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Why a Jallikattu Ordinance Now Doesn’t Make Legal Sense

Protesters hold a demonstration in Madurai, demanding that the ban on Jallikattu be lifted. (PTI)

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam may have pressed for an ordinance to revoke the Supreme Court ban on Jallikattu, but the Centre is unlikely to oblige when the matter is still sub-judice.

As much was conveyed to Panneerselvam when he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Thursday. The Tamil Nadu CM said he was told by PM Modi that though his government backs the state’s sentiment, nothing could be done as the matter is still in the apex court.

These are the reasons why a central ordinance looks unlikely at this point in time:

1) The Supreme Court is ready with the draft judgment on Jallikattu and it could deliver the verdict as early as Friday or in the coming week.

2) It makes political and legal sense for Centre to bring an ordinance, if needed, after an SC ruling and not before. The ordinance would be needed only if SC upholds ban on Jallikattu. It would make no sense if SC lifts the ban or permits it with strict regulations.

3) The ordinance route before a verdict is riddled with troubles. If an ordinance is promulgated before the SC verdict, it would amount to overriding the judicial route

4) If the ordinance is struck down by SC, it could prove to be an embarrassment for the Centre.