2017, defined ‘jallikattu’. It mentioned that the conduct of ‘jallikattu’ was with a view to following and promoting tradition and culture and ensuring preservation of native breeds of bulls as also their safety, security and well-being, the court said.

In consonance with the Amendment Act, Rules were also framed, which were known as the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules, 2017. They prescribed the Procedure for Conduct of Jallikattu. Rule 3(4) of the Rules read that the Collector should form a ‘Committee on Jallikattu’, comprising officials from Revenue, Animal Husbandry, Police and Health Departments, to monitor the conduct of jallikattu and ensure that it was conducted in conformity with these Rules.

The Rules also provided for an organising committee. The organisers should obtain prior permission from the Collector for the persons and the bulls for participating in jallikattu. The Collector should ensure that the names and other particulars of the participants were registered. So the Rules were in place, the judges said.

The petitioner could approach the Collector to participate in the event as per the Rules. The court could not specifically give a direction to include any particular caste or community to be part of the jallikattu organising committee, the court said, and dismissed the petition filed by K. Alagu of Palamedu in Madurai district.

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