The Supreme Court on Monday refused to order an interim stay on kambala, the buffalo racing sport in Karnataka, PTI reported. Former President Pranab Mukherjee had promulgated the Karnataka government’s Ordinance in July 2017, legalising the sport after the High Court banned it.

Animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, has opposed the upcoming kambala festival on grounds of cruelty to animals. Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for PETA, said on Monday that the state government’s ordinance had lapsed, and therefore the buffalo race has no legal sanction at present.

Earlier, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations had also approached the Supreme Court challenging the bill to legalise kambala.

The bench comprising judges AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud fixed March 12 as the next date of hearing.