As state, TN differ on Cauvery 'scheme,' Centre plans plea in SC

As state, TN differ on Cauvery 'scheme,' Centre plans plea in SC

The Centre is likely to approach the Supreme Court seeking clarification on implementation of its verdict in the Cauvery water sharing dispute.

In view of differences between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on setting up the mechanism to implement the highest court order, the Union Ministry of Water Resources will file a petition in the apex court on Saturday (March 31), seeking its clarification on how to go about it, sources told DH.

The apex court, on February 16, directed the Centre to frame "a scheme" under Section 6A of the Inter State Water Disputes Act 1956 (Amended Act of 1980) for implementation of the modified Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT) final order.

In view of the Supreme Court order, the Water Resources Ministry prepared a Cabinet note and sent it for the law ministry's opinion. The ministry suggested that since the apex court had not explained what "the scheme" is, it is better to approach the highest court and seek its clarification to avoid future legal complications, sources said.

Though the issue of setting up "a scheme" was supposed to come up before the Union Cabinet for discussion on Wednesday, it was deferred following the opinion of the law ministry, sources said.

As the six-week deadline fixed by the apex court for setting up "a scheme" expires on March 29, the water resources ministry is likely to file a petition in the apex court on March 31. In the petition, the ministry will seek clarification on the scheme and also what it means for the two states, sources said.

It is learnt that Tamil Nadu may also file a contempt petition in the Supreme Court the same day, saying the Centre has not implemented the court order. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have differed on the structure of the scheme.

While Karnataka said the Centre should set up a Cauvery Decision Implementation Committee headed by the union water resources minister, Tamil Nadu demanded that the Cauvery Management Board should be formed as explained in the final order of the CWDT.