The Centre has been asked by the Centre to play a pro-active role for expeditious resolution of various inter-state disputes including those on river water.
A bench of justices R S Lodha and A K Dave said the Centre must provide accommodation and other facilities to the tribunal and its members adjudicating such disputes for their effective functioning.
“In federal structure, the Centre must play pro-active role to ensure that such disputes are resolved as quickly as possible,” the bench said while expressing displeasure that the Centre failed to provide accommodation to the chairman of Mhadei river water dispute tribunal.
It asked the Centre to provide him accommodation in a week.
“We would be glad if the procedure of law is followed by the government. But the government breaches the law more than it follows. We intervene only when due process of law is not followed,” the bench said, noting that the members of other tribunals too have not been given accommodation.
“These matters should not reach the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court cannot have the luxury to deal with such cases when other more important matters are to be heard. But we cannot let the tribunal remain non-functional because of the lack of accommodation,” the bench said.
Attorney General G E Vahanvati submitted that the Ministry of Water Resources has prepared a note on providing accommodations and it would soon be placed before the Cabinet.
The bench, however, was not satisfied and refused to take the note on record.
“We are not concerned with your internal business. We do not have to record how you conduct your business. We respect your business and you also respect ours,” the bench said.
The Mhadei Water Disputes Tribunal was constitutes by the Centre in November 2010 to adjudicate the dispute between Goa and Karnataka over diversion of water from the Mhadei basin.