The Supreme Court has refused to take cognisance of the massive protests in Tamil Nadu demanding that the ban on jallikattu be lifted.
The plea was brought to the apex court by Krishnamurthy Rajaram, a practicing advocate of the Madras High Court. Urging the SC to take suo motu cognisance of the largescale protests on Marina beach and other parts of the state, the advocate stated that the demonstrations are taking place in a peaceful manner. He, however, pointed out that those protesting had no facilities for food and drinking water.
Observing that “Judges cannot hold the hands of protesters”, the apex court declined the petition and asked the petitioner to approach the Madras High Court.
The petition in the Supreme Court came even as Chief Minister O Panneerselvam met Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to pass an emergency ordinance that would permit the conduct of the bull-taming sport.
Prior to his departure from Chennai on Wednesday night, OPS had issued a statement urging the protesters to call off their demonstrations. He had also said, “Only the centre has the power to do something now because the Supreme Court has banned it. If jallikattu should happen before the Supreme Court verdict comes, only the centre has the authority to rectify the law.”
The Supreme Court had banned jallikattu in May 2014. The court held that bulls cannot be used as performing animals either for Jallikattu or for bullock cart races anywhere in the country. Following this the central government had passed a notification exempting Jallikattu from the law, which has since been stayed by the apex court.
The protests in Tamil Nadu began at Alanganallur in Madurai, that was once home to one of the largest jallikattu events. It then spread to other parts of the state, fuelled by social media groups urging students and the youth to take to the street to demand that the Supreme Court ordered ban on the sport be reversed.