SC Permits Bullock Cart Racing in Maharashtra
- 17 Dec 2021
- 5 min read
Why in News
Recently, the Supreme Court allowed Maharashtra to hold the traditional bullock cart racing event, which has been prohibited since 2017.
- The decision was based on the amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960 implemented by the state, in line with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960
- The legislative intent of the Act is to “prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals”.
- The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) was established in 1962 under Section 4 of the Act.
- This Act provides for punishment for causing unnecessary cruelty and suffering to animals. The Act defines animals and different forms of animals.
- In 2014, the Supreme Court banned traditional sports like ‘Jallikattu’, bull race and bullock-cart races across the country noting that they were dangerous and violated provisions of the PCA Act.
- Subsequently, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu had amended the law to continue the tradition in a regulated manner, which are under challenge and pending before the Supreme Court since 2018.
- In February 2018, the Supreme Court had referred the pleas related to 'Jallikattu' to a five-judge Constitution Bench which would decide if the bull-taming sport fell under cultural rights or perpetuated cruelty to animals.
- The court observed that there was no reason to disallow it in the state when similar sports were going on in other places across the country.
- If it is a traditional sport and going on all across the country except Maharashtra, it does not appeal to common sense.
- Bullock Cart Racing:
- It is a popular and traditional sport in Western Maharashtra and in Pune district.
- Apart from a traditional sporting event, the rural economy too is associated with bullock cart races.
- Thousands of food stall vendors earn their livelihood through the races.
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