The President of India has sent back the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment ) Bill, 2017 to the state government, seeking for modifications to be made to the bill.
In the wake of Tamil Nadu government passing ordinance to conduct Jallikattu, the Karnataka government had amended the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to legalise the traditional buffallo race sport of Kambala. The Bill, that was passed by both the houses on February 13, was subsequently referred for President's assent by Governor Vajubhai R Vala.
However, Law Minister TB Jayachandra said on Friday that the President had returned the bill seeking modifications. The Hindu reports that the Union Home Ministry wanted a certain clause to be removed from the bill, that gave powers to the state government to include more sports through a government notification.
Speaking to reporters after attending a cabinet meeting, the Law Minister said that the state government had agreed to modify the bill, as suggested by the Union Home Ministry.
The Bill will be re-sent for President's assent after making the necessary changes.
Kambala is a popular sport in the districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, in which buffaloes are raced on fields with standing water. Considering a petition filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a bench of the Karnataka High Court had in November 2016, banned the sport.
However, after a prolonged agitation in Tamil Nadu against the SC ban on Jallikattu and the state government subsequently passing an ordinance to allow the conduct of the sport, a similar movement of "Kambala Beku" began in Karnataka. The movement also saw many Sandalwood actos joining in, supporting the cause.