No bullock cart races in Maharashtra this Diwali, Bombay HC extends ban

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The Bombay High Court on Wednesday extended the ban on bullock cart races in Maharashtra. The court observed that amendment to the law could not change the fact that the races meted out cruelty to animals.

No bullock cart races in Maharashtra this Diwali, Bombay HC extends ban

Bullock cart races are organized as part of Diwali celebrations in Maharashtra but the Bombay High Court order will disallow the same this year. "The very act of making the bull run would amount to cruelty. Can an amendment to the law change this fact?" the court observed before extending the ban on the sport.

Taking a cue from Tamil Nadu assembly that passed an ordinance to allow Jallikattu, the Maharashtra government too, during the budget session had introduced and passed a bill to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 2017, however, makes it clear that the organisers of 'bailgada sharyat', 'chhakadi' and 'shankarpal', would have to be approved by the respective district collectors. The Bombay High Court in August had asked the government to frame rules that would govern the sport and banned the sport till that time. On Wednesday the court extended the ban.

The High Court was hearing a petition asking for the ban imposed on granting permission to be lifted. On Tuesday, the court had banned the sale of firecracker in residential localities in Mumbai.

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