In news- Recently, the Supreme Court has allowed Maharashtra to hold bullock cart races in the state till the pendency of the matter before the constitutional Bench of the apex court.
Highlights of the SC order-
- The apex court has observed that the validity of the amended provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and the rules framed by Maharashtra, which provided for bullock cart race in the state, would operate during the pendency of the petitions as the entire matter has been referred to a constitution Bench.
- The SC said that, “One country, one race, we need to have uniformity and there has to be one rule and if the races are going on in other states (such as Tamil Nadu and Karnataka), it should also be allowed by Maharashtra.”
- Bullock cart races were banned in Maharashtra after the Supreme Court declared that the race as violative of the provisions of the central act in 2014.
- After the Tamil Nadu government enacted a law to regulate jallikattu (taming of the bull), there was a demand to revive bullock races in Maharashtra.
- In April 2017, the Maharashtra assembly had passed a legislation for resumption of bullock cart races across the state.
- The Bill titled ‘The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Maharashtra Amendment) Bill’ was passed unanimously with the support of all parties.
- In 2017, the Bombay High Court passed the order in the light of the Supreme Court’s judgement in the Animal Welfare Board v A Nagaraja case which banned traditional animal sports events like Jallikettu, terming them as offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
- It had observed that bulls were not anatomically designed to participate in races and would be subjected to cruelty if used as a performing animal.
- The Maharashtra government had set up a committee to study the running capacity of various breeds of bulls and bullocks in comparison to horses.