Apex court refuses to hear TN plea on Cauvery board

Apex court refuses to hear TN plea on Cauvery board

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear Tamil Nadu’s plea seeking direction to the Centre to set up a Cauvery water management board.

A two-judge bench presided over by Justice R M Lodha did not entertain the request put forth by senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for Tamil Nadu. The bench said the decision should be left to the discretion of the Centre.

In his argument, Vaidyanathan submitted that since the Centre had already notified the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal’s decision, it should now be directed to constitute the board.
The bench, also comprising Justice J Chelameswar, decided against taking any action on a contempt plea filed by Tamil Nadu against Karnataka Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar, saying that the petition “does not survive as the upper riparian state had released 2.44 tmc feet of Cauvery water.”

The court noted that Karnataka had complied with the February 7 order on release of water based on recommendations by an expert panel of the Central Water Commission.

The court also disposed of other interlocutory applications and decided to hear the main civil appeal, filed by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, challenging the tribunal’s decision passed on February 5, 2007.

The court fixed the civil appeal for hearing on August 6 on a request made by senior advocate Fali S Nariman, representing Karnataka. Meanwhile, advocate Wasim A Quadri, appearing for the Centre, told the court that the Union government had notified the tribunal’s final decision on February 19 and published it in the gazette as well.

The tribunal, set up on June 2, 1990, to chalk out a water-sharing formula between the sparring states, made an annual allocation of 419 tmc ft to Tamil Nadu in the entire Cauvery basin area, 270 tmc ft to Karnataka, 30 tmc ft to Kerala and 7 tmc ft to Puducherry.

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