HC restrains Maha govt from allowing bullock cart race sans

first_imgrulesEds: Adding high courts observationsMumbai, Aug 16 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today restrained the Maharashtra government from granting permission to bullock cart races in the state in the absence of rules to ensure that no cruelty is meted to the animals.A division bench of Chief Justice Manjulla Chellur and Justice N M Jamdar said when the government has till date not framed rules, as envisaged in the amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, it cannot grant permission.The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Pune resident Ajay Marathe, bringing to the courts notice a bullock cart race scheduled in his district tomorrow.The petition sought the court to stay the race. It also said that under the amended act, the state government is required to ensure that no cruelty is meted to the bullocks during races.”Till the rules are framed under the act, the state government cannot grant permission for bullock cart races. Even if and after the rules are framed, we would first go through the same and only after our nod the races would be permitted,” Chief Justice Chellur said.”The state is obligated to evolve a mechanism or a procedure on how it proposes to ensure that no harm or suffering is caused to the animals,” she said.Government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani told the court that the draft rules are ready and have been uploaded on the governments website for inviting suggestions and objections from persons concerned.advertisementThe bench directed the government to file its affidavit within two weeks in response to the petition.After perusing the order passed by the Supreme Court in the Jallikattu matter, Chief Justice Chellur said, “It is clear from the apex court order that bulls cannot be viewed as performing animals since they are not anatomically designed for that purpose. They are not horses.”The petitioner today informed the court that under the amended Act, anyone who is found to be harming the animals would face a sentence of maximum three years or fine of Rs 5 lakh.The Maharashtra Assembly had in April passed a legislation for resumption of bullock cart races across the state, after Tamil Nadu enacted a law to regularise its rural sport Jallikattu.The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Maharashtra Amendment) Bill would regularise the bullock race, a popular sport in rural Maharashtra which had been banned in 2014 on the ground that it caused pain and suffering to bullocks.State Animal Husbandry Minister Mahadev Jankar had then said the amendment was being made to the central act, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, in view of the vital role of the bullock cart race in preserving and promoting tradition and culture.After the Tamil Nadu government enacted the law to regulate Jallikattu (taming of the bull), there was a demand to revive bullock races in Maharashtra. PTI SP GK ZMN RDSlast_img read more