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PIL in Bombay High Court seeks ban on bullock cart racing

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Mumbai: In what can block the much anticipated ‘bullock cart’ racing in Pune, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Bombay High Court seeking a direction to stop the ‘traditional sport.’ The racing in Pune is scheduled to take place on August 17. This comes after the Maharashtra government’s recent move of amending the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Act, 1960, with effect from July 31 this year to allow the bullock cart racing.The PIL filed by Ajay Marathe, a Pune-resident was mentioned before the division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Nitin Jamdar.

According to Marathe, the bullocks are ‘naturally’ not meant for such racing like horses. He also claims that getting bullocks to race involves inflicting severe punishment on them. He has sought the ban on the race on the ground of cruelty meted out to the bulls before the race. He has also cited the judgement of the Supreme Court in the landmark Jallikattu sport wherein the apex court had held that bull-taming cannot be justified just because the said sport was centuries old.

Chief Justice Manjula Chellur has posted this PIL for hearing on August 16. It may be recalled that it was in 2014, when the Supreme Court had banned the Jallikattu sport but its ruling did not go well with the Tamil political parties. It was followed with several state-wide protests, however, the SC had also refused to review its ruling.