Cauvery water water row: SC dismisses Narendra Modi govt stand, upholds maintainability of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala appeals

By: | Published: December 10, 2016 6:19 AM

Dismissing the Narendra Modi government’s stand, the Supreme Court on Friday said it is within its jurisdiction to hear the appeals against the Cauvery tribunal award involving Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

The bench said that its interim order directing Karnataka to release 2,000 cusecs of water everyday to Tamil Nadu will continue till further orders(PTI Image)The bench said that its interim order directing Karnataka to release 2,000 cusecs of water everyday to Tamil Nadu will continue till further orders(PTI Image)

Dismissing the Narendra Modi government’s stand, the Supreme Court on Friday said it is within its jurisdiction to hear the appeals against the Cauvery tribunal award involving Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

All the three states had filed appeals in 2007 against the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s award, which was notified by the government in 2013. The tribunal in its final award had determined the usable quantum of water of the Cauvery at 740 tmcft. Karnataka is entitled to 270 tmcft, Tamil Nadu 419 tmcft, Kerala 30 tmcft, Puducherry 7 tmcft, and 14 tmcft is meant for environmental purposes, the tribunal had said.

While upholding the maintainability of the appeals on the sharing of Cauvery river water, a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said: “Appeals are maintainable, will be heard from December 15.”

It also said that its interim order of October 18, directing Karnataka to release 2,000 cusecs of Cauvery water everyday to Tamil Nadu, will continue till further orders.

The Centre, through attorney-general Mukul Rohatgi, had raised a preliminary objection claiming that the CWDT award amounted to a final decree in the dispute and the apex court had no jurisdiction to hear appeals against the award of the tribunal. Puducherry had supported the stand of the Centre.

The Centre had argued that the parliamentary law of Inter-State Water Disputes Act of 1956, coupled with Article 262 (2) of the Indian Constitution, excluded the Supreme Court from hearing or deciding any appeals against the Cauvery Tribunal’s decision. He argued that it was left to the government to frame a scheme for implementation of the tribunal award, and the scheme, once prepared, would be placed before both Houses of the Parliament for approval.

But the states had contended that their appeals were maintainable, saying the Supreme Court had the jurisdiction to adjudicate the appeals filed by the state against the award of tribunal and that no statute can take away the appellate powers of the apex court under Article 136 of the Constitution.

Karnataka had contested the final verdict of the disputes tribunal, arguing a major share of the water will go to Tamil Nadu, leaving almost six Karnataka districts without enough water for drinking and farming.

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