The Karnataka government today decided to obey the Supreme Court’s modified order which asked it to release 12,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu till September 20, though it said “this order is the most difficult to follow”.
The state government also said those indulging in violence during protests against release of water will be dealt with “iron-hands”.
After an emergency Cabinet meeting to decide how to implement the apex court direction and deal with the violence over release of water, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, yesterday’s Court order was the “most difficult” to follow, but it could not be disobeyed or rejected as it would be against the Constitution.
“This order is the most difficult to follow. But when we are functioning within the framework of the Constitution, though it is a difficult order, as a constitutionally formed government it is difficult to violate or reject the Supreme Court order. It will be a violation of the Constitution,” he told reporters here.
He said the Cabinet had a detailed discussion and after weighing the pros and cons “constitutionally, legally and politically” and keeping in mind the main Special Leave Petition challenging the Cauvery tribunal’s final award coming up on October 18, it was decided to obey the court’s order.
He said the first order passed on September 5 itself was difficult and yesterday’s was “most difficult” to follow.
“But we have accepted the federal set up and that the legislature, executive and judiciary should function in way complementary to one another,” he said.
He stressed that both September 5 and 12 orders were interim orders of the Apex Court.
In its September 5 order, the court had directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water for 10 days to Tamil Nadu to ameliorate the plight of farmers there, which had triggered strong protests from farmers and pro-Kannada outfits.
Karnataka bandh was observed against it on September 9.
“I had written to the Prime Minister, seeking his intervention. Today our Chief Secretary contacted the Prime Minister’s Office seeking his appointment immediately. Most probably, we will get it for tomorrow,” Siddaramaiah said.
“I will be meeting him seeking his intervention, because law and order in this will have a bearing not only on Karnataka, but also Tamil Nadu because of movement of people.”
“I will request him to call Chief Ministers of both the states to decide on this issue,” he said.
Siddaramaiah warned of dealing violence with an “iron hand” in the wake of widespread untoward incidents that rocked Bengaluru.
“We have decided to take stringent steps to ensure that law and order is not disturbed because of this decision. No one should take law into hands and destroy public property.
“We have taken a decision to deal law and order with iron hand and to restore normalcy,” he said.