Even after the notification of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal’s (CWDT) final award by February 20 as ordered by the Supreme Court, the legal battle over sharing the river’s water will continue, both in the Supreme Court as well as the Tribunal.
The apex court on Monday, while directing the Centre to notify the final award, clearly stated, “Needless to say that publication of the final decision of the CWDT in official gazette shall be without prejudice to the pending proceedings.”
This means, the Supreme Court and the tribunal will continue to hear the pending petitions filed by aggrieved parties, sources said.
Questioning the tribunal’s final award delivered in 2007, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have filed an appeal before the Supreme Court expressing unhappiness over the allocation of water. Even the Ministry of Water Resources has petitioned the tribunal seeking clarifications. Though the Tribunal is not sitting, it will continue to exist till the disposal of these petitions, it is said.
As the Supreme Court continues to hear the petitions, Karnataka still has the opportunity to air its grievances and try to get more water than the 270 tmc feet allocated by the Tribunal in its final award, an advocate appearing on behalf of the State told Deccan Herald.
Section 6 of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956, mandates the Centre to publish the decision of the tribunal in the official gazette. After the notification, future sharing of water between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu will be based on the final award.
Now, the sharing of water is based on the interim award, sources in the Ministry of Water Resources said.
The tribunal was constituted on June 2, 1990, and it pronounced the interim award on June 25, 1991. Its final award came on February 5, 2007, after holding sittings for over 500 days spread over 17 years. The Supreme Court, after a lapse of six years, directed the Ministry of Water Resources to notify it.
DMK-AIADMK fight for credit
Arch rivals DMK and ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday verbally jousted in taking credit for the Supreme Court’s directive to the Central Government to notify the Cauvery Tribunal’s final award in the gazette by February 20, even as most political parties complimented Chief Minister J Jayalalitha for her “sustained efforts”.