Sports is a multi-billion dollar global industry for which many countries have brought in various legislations for its smooth governance and regulation. There is no central legislation for regulation of sports in India, its governance is dispersed under administrative law, law of contracts, competition law, intellectual property rights law, labour law, and law of torts, etc. when matters such as anti-competitive behaviour, disciplinary measures, violation of wages & working conditions, and infringement of IPR arise. Sports is a state subject under entry 33 of the Indian Constitution.
The Government of India formulated the National Sports Policy in 1984 and 2001 with the objective of achieving excellence at the national and international levels, and to include sports in the concurrent list, but there is little evidence till date to prove how it would be converted into practice. The Indian sports federations and associations have taken a lot of flak for their maladministration. There are various National Sports Federations which are autonomous in nature, yet they seem to be a breeding ground for politicians who are appointed as their presidents and take charge of all its operations. Due to inexistent sports laws and no governing body for the management of these federations, most of them do not provide information relating to tenure of members and neither do they publish their financial statements in the public domain on a regular basis. The majority of the sports associations have not constituted a nomination committee which is responsible for selection and appointment of new members to the governing body. Out of these associations only Hockey India has adopted a conflicts of interest policy.
National Sports Development Bill 2013, which still hasn’t been enacted yet, proposes to bring all sports federations under the purview of Right to Information Act. It proposes to set up an Ethics Commission, which shall enforce a Code of Ethics in accordance with the International Olympic Committee’s code and principles enshrined in the Constitution of India. The Appellate Sports Tribunal is also proposed to be established whose selection committee would comprise of Chief Justice of India or his/her nominee judge, secretary, Department of Sports, and President, National Olympic Committee. Another salient feature of the bill is establishment of Sports Election Commission which would conduct free and fair elections to National Olympic Committee, National Sports Federations and athlete commission. ‘National Sports Ethics Commission Bill 2016 was recently introduced in the parliament, which aims at establishing a national sports ethics body to ameliorate the integrity of sports in India by providing severe punishment to the offenders guilty of match fixing. It is unfathomable to discern as to when these aforementioned bills would turn into laws.
All sports governing bodies are registered as ‘societies’ under Societies Registration Act, 1860. Almost all sports federations, despite being autonomous entities, are not devoid of political influence due to which their image has been marred by corruption and unaccountability. Despite the presence of several federations, India’s performance in majority of International events has been appalling, and one of the main reasons is the absence of a comprehensive sports law. All these associations must be governed under one law. The majority of the sports associations have not disclosed a roadmap which would pave the way for improvement in the sports in next 5-10 years.
The Australian Sports Commission has adopted ‘Australia’s winning edge: 2012-2022’ which aims at making them the world’s best. Adoption and implementation of such policies induce one to achieve the target within a prescribed period of time. There has to be an unequivocal term limit for the office bearers of the sports federations which is absent in the present scenario. Another issue is of the sports injuries; there must be a law which provides for the better health treatment and rehabilitation of the player who gets injured. Employment is another issue which requires attention, most of the sportspersons after their retirement are unable to find jobs. Harassment, abuse, breach of human rights, etc. would be harmful for both the individual and sports organisation. Application of sexual harassment laws should be extended to sporting activities as well. With the escalation of sports related disputes, India requires an independent dispute resolution body which specifically entertains sports related disputes and provides a speedy recovery. Rather than having numerous sports federations, government should focus on establishing sports schools and universities.
India is in a dire need of a central legislation for the promotion and development of sports at the amateur and professional level. It should encourage the prospective athletes to pursue their career in sports by providing them incentives and scholarships. This legislation must contain code of ethics and policy of conflicts of interest. All sports federations and associations should fall under this legislation. There should be transparency in the functioning and appointment of members of the sports federations Through this legislation, there should be a single sports commission, which must manage and oversee the implementation of sports policies, proper usage and channelization of funds, and provide for the training and preparation of the athletes. Apart from a distinct sports law, there should also be a separate legislation for gambling and betting which should have all Indian states within its ambit. The legalising of gambling and betting on sports would enable the government to generate more funds and aid in curtailing black money.
The bankruptcy proceedings in India are governed by various laws – Sarfaesi Act, Sick Industrial Companies Act, Companies act, Presidency Towns Insolvency Act, Payment and Settlement Systems Act, Limited Liability Partnership Act, Indian Partnership Act, Central Excise Act, Customs Act, Income Tax Act, Provincial Insolvency Act, and Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, but unfortunately these Acts haven’t been successful in restricting the increasing number of defaulters.
The process of winding-up is protracted and on an average it takes 4 years owing to obscurity in the current bankruptcy legal framework, while the insolvency regulation in countries such as United States of America and United Kingdom takes 1 and 1.5 years, respectively. In India, only 25% of the asset value is recovered by the creditors even after the completion of the liquidation process. The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Code, 2016 proposes to consolidate a comprehensive insolvency legislation and would encircle all companies, partnerships and individuals. The code was passed by both the houses and it received President’s assent on 28th May, 2016.
“Default” under the code means “non-payment of debt when whole or any part or instalment of the amount of debt has become due and payable and is not repaid by the debtor or the corporate debtor”. The code provides that the insolvency process has to be completed within 180 days. The limit can be extended to 270 days and in a case where insolvency cannot be resolved, the assets of the borrowers may be sold to repay the creditors. The insolvency process shall be conducted by licensed insolvency professionals who would be members of insolvency professional agencies. Information utilities will collect, maintain and disseminate information relating to the debt of companies.
The code proposes two tribunals to adjudicate cases i.e Debt Recovery Tribunals in case of individuals, and National Company Law Tribunal in case of companies. Insolvency and bankruptcy Board of India shall be established to regulate insolvency professionals and information companies and would comprise of 10 members including representatives from ministries of finance and law and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Any financial default can trigger an insolvency resolution process, the applicant may be a financial creditor, operational creditor or corporate debtor. On acceptance of the application by the National Company Law Tribunal, an interim resolution professional shall be appointed and it must resolve the case within 180 days or a maximum 270 days or else the company goes into liquidation. The Code provides for an automatic moratorium of 180 days which will stay on all creditors claims, no judicial proceedings for recovery, enforcement of security interest, sale or transfer of assets, or termination of essential contracts can take place against the debtor.
The power of the board will be suspended and the company would have to report to the resolution professional and supply information relating to financial information. The resolution professional would constitute the creditors committee. Insolvency resolution plan has to be approved by 75% majority vote. The decision of the committee is binding on the creditors and debtors. In case no resolution is reached within the resolution period or the creditors have resolved to liquidate the debtor during the resolution period, the adjudicating authority will pass an order for liquidation of the debtor. The insolvency resolution professional will act as liquidator for liquidation of the debtor. In case of liquidation, the assets of the corporate debtor will be distributed in accordance with the provisions of the code. The liquidation process cannot be appealed after the expiry of the prescribed time after passing of order of liquidation. However, an appeal can be considered by adjudicating authority on limited grounds. The directors of the company can initiate voluntary liquidation by filing a petition which needs to be approved by a special resolution in a general meeting for the voluntary winding-up alongside the affidavit of solvency of company.
The Code has not adopted the UNCITRAL model of cross border insolvency, but the Central Government may enter into an agreement with the government of any other country to enforce the provisions of the Code. The proceeds from sale of the liquidation shall be distributed in the following order of priority – The insolvency resolution and liquidation costs to be paid in full, salaries of the employees/ workers upto 24 months, wages and any unpaid dues owed to employees other than workmen for the period of twelve months preceding the liquidation commencement date, financial debts owed to unsecured creditors any amount due to the relevant state government or government of India. The Code also provides for punishment in terms of imprisonment as well as fine for defrauding creditor, misconduct in course of corporate insolvency process, falsification of books of corporate debtor, making wilful and material omissions from statements relating to affairs of corporate debtor, false representation to creditors, contravention of moratorium or resolution plan, providing false information.
The Code envisages a uniform and a structured time bound process which will certainly expedite the recovery process and improve India’s position in the World Bank’s ranking on the ease of resolving insolvencies and doing business in India. The Code also contains provisions for addressing cross border insolvencies in India which is a massive step to hold and prosecute the defaulters who take shelter abroad. However, the main challenge would be the appointment of insolvency professionals and the drafting of procedural rules for information utilities and insolvency professionals.
According to The World Investment Report 2016, of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Hong Kong ranked second in global FDI flows. The main sectors which attracted investment in Hong Kong since 2013 have been Investment holdings and real estate services, followed by banks and deposit companies. British Virgin Islands, Netherlands, Bermuda and Cayman Islands, USA have been the major investors. Owing to its favourable taxation policy and lenient legislation, foreign companies can be set-up freely, and register their brands easily in Hong Kong. Moreover, it is not mandatory for the director of any company to have a citizenship or to be a resident of Hong Kong.
The service sector which includes financial services, trade and logistics, tourism and professional services, etc., continues to be the most crucial to the Hong Kong economy as it contributed to 93% of the GDP in 2014 and accounted for 88% of the total employment in 2014 and remains the most profitable sector in Hong Kong for FDI. Hong Kong’s stock market, the third-largest in Asia after Japan and Chinese Mainland, is considerably more liquid, and more familiar to investors, and hence many Chinese Mainland companies look to raise capital in Hong Kong to fund business expansion or modernisation plans.
In recent years, a number of professional service firms and international financial institutions including Accenture, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, KPMG, Nest and Tuspark have chosen to establish laboratories and incubation programmes in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is one of the most popular startup hubs in the world, its government has pledged to provide a team to organise international events and facilitate start-ups in Hong Kong, for example Hong Kong Science Technology Parks Corporation will expand to provide additional floor area of 70000 square meters for start-ups by 2020 and continue to provide support through its Corporate Venture Fund and incubation programmes. The Startmeup Festival which was recently held in Hong Kong aimed to promote Hong Kong as one of the fastest growing startup hubs in the world and was attended by more than 900 entrepreneurs.
70 of the world’s top 100 banks are based in Hong Kong. According to the Bank for International Settlements, Hong Kong is the third largest foreign exchange market in Asia and the fifth largest in the world. Sectors such as Franchise, cosmetics, electronic components, architectural services, clean construction material, environmental technologies, tourism are high potential sectors. InvestHK is the department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, established to attract foreign direct investment and support overseas and mainland business to set up or expand in Hong Kong. In terms of subsectors, the department has assisted a growing number of companies in asset management, food and beverage and software solutions to set up or expand in Hong Kong.
Hongkong due to its superiority in Logistics, transportation and financial hub in Asia, becomes the preferred choice for ICT companies waiting to service clients across Asia. Hong Kong is also strategically located in the centre of Asia, so regional ICT projects can be effectively implemented and managed from a hub in Hong Kong, where a highly-skilled workforce is readily available. Also, natural and organic products are a fast growing business sector in Hong Kong, driven in part by food scares across the border in China. Many overseas firms treat Hong Kong as a test bed for organic & natural products before moving on into China. China itself is a huge market in nutrition. Along with the aging population in Hong Kong (where women are the world’s longest living according to a recent report), ASEAN and nearby regions, people are increasingly health conscious and would like to spend more for a better life. Businesses such as beauty spas, hair salons, fitness centres, nail services, yoga centres, slimming centres have flourished in the city. Hong Kong is home to over 9’000 beauty businesses including foreign brands and personal grooming service establishments
The United Kingdom European Union membership referendum or the Brexit referendum took place on 23 June 2016 in the UK. ‘Brexit’ is a term which describes the exit of Britain from the European Union. The Brexit process, however, would be slow as the exit will take place after two years, though the withdrawal proceedings with the European Commission shall commence under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. The impact on India can be seen as a mixed tea bag.
This exit is likely to cause immediate damage to Indian economy. Soon after the Brexit, the rupee fell by 85 paisa against the dollar, which would render many existing contracts losing propositions unless they are re-negotiated. UK’s exit from EU may affect Indian companies’ investment in the U.K, especially the companies who seek access to the European market. The companies headquartered in UK could face significant headwinds and would be forced to be set up a second headquarter which would thereby increase the capital expenditure.
Tata Motors, which owns Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the pharmaceuticals companies Wockhardt and Cipla, and the telecommunications firm Bharti Airtel, are some of the Indian companies that have a major presence in the UK. Global currency volatility will affect Indian rupee as well, and thereby hampering India’s trade. Work-related visa restrictions have already resulted in a fall in the number of Indian students in the UK and the revising of the immigration controls could negatively impact movement of students, tourists and professionals.
Britain being more an importer than exporter with big economy, it is dependent on Europe, China and India for its imports, and due to Brexit, UK has to look into other markets and might possibly tread on the path followed by Norway, by establishing bilateral trade agreements with European nations even after coming out of European Union rather than reaching an agreement with other countries. According to Nasscom, Brexit will also have a negative impact on the $108 billion Indian IT sector in the short-term. Auto components Motherson Sumi, Mahindra CIE, Bharat Forge like auto components manufacturers are going to be badly affected as the EU’s economy is expected to slow down which will lead to the decrease in auto industry sales, and hence, will be a huge blow to these companies. Rupee may depreciate further because of the double-effect of foreign fund outflow and dollar rise which may increase petrol and diesel prices as well. In that case, the government may want to reduce additional excise duty imposed on fuel when it was on a downward trajectory. This may increase fiscal deficit. Sensex and Nifty will continue to stumble. Due to fall in value of Pound sterling, Indian import companies in UK may report loss.
However, Brexit will provide certain benefits to India for example since the exit, UK would seek to build new alliances and trade pacts. India, being one of the fastest growing economies, would stand to benefit from it, and thus it could receive a good amount of investments. A new bilateral deal with Britain would not include the restrictive EU competence. India is the third largest source of FDI to the UK in terms of numbers of projects and it continues to increase, UK also is looking to attract FDI especially after the Brexit, this opens the doors for negotiation. With lower pound value, Indian companies may be able to acquire many hi-tech assets. Britain’s industry and economic growth has benefitted due to large number of immigrants it received because of EU refugee policy. Now with the exit, UK will face labour shortage which could be filled by Indian labour market.
The fact that yields in major advanced economies have fallen more means India offers greater yield differential, making bonds attractive to foreign investors in the near term. In the short run, there won’t be any significant impact to India’s exports, while over the medium term India’s exports especially in consumer oriented sectors and services, will depend on the severity of slowdown in UK and ructions in the exchange rate. Brexit would weaken global growth and lead to a decline in commodity prices, which will help the macro fundamentals, be it fiscal deficit, current account deficit or inflation. It will give the government more levers to pump up the investment cycle. With UK supporting India NSG bid, we could expect a stronger ally in the UK than EU.
RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said the Central bank will infuse whatever liquidity is needed into the Indian market to keep it “well behaved”. SEBI and stock exchanges have beefed up their surveillance mechanism to deal with any excessive volatility.
Vijay Mallya, the famous Indian businessman and politician, who is known as the “King of good times”, “India’s Richard Branson’’ and “Playboy of the East” due to his flamboyant and opulent lifestyle has been enmeshed in financial controversies lately. A consortium of Indian banks is trying to recover Rs. 9,000 crore debt loans owed by Vijay Mallya and his companies.
Born with a silver spoon in mouth, business tycoon Vijay Mallya became the chairman of United Breweries Group in 1983 after the death of his father Vittal Mallya who was also a businessman. Since then Vijay Mallya has been living the ‘good life’ with his fleet of vintage cars, multiple luxury residences in various countries and has consolidated various companies under the UB group. United Spirits Ltd became the 2nd largest spirits company in the world by volume. He expanded his business by buying IPL team Royal Challengers, Bagpiper Whisky and Romonov vodka. His companies own I-League teams Mohun Bagan AC and East Bengal FC. He also co-owns the Formula One team Sahara Force India .
As Warren Buffett has said in the past: “The worst sort of business is one that grows rapidly, requires significant capital to engender the growth, and then earns little or no money”. Soon Mallya launched his beleaguered Kingfisher airlines in 2005 and it ran on prodigious losses for which he kept borrowing huge sums of money from the banks to sustain the airlines and the banks overlooked the burgeoning losses of the airlines and continued to lend. In 2012 eventually the debt laden airlines had to be shut down due to non-payment of salaries to 1500 employees. Since then Mallya’s life has never been short of controversies and financial problems and despite such business debacles, Mallya continued his spending spree. In February this year, the board of United Spirits Limited asked him to resign as chairman after an internal probe alleged financial irregularities. He signed off a Rs. 515 crore deal with the Company.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley gave a serious warning to all the wilful defaulters like Vijay Mallya that they should settle their dues honourably with the banks or else they should be ready to face “coercive action” by lenders and investigative agencies. Hyderabad Court issued a notice to Mallya, seeking his personal appearance and impounding his passport, but by then he had left India for his country home in England from where he is currently fighting the legal battle and does not intend on returning to India after accusing the media of branding him a criminal. SEBI has widened its probe to seek information from other regulators in India and abroad, as also from stock exchanges, as it looks to unravel the complex transactions Mallya had entered into, including for sale of stake and transfer of rights in his various group companies. The CBI is investigating whether politicians and bank officials colluded with Mr. Mallya to keep the money coming. The Supreme Court has posted the next hearing for March and wants to discuss the modalities of loan recovery as well.
On March 31, Vijay Mallya through his counsel submitted a proposal for repayment of Rs. 4,000 crores to consortium of banks which is led by the State Bank of India by September this year. This shall be done by part selling his shares in United Breweries Limited (UBL) and his remaining shares in United Spirits Limited. The Supreme Court had given the consortium of banks a week’s time to respond to Vijay Mallya’s proposal and has posted the matter for hearing on April 7. It has been reported by TOI that banks rejected Mallya’s payback proposal and the Supreme Court asked Mallya to declare all his assets by April 21 and by that same date inform the court when he can appear before its bench.
The King of good times who threw grand parties with his Kingfisher Calendar girls and who placed audacious bids for Tipu Sultan’s sword and Mahatma Gandhi’s belongings witnesses the downfall of his colourful empire as he is indebted to pay more than Rs. 9,000 crore which could fund the entire nation’s one rank one pension scheme.
In February 2007, Hutchison Telecom announced a deal with Vodafone, wherein the latter agreed to acquire the controlling interest of 67% held by Li Ka Shing Holdings in Hutch-Essar for US$11.1 billion that involved the transfer of shares of a foreign company outside India, which indirectly held the shares of an Indian company. The Indian tax authorities alleged that since transaction involved purchase of assets of an Indian company, and therefore, the transaction was liable to be taxed in India. They were also of the view that Vodafone sold its lower cost (undervalued) shares to third parties at certain market price, thereby making huge capital gains from the deal. The Income-Tax Department imposed $2.5 billion transfer pricing tax on Vodafone. The case aroused great interest amongst the legal and business communities alike, not only in terms of its legal and commercial significance, but also the astronomical figure in question.
Vodafone contended that the transaction represented a transfer of shares executed between its subsidiary and thus, any gain arising to the transferor or to any other person out of this transfer of a share could not be taxable in India. It further contented that the transaction was not an international as the asset was outside India. The Revenue Authorities in May 2010, by a strongly worded order, asserted that under Section 201 of the Income-Tax Act, they had jurisdiction to treat Vodafone as an assessee for failure to deduct tax at source. This order was challenged by Vodafone by a writ petition before the Bombay High Court. The key issue before the High court was whether the Indian Revenue Authorities had the jurisdiction to proceed against Vodafone and the unmitigated interpretation of Section 9(1)(i) of the Income-Tax Act. The High Court dismissed the petition of Vodafone by embracing the argument of the revenue authorities that the matter in question involved transfer of a capital asset situated in India as a result of which the Indian revenue authorities had jurisdiction over the matter.
Subsequently, Vodafone challenged the order before the Supreme Court. The Supreme court heard the matter over a period of two months and delivered the judgment on 20th January 2012 in favour of Vodafone stating that the transactions were made between two non-resident companies outside India and involved assets that were not part of an Indian entity and also asked the IT department to return Rs. 2500 crore to Vodafone with 4% interest. However, the Indian government changed the law that gave it power to tax similar transactions entered into in the past, thus making Vodafone liable to pay tax again. It argued the retrospective amendment was a denial of justice and a breach of the Indian government’s obligations to provide a fair and equitable treatment to investors.
In 2016, The Income-Tax Department served a fresh notice to telecom giant Vodafone seeking past taxes of up to Rs 14,000 crore and on company’s failure to pay the amount, its assets and bank accounts shall be frozen. Both the parties seek to resolve the dispute through international arbitration.
The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 empowers the Governor of the State or Central Government to declare any part of the State as disturbed area if, in their opinion, there exists a dangerous situation in the said area which makes them necessary to deploy armed forces in the region. Besides in Jammu and Kashmir, this Act is still in force in the North Eastern States except Tripura which had withdrawn the Act last year. It was applied in Manipur in 1980, prior to that period, it had deteriorated to such an extent that it had become impossible to administer, maintain law and order and promote peace and tranquility amongst the public. Whereas, AFSPA was invoked in Kashmir on July 5, 1990 due to total failure of the State Administration and the police controlling the insurgency.
The Act has often faced censure from the politicians, human rights groups and people living in these disturbed areas as it gives sweeping powers and immunity to the Army in conflict-ridden areas. According to the provisions of this Act, an officer of the armed forces can fire upon or use other kinds of force against the person, even if it causes his death, who is acting against the law or order in disturbed areas for the purpose of maintaining public order after giving such due warning. He can also arrest without any warrant anyone who has committed cognizable offences or is reasonably suspected of having done so and may use force if needed for the arrest. Army officers have legal immunity for their actions under AFSPA. There can be no prosecution, suit or any legal proceeding against anyone acting under that law, but can be prosecuted with the prior permission of the Central Government. Nor is the government’s judgment on why an area is found to be disturbed subject to judicial review.
If this Act was not enacted in the North Eastern States, those States would have become free-floating nation States. The battle against terrorism or extremism cannot be fought with the normal law and order, therefore having AFSPA is indispensible in terror-stricken areas. The disturbed areas harbor many insurgent groups. To tackle such insurgent groups our forces need powers to execute their actions to maintain national security. If the disturbed areas are devoid of application of AFSPA, there would be hesitation among the masses and this would patently be advantageous to the insurgents.
Whatever peace that exists in Kashmir is due to the militarized counter infiltration and relentless operations carried out by the Indian Army everyday. The levels of insurgency and infiltration of weapons has also drastically decreased over the years. The Armed forces need these powers to do their job without hindrance. They cannot work under the fear of being prosecuted for doing their job under the most extreme circumstances. No military personnel would want to get involved in false criminal cases, spending their time doing rounds of courts. The situation in Kashmir still remains insecure and revoking this Act would just give the insurgent groups to advance their expansion rapidly and also have more influence on the local masses. The Supreme court of India has upheld the validity of AFSPA and highlighted that an officer while performing his duty should use minimal force necessary for effective action and strictly adhere to the ‘Dos and Don’ts’ issued by the army.
If the law ensures and protects the greater social interest, such law shall be a beneficial law although it may infringe the liberty of some people. Security of the nation is the utmost priority. Collateral damage is bound to take place in militancy hit areas where AFSPA is in force though it can be minimized. It is not always possible for the army to distinguish between terrorists and innocent civilians in extraordinary situations. It is the functioning of AFSPA and the transgression of a few Army personnel that has given rise to resentment among the masses. The army authorities should adopt a policy of zero-tolerance to the misuse of the law by its men. But in the battle against terrorism there is a dire need of a law like AFSPA which ameliorates the situation and assists the Armed forces in carrying out their operations sagaciously.
Opinion remains divided as to how animals have been used for food, clothing or experimentation of products and drugs by the human race for their own needs but their involvement with our entertainment industry for fulfilling rituals during century old traditions seems to have been overlooked. Jallikattu is a part of pongal festival which is practiced in various districts of Tamil Nadu. This sport is also known as “Manju Virattu” meaning “Chasing the bull”. The fighters who take part in Jallikattu have to pounce on the raging bull and endeavour to hold on to its hump and move along with the bull without falling or getting hurt. The locals who practice this tradition believe it to be for a divine purpose and if they do not practice it, their village would be in danger of being affected by an epidemic. The bulls are agitated before the event by poking them with sticks, stabbing them intermittently before getting prodded and pushed by numerous people.
It is acceptable to use animals for sport or entertainment as long as animals are not harmed. To petrify and harm bulls in this disgraceful travesty of a “sport” is an abuse of animals. Blood sports must be prohibited as no civilized society should allow the pain and suffering of animals simply to follow traditions set by their ancestors or simply for fun. By allowing Jallikattu to continue, Tamil Nadu ignored the country’s animal-protection laws and the safety of its own people as it chose to cling on to the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act No. 27 of 2009, which is a state law that though makes provisions to reduce cruelty to animals by setting up barricades and limiting the number of participants, but in the end it does permit Jallikattu.
In a comprehensive investigation authorized by the Animal Welfare Board of India, investigators observed that majority of the bulls who were involved in this festival had their ears cut and this procedure leads to physiological, neuro endocrine and behavioural changes in the animal. The supreme court found that this was a violation of section 11(1)(l),The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 which prohibits the mutilation of an animal’s body. Many bulls suffered from dislocated or amputated tails. Bulls were forced to stand together on accumulated waste for hours together. Frequent urination and defecation were factors of fear and pain in cattle. This is a violation of section 11(1)(a) of the act, which prohibits treating any animal in a way that causes unnecessary pain or suffering. Irritant solutions were rubbed into the eyes and ears of the bulls in order to agitate them which violates section 11(1)(c), which prohibits the willful and unreasonable administration of any injurious drug or substance to any animal. All bulls are not offered food, water or shelter from the inception till the culmination of the festival, this eventually resulted in injuries and death of some bulls.
Animal activists like the Federation of India Animal Protection Agencies and PETA have protested against the practice for several years and filed a petition in the Supreme Court of India to ban Jallikattu due to the cruelty towards animals and also to avoid injuries and deaths to the public. Finally, on 12th January 2016 the Honourable Supreme Court of India passed a landmark judgment clarifying that the bulls must not be used in Jallikattu, bull races, bull fights or any type of performance in India or any part of India.
Rights cannot be distributed on account of every living being’s ability to think, else intelligence tests would have to be carried out to determine as to who is capable of having rights, this would mean that the newborn and the mentally disabled would not be entitled to any rights. American philosopher Tom Regan holds the view that animals are entitled to certain rights simply because they have a basic understanding of the world and some sense of what they want from it. Every living being, be it a human or an animal has a right to live life freely without suffering or exploitation. Whatever may be the rationale, cruelty cannot be hailed as tradition and continued.