Mahadayi: Paying fee to witnesses normal practice, says state

Mahadayi: Paying fee to witnesses normal practice, says state

The Karnataka government on Wednesday defended paying fee to its witnesses to appear before the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal.

Reacting to Goa Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar's allegation that Karnataka is paying money to a witness to appear before the tribunal, member of Karnataka legal team Mohan Katarki said, "It is a normal practice in India as well as several other countries paying fee for witness. As per the norms, only Karnataka government took the service of Prof A K Gosain, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Delhi, to depose on its behalf and paid the fee."

Earlier, the Karnataka government had signed a tripartite agreement with IIT, Delhi and Gosain, Katarki said.

"As per the norms, paying the fee to the witness is allowed. This practice is valid not only in India even in several other countries. If required, we will inform this system to the tribunal as well," Katarki said.

Speaking to DH, Gosain also said that he had earlier deposed before the Supreme Court on behalf of Kerala government in Mullaperiyar reservoir dispute between Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

"As the Kerala Government signed an MoU with IIT Delhi, I took fee from the Kerala government for appearing for it in the court as a witness. Of the total fee paid by the Kerala government, 30 per cent goes to IIT Delhi, 30 per cent goes to income tax while I will get remaining 30 per cent," he said.

"I have already deposed as a witness before the tribunal on behalf of Karnataka and submitted a study report as well," he said.

In a series of tweets, Palyekar on Tuesday made accusations against Karnataka saying that it had paid fee to witness while Goa never paid such fee to its witnesses.

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