The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking a ban on People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, a non-governmental organization, for campaigning to stop jallikattu. The bench said the Public Interest Litigation filed in the case was a ‘a misadventure’ done for publicity amid widespread protests for and against the bull-taming sport in Tamil Nadu in January, reported PTI.
“We find this a misadventure only for publicity sake, given the current social context on account of the role of PETA vis-a-vis the Jallikattu issue. This petition is dismissed,” said the bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sundar. The petition was filed by one Dinesh, who works at a hotel in Chennai. He had argued that the NGO had “no locus standi” to file cases challenging state and central laws. However, the court said, “We are troubled by the tenor of the petition.”
The NGO was one of the petitioners who had moved the Supreme Court seeking a ban on the bull-taming sport. The high court bench noted that it was contempt of the Supreme Court to suggest that the apex court had violated India’s sovereignty and integrity by entertaining PETA’s plea. “In our view this is contemptuous of the Supreme Court, as it is the prerogative of the court whether to entertain or not to entertain a petition,” the court said.
The petitioner had also held that the NGO had indulged in “sexiest advertisements” and “pornography”. The bench, however, refused to entertain such allegations. “We find nothing of pornography. There are photographs of women sparsely clad propagating non-use of fur and such other materials which affect the rights of animals,” the court said.
Protests erupted across the state after the Supreme Court refused to expedite the hearing of petitions filed against the ban on the sport that is generally organised during the harvest festival of Pongal. The peitioners had wanted the court to give an early verdict so that the sport could be arranged during Pongal this year. The festival was celebrated on January 14. The state government eventually passed an ordinance to revoke the apex court ban on the sport, and later converted it into a law with support from the Centre.