The Supreme Court Monday pulled up the government for denying accommodation to retired judges who are members of the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal to settle a dispute between Goa and Karnataka.
“You slip into deep slumber, and you want the court to wake you up. Why do you compel us to do something which we refrain from doing? God help you and God help this country,” the apex court bench of Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice Anil R. Dave told Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval.
The central government earlier told the court that the chairman and members of the tribunal were not entitled to government accommodation.
Raval said that the tribunal members could make their own arrangements and their house rents would be reimbursed.
“Do you expect the retired judges to roam on the streets of Delhi? If you don’t want tribunals to function, scrap the statutes which provide for the appointment of judges to tribunals,” said the court.
“As per rules, they are entitled to get accommodation. You can’t deny them accommodation when vacant bungalows are available,” the court said.
The court asked the government to place before it the list of vacant bungalows, so that it could take a final call.
The tribunal was setup in November 2010 to settle the water-sharing dispute between Goa and Karnataka.
Former judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court Vinay Mittal and former judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court P.S. Narayana were nominated to the tribunal.
The court directed the matter to be listed Oct 30.