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This article was written by Agam H Maloo, a student of Raffles University, Neemrana.

“The greatness of the nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”                                                                                           -MAHATMA GANDHI

Recently Jallikattu is in controversy because this sport result into a serious injuries and even deaths. It is very brutal and wanton torture to animals. In jallikattu people also died as well as animal (bulls) too as due to collision. So this practice is affecting life of a person. The volatile Jallikattu issue is growing day by day but there is no legal way, yet, for the such traditional sport to be conducted in the state.Jallikattu is defined as bull taming event classically practiced in Tamil Nadu as a part of pongal celebrations on MattuPongal day (third day of pongal festival. The term Jallikattu glean from the tamil words ‘Calli’ and ‘kattu’. Calli refers to gold or silver coins and Kattu means ‘tied’. As a result it refers to coins being tied to the bulls’ horns, which is considered the prize for whoever tames the bull. This Jallikattu festival have been practiced from last 2500year ago it is treated as custom and tradition, people have faith on such practice. This practice is used to service numerous cows preserving native breed.

It is a debatable issue, as this sport is infringing Right to life under Article 21 of Constitution of India (Human Right as well as Animal Rights).

In case of Animal Welfare Board of India v A. Nagaraja and Others[1], In May 2014, The Apex Court of India delivered a remarkable judgment banning of certain bull-fighting practices. The court in its analysis, sought to bring animals under the protection of the rights disclosure by stating that Article 21 of Constitution of India could be applied to animal life.

It argues that bringing animals into the term ‘life’ and right to life is not only in compatiable with traditional jurisprudence, but it may also to protect the animals, wildlife. In this case, the Supreme Court has interpreted the word ‘life’ in Article 21 of the Constitution, to include the basic environment which includes all forms of life, including animal life, which are necessary for human life. The Court opined that so far as animals are concerned, “life” means something more than mere survival or existence or instrumental value for human-beings, but to lead a life with some intrinsic worth, honour and dignity.[2]

 As per the section 3 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960[3] organizers of Jallikattu were depriving rights guaranteed under this section and event was for pleasure and enjoyment of human beings not for protection and prosperity for animals.

As per section 11(1) (a) and (m) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, it is an offence as per this sections because according to sub section (m) organizers are using animals for the entertainment purpose and make bull as object to prey as per sub section (a) organizers are beating, kicking torturing, as subject to causing and suffering to animal is in against of law.

Also according to the Article 51A (g) of the Constitution of India, it is a fundamental duty of every citizen to have compassion for living creatures. The judgment also addresses a key issue about the interim rights of the animals and is those rights placed above or below the right of the human beings.

Ban of Bull Fighting/ Taming at International Level

Often, the tradition of bullfighting in Spain is cited to legitimise the conduct of jallikattu and present it as a viable tourist attraction. It is significant that the Spanish state of Catalonia banned the sport in 2012 after a prolonged ‘culture versus rights’ debate. In 2002, Germany took animal rights to a new level by giving animal’s constitutional protection.[4] “Culture” is not a magic word, and simply labelling something as such doesn’t make it right and above criticism. Also, the word “culture” suggests the enhancement and enrichment of people or a society, and watching animals being tortured to death doesn’t fall into this description.[5]

No oddity for customs and Traditions

The apex court stated in very case of A. Nagaraja(Animal Rights) that just because the bull-taming sport of Jallikattu was a centuries old tradition, it cannot be justified as Jallikattu sport itself is cruelty on animals and there is prohibition of cruelty. We have to how compassion to the animals. It is our constitutional obligation.

For Dignified Life

An amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and measures to nullify the notification of the MoEF (Ministry of Environmental and Forests) which barred the use of bulls as performing animals.This logic seems to suggest that the Supreme Court verdict could be circumvented or reversed if the notification it upheld is rendered null and void by a new legislative action. But the authority of the verdict does not stand merely on the technicality of exclusion of bulls from the list of performing animals. Rather, the apex court went well beyond and delivered a judgment that essentially upholds the right to a dignified life for all animals. Any law that attempts to reverse this carefully evolved jurisprudence cannot stand the test of constitutional propriety. By its very nature, as the verdict elaborates, jallikattu provides for “unnecessary suffering” to the bulls.[6]


The society is still practices the tradition of Jallikattu where a technology capture the world and people are well educated, and such practices are miles away from a scientific world. In today’s world people understand the value of cruelty and value of blood still people are in favour of such issues not ready to accept the ban and doing protest.

There is a need to improve the adjudicatory machinery under various environmental protection, Environmental Laws, cruelty against animals.

[1] (2014) 7 SCC 547


[3]Duties of persons having charge of animals. –It shall be the duty of every person having the care of charge of any animal to take all reasonable measures to ensure the wellbeing of such animal and to prevent the infliction upon such animal of unnecessary pain or suffering.





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