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On Pongal Eve, Centre Ready With Draft Ordinance on Jallikattu

The government is ready with a draft ordinance on Jallikattu, the bull-taming festival in Tamil Nadu banned by the Supreme Court, sources told CNN-News18 on Friday, the eve of Pongal festivities in the southern state.

Ashok Bagriya | CNN-News18

Updated:January 13, 2017, 9:44 PM IST
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On Pongal Eve, Centre Ready With Draft Ordinance on Jallikattu
Youth participate in a protest demanding the lifting of the ban on Jallikattu, in Madurai on January 11. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: The government is ready with a draft ordinance on Jallikattu, the bull-taming sport in Tamil Nadu banned by the Supreme Court, sources told CNN-News18 on Friday, the eve of Pongal festivities in the southern state.

The draft ordinance indicates that the government is ready to take emergency steps to allow holding of Jallikuttu events. It, however, may not promulgate it.

The issue has taken political overtones with both the AIADMK, which is in power in Tamil Nadu, and the DMK vying for the credit to bring the controversial event back in the state. Animal rights activists, too, have joined the debate.

The AIADMK government wrote to the Centre last week asking for its intervention and urging it to promulgate an ordinance to allow holding of the festivities.

The Supreme Court had on Thursday dismissed a plea urging it to pass judgment on the sport before Pongal. The court had reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging Centre's notification allowing the sport.

The court had earlier questioned the Centre for its January 2016 notification allowing use of bulls in events like Jallikattu, saying that its 2014 verdict banning the use of the animals cannot be "negated".

Sources told CNN-News 18 that the draft ordinance is coupled with a rider wherein the government was “advised” not to promulgate the ordinance as the matter is under the consideration of the Supreme Court and would amount to overreaching the apex court.

Jallikattu was banned by the Supreme Court in 2014.

Despite being armed with the draft ordinance, the government will have to take a final call as the ordinance route is riddled with troubles. Legal experts say the ordinance can be challenged in courts and the moot question is — is the government willing to risk embarrassment if the ordinance is struck down by the Supreme Court.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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