1The Madras High Court on Friday dismissed a PIL seeking enactment of a special law with conditions by the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government for holding jallikattu, saying it cannot issue such a direction.

“The court cannot issue such a direction,” the bench, comprising Chief Justice S K Kaul and Justice M Sundar said while hearing a petition by K K Ramesh, Managing Trustee of Tamil Nadu Centre for Public Interest Litigation.

On a plea by advocate R Krishnamurthy for action against “illegal” gathering of a large number of people on the Marina beach in Chennai in support of jallikattu, the Bench said it is an administrative matter.

“It is a matter of administration…, approach the government,” it said.

Ramesh, in his PIL, submitted that jallikattu is a “bull-hugging” sport played in Tamil Nadu as part of Pongal festivities and is an old practice. Though it looked similar to Spanish bull-fighting, it was different in Tamil Nadu as the bull is not killed, he said.

The petitioner claimed many people had been killed in jallikattu events over the past few years, but not a single bull had died or been harassed, proof of which was there in government records itself.

Ramesh submitted that the sport was held in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh during Sankranthi with even the Chief Minister and his family in attendance.

Referring to the ongoing agitation across Tamil Nadu opposing the ban, he contended that students have organised meetings and taken out processions, demanding lifting of the ban and that it was the bounden duty of the central and state governments to bring forward a special law.

He said that the ban had resulted in a steep decrease in the number of particular breeds of bulls in Tamil Nadu.

Ramesh said he was forced to move the court as his January 16 representation in this regard to the state and central governments had not elicited any response.