Andhra Pradesh BJP leader K Raghu Ramakrishna Raju filed a special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, which sought a stay on the Hyderabad High Court's ban order on cockfights in the two Telugu states.
According to reports, Raju argued that cockfights were a traditional sport and the HC order infringed on an individual's freedom to pursue a 'sport' of their choice.
"In fact, the court ruling is unconstitutional and hence should be declared null and void," his counsel was quoted as saying.
This comes shortly after the Hyderabad High Court upheld the ban on cockfighting and directed the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments to ensure no cockfights take place during the Sankranti festival.
The court extended the ban on cockfights on the whole and not just during the Sankranti festival in January.
The common High Court for both the Telugu states passed the orders on petitions filed by the Animal Welfare Board of India, Humane Society International/India, People for Animals and other organisations.
The petitioners brought to the notice of the court that cockfighting was being conducted every year on Sankranti on January 14 in violation of the ban on the practice and despite court orders passed in the past.
The ban has been reiterated previously by the Bombay High Court, Madras High Court and the Supreme Court as well. Cockfighting is banned under the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Act, 1960, and the Andhra Pradesh Gaming Act, 1974.
However, despite the ban, many places along the Andhra coast reportedly continue to host fights and even promote betting on the outcome.