HC bars organisers from holding kambala races

The Kambala was proposed to be held on November 26.

Published: 23rd November 2016 02:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd November 2016 02:13 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Observing that tradition cannot overtake the law, the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday restrained the organisers from holding Kambala races in coastal region. The Kambala was proposed to be held on November 26.

An interim order was passed to this effect by a division bench of Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice R B Budihal after hearing public interest litigation filed against Kambala race by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) India, New Delhi.

“It is true that Kambala is continuing for a long period. But tradition cannot overtake the law. The rights of animals are statutorily protected under the provisions of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960,” the bench observed.

This was after senior counsel representing Kambala organisers like Udupi Kambala Samithi, argued that Kambala is a traditional buffalo race continuing for the last 700 years, and has become a part and parcel of the culture of farmers of the coastal region.Buffalos are specially reared and trained for the race, they argued.

The bench said, “We do not see any justifiable exemption in conducting Kambala as these animals are not meant for racing. We do not think we could permit the organisations to hold Kambala in view of the Supreme Court judgment in a case of Animal Welfare Board of India v/s Nagaraja reported in 2014. Therefore, the respondents are restrained from performing Kambala during the pendency of the
writ petition.”

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