Hyderabad: The Supreme Court on Friday gave a reprieve to cockfight lovers when it relaxed its earlier order banning the sport completely.
The Chief Justice Dipak Mishra was hearing a petition challenging the order of the Hyderabad High Court directing the Andhra Pradesh government not to allow cockfights during Sankranti and seize the roosters.
A BJP leader Raghuramakrishnaraju moved the Supreme Court contending that as long as there was no violation of law, the court cannot intervene with traditions of people. He said cockfights were a part of the tradition of the coastal districts in Andhra Pradesh, and the High Court order for seizure of roosters was in violation of Article 13 of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court directed the authorities not to seize the roosters and asked the organizers not to tie sharp knives to the feet of the birds during cockfights.
The petitioner argued that roosters were reared by a few farmers as part of tradition and that following the High Court order, the police had seized roosters from every household which was against the rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
The Supreme Court in its order last year on a petition filed by the same person had said that the police and other officials need not seize roosters but could seize instruments like knife which are used in cockfights.
The apex court asked the petitioner to go to the High Court for the revised judgment.