Laws and Acts Current Affairs

Karnataka government to amend law for conducting kambala

The Karnataka government has decided to bring an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960 for conducting traditional sports of Kambala and bull-cart race in the State.

State Cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah approved amendments to the Act and announced that bill will be placed before both Houses of the State legislature.

Karnatak state government is going to follow the model of the Tamil Nadu government and bring changes to the PCA. The Bill passed by the legislature will require an assent from the President. 

Issue

The traditional sport along with bull-cart race was banned in the state by the Karnataka high court in November 2016 in an interim order while hearing a case filed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) citing animal cruelty. Earlier, the high court had stayed this event in view of the Supreme Court’s verdict on jallikattu, a traditional bull taming sport of Tamil Nadu.

What is Kambala?

Kambala is an annual traditional Buffalo Race (he-buffalo) held in coastal districts of Karnataka to entertain rural people of the area. Slushy/marshy paddy field track is used for Kambala. The sports season generally starts in November and lasts till March. The contest generally takes place between two pairs of buffaloes, each pair race in two seprate wet rice fields tracks, controlled by a whip-lashing farmer. In the traditional form of Kambala, buffalo racing is non-competitive and he-buffalo pairs run one by one in paddy fields. Besides, there is also ritualistic approach also as some agriculturists race their he-buffaloes for thanks giving to god for protecting their animals from diseases. But in recent times, Kambala has become an organised rural sport.

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Recommendations of Expert Committee for examining Specific Relief Act, 1963

The Expert Committee that was constituted to examine the Specific Relief Act, 1963 has submitted its report to Union Law and Justice Minister D. Sadananda Gowda.

The committee has suggested recommendations for modifications in the decades old law to ensure the ease of doing business in the country.

The recommendations have been made in the context of the various developments which have taken place since enactment of law in 1963. It also has taken into consideration of present changed scenario involving public private partnerships (PPP), contract-based infrastructure developments and other public projects, involving huge investments.

Key Recommendations

  • Making changes in the present provisions of the Act so that specific performance is granted as a general rule.
  • Suggested recommendations over the issue to grant compensation or damages for non-performance remained as an exception.
  • Provide guidelines for reducing the discretion granted to tribunals and courts while granting performance and injunctive reliefs.
  • Introduce provisions for rights of third parties (other than for contracts of Government) and consider addressing unfair contracts, unconscionable contracts, reciprocity in contracts etc.
  • Need to classify diverse public utility contracts as a distinct class by recognising the inherent public interest and the importance to be addressed in the parent Act.
  • Smooth functioning of Public works projects can be effectively managed through a monitoring system and regulatory mechanism.
  • Any public work must progress without interruption. The role of courts in this exercise is to interfere to the minimum extent so that projects of public works will not be stalled or impeded.

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