The court was hearing a petition filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

SC pulls up Karnataka over Kambala Centre backs state govtFile photo: PTI
news News Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 09:41

The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up the Karnataka government, and questioned its decision to introduce an ordinance that allows people to participate in Kambala, an annual Buffalo Race mired in controversy.

The court was hearing a petition filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which challenged the Karnataka government’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017.

“On one hand the President refuses assent to the bill passed by the legislature and sends it for reconsideration and on the other you (Karnataka) bring an ordinance. Is it permissible under the Constitution? Can you (Karnataka) commit a fraud on the Constitution? Tell us what is the state’s concern with this sport, which has cruelty inherent in it? Can you do something which is not permissible under the Constitution?” Hindustan Times quoted the SC bench as saying.

Meanwhile, the Centre supported the state government's decision in court, and asked that the sport be allowed, without the animal cruelty.

“Unless cruelty is involved, Kambala should be permitted,” Attorney General KK Venugopal was quoted as saying, adding that "all state governments have to appease popular sentiments."

Speaking about the Bill, Animal Husbandry Minister, A Manju had earlier said that Kambala was a folk sport and involved no cruelty to animals, adding that it was 'popular will', and must be allowed.

Earlier this month, after the Kambala season began in Dakshina Kannada, PETA alleged that buffalos were harassed in Moodbidri.

The organisation documented videos and photographs of Kambala to place them before the Supreme Court.

Denying the allegation, Barkur Shantaram Shetty, President, Dakshina Kannada-Udupi-Kasargod Kambala Committee, said there was not a single incident of harassment during the Kambala in Moodbidri.

The ban on Kambala caused an uproar earlier this year with a large protest being held in Moodbidri where thousands turned up with their prized buffaloes to contest the ban against the popular rural sport. Since then, the ban has been lifted by a bill passed by the state government.

 

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