NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday said it would hear after four weeks a plea of an animal rights’ body challenging a bill to legalise traditional buffalo race ‘Kambala’ and bullock cart races in Karnataka.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said the fresh plea filed by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) would be heard along with the plea of animals rights body PETA.
“List after four weeks,” the bench said.
FIAPO has filed the plea opposing the state government’s bill to legalise the traditional buffalo race “Kambala” and bullock cart races in Karnataka on the ground of cruelty being meted out to the animals.
Bullock cart races are held in parts of north Karnataka and in the coastal districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada.
To pave the way for the sports, the state cabinet had on January 28 last year decided to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, (Central Act 59 of 1960), enacted to prevent infliction of unnecessary cruelty and suffering on animals.
The Kambala race, held between November and March, involves a pair of buffaloes tied to a plough and anchored by one person. They are made to run in parallel muddy tracks in a competition in which the fastest team wins.
It is believed to be held to propitiate the gods for a good harvest, besides being a recreational sport for farmers.
PETA has also opposed Kambala on grounds of cruelty to animals and said the agitators have taken a leaf out of pro-jallikattu protesters’ book and called for banning the sport.