A Supreme Court judge Justice P C Ghose who is set to retire on May 27 today expressed regret for not being able to render judgement in the decades-old contentious Satluj-Yamuna Link canal dispute between Punjab and Haryana.
“When we started hearing this matter in November last, we were eager to deliver the verdict and settle the issue but due to deferment and adjournments in the matter, it could not be done,” Justice Ghose who headed the bench also comprising Justice Amitava Roy said.
Justice Ghose, who will be superannuating during the summer vacation, said that from today the court had only eight working days before vacation and it has to hear Punjab and other parties before, it could render the verdict.
“It is very difficult to do. We do not have much time.
There were adjournment and deferments in the matter. The matter should not be pending for that long but then Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi has come and told us that there are possibilities of settlement of dispute by talks,” he told when senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for Haryana, urged the bench for a verdict.
Divan said the matter has been pending before the court since November and what they wanted was the execution of two decrees passed by the apex court.
“We understand the pressure on the bench but the matter has already been argued at length. We have been anxiously waiting for the court to deliver its verdict. This is for execution of the two decrees already passed by the court,” he said.
The bench said if the matter is not settled, then the apex court will proceed and decide the issue at hand.
“I will not be there, but my brother judge (Justice Roy) will be here to hear the matter and he will decide,” Justice Ghose, whose bench heard the the plea of Haryana for execution of two decrees of apex court on SYL canal issue, said.
The bench said Haryana should also consider the ground situation on other side (Punjab) which needed to be heard before rendering the judgement.
“We have no issues if the matter is settled but there is a decree of this court and it should be taken into account during the talks,” the bench said and posted the matter for further hearing on July 11.
It said the “dignity of this court and dignity of decree needs to be respected. We don’t wish to say anything further on the talks”.
( Source – PTI )