SC declares amended Jallikattu law valid
The Supreme Court termed Jallikattu a “type of bovine sport” existing in Tamil Nadu for at least a century, and did not interfere with the State legislature’s finding that the bull-taming event is part of the cultural heritage and tradition of the people of Tamil Nadu.
- The Supreme Court upheld the validity of thePrevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act of 2017 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules of 2017.
- The apex court also upheld the validity of laws passed by Maharashtra and Karnataka to allow the bullock-cart races and buffalo racing sport Kambala in their respective regions.
What is Jallikattu?
- Jallikattu is a2,000 years old competitive bull taming sport in which contestants attempt to tame a bull for a prize, wherein if they fail, the bull owner wins the prize.
- Jallikattu belt:It is revered across the Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Theni, Pudukkottai and Dindigul districts of Tamil Nadu.
- It is celebrated in the second week of January at the time of thePongal (harvest) festival, and also represents a symbolic event to honor bull owners who rear them for mating.
- Preservation of pure-breed native bulls:Kangayam, Pulikulam, Umbalachery, Bargur and Malai Maadu are among some native cattle breeds reared for Jallikattu in the state.
- Cultural significance:
- Sport cultivates and represents a cordial man-animal relationship, wherein the owner strives to develop an “emotional connect” with the bull through the long process of rearing.
Points in favour of ban –
- inherently cruel to animals
- continuance of the practice is immoral and antithetical to a compassionate treatment for animals as per provisions of thePrevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960
- Animal fatalities:The animals face “unimaginable torture”, ranging from tails twisted and fractured, chemicals poured into eyes, ears mutilated, sharp edged weapons used to poke the animal.
- Deaths:It often results in manhandling of animals, human deaths and injuries.
Points against the ban –
- The practice is a key component of the cultural heritage of the state
- It is centuries-old and symbolic of a community’s identity
Rearing of pure-bred bulls supports conservation of animal breeds in line with Article 48 of the Constitution.
Andhra Pradesh removes “dotted lands”
The Andhra Pradesh government has started removing “dotted lands” in the state from the prohibited list, restoring full rights of selling or pledging these lands to the farmers who own them.
What are dotted lands?
- Dotted lands are disputed lands for which there are no clear ownership documents. Typically, one or more individuals as well as the government’s Revenue Department lay claim over the land.
- During theBritish era, land ownership surveys and resettlement of land records were taken up, local revenue officials who were tasked with identifying government-owned and privately-owned lands put dots in the ownership column if more than one person claimed ownership, or if ownership could not be clearly established.
- The dots on the land documents indicated their disputed status.
Land Disputes in India
- An estimated 7.7 million people in India are affected by conflict over 2.5 million hectares of land, threatening investments worth more than Rs 14 lakh crore.
- Land disputes account for the largest set of cases in Indian courts – 25 per cent of all cases decided by the Supreme Court involved land disputes, of which 30 per cent were related to acquisition
What are the reasons behind high incidence of disputes over land?
- Legislative factors: existence of numerous, conflicting laws arising from historical narratives and current policies governing property rights
- Administrative factors:administration’s failure to comply with these laws.
- Judicial factors:There are legal and evidentiary barriers in bringing land dispute cases to court, and then lack of judicial capacity prevents quick
RBI regulations on green deposits
Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came up with a regulatory framework for banks to accept green deposits from customers.
What are Green deposits?
- Green deposits, although similar to regular deposits accepted by banks, have a notable distinction.
- Banks commit to allocating the funds obtained from green deposits specifically for environmentally friendly initiatives.
- This could involve utilizing the funds to finance renewable energy projects aimed at combatting climate change.
- Green deposits represent a single offering among various financial products, including green bonds, designed to enable investors to contribute funds to promote ecological sustainability.
What does the RBI’s regulatory framework say?
- Bank’s own rules:Banks need to come up with a set of rules or policies approved by their respective Boards that need to be followed while investing green deposits from customers.
- Major sectors: The RBI has come up with a list of sectors that can be classified as sustainable and thus eligible to receive green deposits. These include renewable energy, waste management, clean transportation, energy efficiency, and afforestation.
- Banks will be barred from investing green deposits in business projects involving fossil fuels, nuclear power, tobacco, etc.
- Prevention of greenwashing: The new rules prevent greenwashing.
- Greenwashing refers to making misleading claims about the positive environmental impact of an activity.