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SC refuses to issue directions on CMC's order

New Delhi, Dec 10, 2012, DHNS 1:13 IST

Judges ask Karnataka to comply with order

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The Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider Tamil Nadu’s plea contending that the 12 tmcft of water that the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) has ordered Karnataka to release was insufficient even as it ruled that Karnataka must comply with the order.

A bench of Justices D K Jain and Madan B Lokur, however, noted that the CMC’s December 7 order is subject to appropriate legal remedy to which Karnataka submitted that it would challenge the order before the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) headed by the Prime Minister.

“It seems that both states are not satisfied with the directions issued by the CMC. Without commenting on the directions, we leave it to the parties to work out in accordance with the law. Subject to appropriate remedy, the state (Karnataka) shall comply with the directions,” the bench said.

Additional Solicitor General H P Raval submitted that the Centre is ready to notify the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal’s (CWDT) final decision announced on February 5, 2007.
He was responding to the court’s question as to when the government would notify the CWDT’s decision to resolve the controversial issue of water sharing between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.

Senior advocate C S Vaidynathan, appearing for Tamil Nadu, said the CMC had ignored “factual” aspects of the state’s water requirements for its standing samba crop. “Both states have shortage, let’s equalise the available water as per the need,” he said.

Representing Karnataka, senior advocate Anil Divan said Tamil Nadu’s plea could not be allowed and they should challenge the order before the Cauvery River Authority.

Remedy

“We should not comment on the CMC’s order. The report of the CMC is not binding on us, it is a different issue. Karnataka is also aggrieved (with the order), they have to work out their remedy,” the bench said.

Vaidynathan insisted that the CMC had ignored the state’s need. The court told him: “You file an affidavit or whatever you wish to…we will consider it.”

To this, Vaidyanathan submitted that the court should issue direction to Karnataka to comply with the direction given by the CMC immediately.

His contention was strongly objected to by Divan. However, the court said both states could take legal recourse and posted the matter for further hearing for January 4.

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