SC refuses to pass order on K'taka's plea in Mahadayi case

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to pass any order on Karnataka’s plea for diversion of 7 tmcft of water from the Mahadayi basin to Malaprabha basin on the ground that the river water going to sea was wastage. A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice D Y Chandrachud, however, granted permission to Karnataka to approach afresh the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal for relief.

The state, represented by senior advocate F S Nariman, challenged the tribunal's order of July 28, which had declined to pass any interim order for diversion of water.
The counsel submitted that Maharashtra, the other party to the dispute of sharing Mahadayi river, has supported Karnataka. The state was not even taking away any share of Goa's water, he said.

The bench, however, said, “The order (by tribunal) was passed in the absence of proper data. Details are required as the tribunal is not satisfied as to what is the requirement of water for the state.” “You can get an order from the tribunal by furnishing sufficient data,” the bench told Nariman, asking him to withdraw his petition.

The counsel, for his part, submitted that the state was losing water which could not be compensated due to delay in adjudicating the matter by the tribunal. However, he preferred to withdraw the petition after the apex court said Karnataka can make all its contentions before the tribunal.

Reacting to the development, Karnataka's lawyers said this was “the best order” that one could have obtained from the apex court against an interim order. The tribunal, which rejected Karnataka’s interim plea seeking diversion of 7 tmcft of water from Mahadayi basin to Malaprabha basin, had said it cannot subscribe to Karnataka’s arguments that river water going to sea is wastage.

The tribunal had also concluded that Karnataka has failed to establish that the surplus water was available at the three points from which the water was sought to be transferred to Malaprabha basin.

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