SYL decree cannot be flouted: SC

 The Supreme Court on Wednesday made it clear that it does not want its decree passed in 2004 for constructing the Satluj-Yamuna link canal to be flouted.

“We will not allow the decree of the court to be flouted by anyone in any manner. How you do it is your headache,” a bench of Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy told the counsel representing the Centre, Punjab and Haryana.

The court made the observation even came as it issued notices to the Punjab government and the Centre, seeking their response to an application by Haryana for the implementation of the 2004 decree.

The issue involved completion of the canal work allocating 3.50 MAF (million acre feet) water to Haryana. The existing Bhakra Main Canal has the capacity of supplying only 1.62 MAF of water to Haryana.

The Centre, on the other hand, represented by Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, pointed out that the 2016 decision of the Constitution bench was made in advisory jurisdiction on the Presidential reference.

After the apex court’s order in 2004 for constructing the Satluj-Yamuna link canal, the Punjab Assembly passed the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, which received the governor’s assent in 2004 itself. It is still in the statute book, he said.

“Unless that act is set aside, nothing much can be done. The advisory jurisdiction does not take away the effect of the act,” Kumar said.

Advocate Jagdeep Dhankar, appearing for Haryana, urged the court to implement its “specific directions” by invoking Article 144 of the Constitution.

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