In a massive victory to Karnataka and Kambala enthusiasts, President Pranab Mukherjee promulgated the ordinance legalising the sport. A communication from the top office said that the President has approved the promulgation of the prevention of cruelty to animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017. Now, Kambala is officially legal in Karnataka.
The approval comes as a massive victory to those fighting for the cause of the traditional sport. In February, the Karnataka government had passed a bill to legalise Kambala, the traditional buffalo race as well as bullock cart race in the state. Earlier in June, the Union Ministry of Law and Justice had cleared the bill.
The state government was compelled to pass an ordinance legalising Kambala after Tamil Nadu government took the ordinance route to legalise Jallikattu, another traditional sport. The demand for Jallikattu and Kambala had swelled into a people's movement Karnataka and Tamil Nadu respectively.
The ordinance was piloted by Karnataka Animal Husbandry Minister A Manju who maintained that no cruelty was involved in Kambala. The bill was modified at the centre's behest before being sent to the President for approval for the second time. The modification ensured that no other sport was included in the bill. The first bill had a phrase "subject to such other conditions as may be prescribed" and the Centre had asked the State to omit the same.
The President has now approved the Bill that seeks to exempt Kambala and bullock-cart racing from the ambit of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.