This is perhaps the only way to make the protesters withdraw their agitation.

Centre plays mediator Convinces SC to defer Jallikattu verdict by a weekPTI/file photo
news Jallikattu Friday, January 20, 2017 - 12:47

As pro-Jallikattu protests in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu continue in full swing on its fourth day, the Centre tried to defuse the situation, at least temporarily.

If the Supreme Court had pronounced its verdict on the Jallikattu issue this week, it could have derailed any attempts made by the government to end the impasse.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi pleaded to the Supreme Court to not pronounce the verdict immediately.  

The Supreme Court agreed to the Centre’s plea and decided to defer its decision on the existing ban on Jallikattu by a week paving the way for an ordinance to be passed by the state.

“Cultural passions being witnessed; law and order situation needs to be maintained. Centre and the state of Tamil Nadu are in talks to find an amicable solution. The Supreme Court should not pass the final verdict on Jallikattu at least for a week,” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the bench headed by Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar.

With this, there is possibility that once the President gives assent to the ordinance, the state government can go ahead and allow Jallikattu. And this event can be conducted before the apex court’s next decision.

“Home Minister Rajnath Singh has assured that the file will be processed as early as possible so that ordinance can be promulgated in next three days,” Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha Thambidurai told PTI.

"The issue is under government's consideration. I had a talk with the Home Minister (Rajnath Singh) on the issue,"  Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Anil Madhav Dave said.

"We will bring everything in front of you in the shortest (possible) time; by today evening (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday) we will reach a conclusion," he said.

"Give (us) some time. Let's wait for a day or two," the minister added.

Though Jallikattu will be conducted well after the period of Pongal festivities, this is perhaps the only way to make the protesters withdraw their agitation.

Meanwhile, AIADMK MPs and top bureaucrats of the TN government met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and officials of the Home Ministry to expedite the process of ordinance. AIADMK MPs are also expected to meet the President at 2 PM on Friday.

Friday’s development comes after Rohatgi on Thursday in an interview with News18 passed the ball to the state’s court.  

Earlier on Thursday, the meeting between CM O Paneerselvam and PM Narendra Modi failed to yield any solution. The Centre refused to pass an ordinance with the PM referring to the matter as “sub-judice”.  

But the Tamil Nadu CM told media persons that the Centre had assured assistance to the state government on the matter.

Animal rights organisation PETA had earlier said that once the President gives assent to the state government’s ordinance, they will again approach SC.

The apex court had in 2016 reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions by animal rights activists and organisations challenging the January 7, 2016 government notification taking out 'bulls' from the list of animals that cannot be exhibited or used for fights or races.

The notification was then stayed by the top court a week after its issuance.

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