Cauvery dispute: Apex court to deliver final verdict today

Cauvery dispute: Apex court to deliver final verdict today

Cauvery dispute: Apex court to deliver final verdict today

The Supreme Court will on Friday deliver its judgement on civil appeals filed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala against the final decision of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal 2007.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar would pronounce the judgement at 10.30 am on February 16 in the dispute that dates back to 1802.

The apex court has held 28 days of marathon hearing in the matter. The judgement would be the first-of-its-kind under the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956.

The court had on September 20, 2017, reserved the verdict after hearing the final arguments.

Karnataka's counsel, led by senior advocate Fali S Nariman, questioned the tribunal's decision of February 2, 2007, that relied upon the natural flow theory instead of equitable apportionment.

It also maintained that water distribution cannot be done on the basis of pre-constitution agreements relied upon by the tribunal which allocated just 270 tmcft to Karnataka.

They have challenged the validity of agreements made between the Maharaja of Mysore and Madras Presidency in 1891-92 and in 1924 on sharing the river water.

Advocates from Tamil Nadu, led by Shekhar Naphade, countered that these agreements were carried forward under the standstill agreements executed between the Maharaja of Mysore and the Dominion of India. It also demanded setting up of the Cauvery Management Board.

Karnataka has questioned allocation 192 tmcft of water per annum to Tamil Nadu.
It has also relied upon a seven-judge ruling by the Supreme Court that stated that after the reorganisation of states in 1956, every state is a federal unit with no concept of bigger or smaller state.

It has claimed that the tribunal did not take into account the distress formula and shortage of rain, and other factors like groundwater situation and crop water requirements.

Karnataka, however, has agreed to release 102 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu instead of 192 tmcft.

Tamil Nadu has sought the direction to implement the tribunal's decision.

The Centre, on its part, said it is for Parliament to finalise the scheme under the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956, for implementation of the tribunal's decision.

The central government set up the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal on June 2, 1990, based on a complaint filed by the Tamil Nadu government on July 6, 1986.

Out of the total 740 tmcft, Kerala and Pondicherry have got 30 and 7 tmcft, respectively.

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