State can pass its own law on Jallikattu says Attorney General

The statement is the first ever by the AG on the Jallikattu impasse. He has now put the ball in the Tamil Nadu government's court.

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New Delhi, Jan 20: Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi may have just given the solution to the Jallikattu flashpoint. In an interview to a television channel on Thursday night, AG Rohatgi said that the only probable way to end the crisis was if the state came up with its own law.

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The statement is the first ever by the AG on the Jallikattu impasse. He has now put the ball in the Tamil Nadu government's court. His statement comes at a time when the Tamil Nadu government is mulling a legislation that would make Jallikattu legal.

On a talk show, the AG said that sport was a state subject and the state government had the power and the right to make a law allowing a sport. Keeping in mind the question of cruelty to animals that led to the ban in the first place, the AG said that the law should address the issue of animal cruelty. He suggested penalisation and stringent punishment to be made part of the law.

"Many revere the bull and it isn't as if they want to kill it. Under The constitution there are separate demarcated areas where the parliament has the right to make laws on several subjects. Likewise, the state legislature also has the right to make laws exclusively. Sports fall under the domain of the state but cruelty to animals does and hence, the act," he said.

He also added that if the state wants to allow or promote a sport, it can choose to bring a law that allows it. "Such a law must concern and take into account all the concerns of cruelty. The same have been mentioned in the central government act as well as the supreme court judgement of 2014. That is the way out of the impasse. Very strict conditions and penalties must be laid down if the state chooses to bring such a law," he added.

He also highlighted that in instances of actual cruelty to the animal in the form of throwing stones, using sticksand knife or injuring the bulls will be liable to punishment since it is a crime.

"The Supreme court said that you cannot have cruelty to animals and the way Jallikattu is performed, it appeared there would be cruelty. If the state drafts a law that addresses the issue of cruelty, it will still be challenged in the apex court but the court cannot say that a state cannot have a law of its own", he said.

The AG may have given the Tamil Nadu government an idea of all it needs to do to end the Jallikattu flashpoint.

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