K'taka traces historical background of dispute

Karnataka on Tuesday traced before the Supreme Court the historical background of its dispute with Tamil Nadu on sharing of Cauvery river water, saying the differences between Mysore and Madras started in 1807 over restoration of the tanks.

Senior advocate Fali Nariman encapsulated before the bench the events from 1799- fall of Tipu Sultan leading to subsidiary alliance treaty between East India Company and Wadiyar family restoring the ‘Gaddi’ of Mysore to the family under the British Paramountcy till 1956 when the new state of Mysore, now called Karnataka was formed under the Re-organisation of States Act of 1956.

Nariman pointed out how the 1924 agreement was arrived at giving huge junk of 80% of the flows to Madras for protection of so called prescriptive rights based on natural flow theory. He, however, submitted the agreements of 1892 and 1924 were expressly terminated by the British Parliament under Section 7(1) of the Indian Independence Act, 1947.

According to Tamil Nadu, these agreements were carried forward under the standstill agreements executed between the Maharaja of Mysore and Dominion of India, Nariman said, adding the case of Karnataka in the standstill agreement did not cover paramountcy functions.

On hearing Nariman’s plea, the bench asked Tamil Nadu’s counsel Shekhar Naphade, “How are these agreements enforceable?” Naphade said it was not necessary for the Tribunal to get into the validity of the agreements.
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