Supreme Court approves draft Cauvery Management Scheme

The Supreme Court today approved the Centre’s draft Cauvery Management Scheme for smooth distribution of water among four southern riparian states.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra rejected the suggestions of Karnataka and Kerala governments over the scheme, terming them as devoid of merits.

The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s award, which was modified by the apex court, has to be taken to the logical conclusion by the Cauvery Management Scheme.

It also dismissed Tamil Nadu’s plea seeking initiation of contempt against the Centre for non-finalisation of Cauvery scheme.

Karnataka, which is facing political tug of war between BJP and Congress-JD (S) over government formation, had earlier made a failed bid to temporarily stall the finalisation of draft Cauvery management scheme.

The top court had made it clear that it would see that the draft scheme is “in consonance with its judgement only.”

Earlier, the bench had red-flagged the provision empowering the Centre to issue the directions, saying “this part (power of Centre to issue directions) of the scheme is not in consonance with the judgement. We make it clear to you”.

The observation was made after the Centre had submitted the draft Cauvery management scheme in the court for its approval.

The apex court, in its verdict delivered on February 16, had asked the Centre to frame the Cauvery management scheme, including creation of the Cauvery Managament Board, for release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

The scheme, once finalised, would deal with the issue of water share of the four states in different circumstances like normal and deficient water years in the Cauvery river basin.

The top court had modified the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) award of 2007 and made it clear that it will not be extending time for this on any ground.

It had raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu’s share, while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin, saying the issue of drinking water has to be placed on a “higher pedestal”.

Supreme Court asks Water Resources Secy to bring draft Cauvery management scheme

The Supreme Court today directed the Secretary of the Union Water Resources Ministry to personally appear before it on May 14 with a draft of the Cauvery management scheme for implementation of its verdict on water sharing between four states including Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra told the Centre that once the judgment has been delivered on the issue, it has to be implemented.

“We do not want to come back to square one. Once the judgment has been delivered, it has to be implemented,” the bench also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said.

Attorney General K K Venugopal said the Centre was seeking time in view of the fact that the Union Cabinet has not met due to the ongoing campaigning for the assembly polls in Karnataka.

Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade , appearing for Tamil Nadu, opposed the plea and said “this is the fit case for contempt. Somebody has to be sent to jail”.

The bench then fixed the matter for further hearing in May 14.

The apex court had earlier asked the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its judgement on the decades-old Cauvery dispute.

It had modified the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) award of 2007 and made it clear that it will not be extending time for this on any ground.

The top court had on February 16 raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu’s share, while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin, saying the issue of drinking water has to be placed on a “higher pedestal”.

High Court asks cricket body if it will seek extra water for IPL pitches, ground

The Bombay High Court today sought to know from the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) if it would seek additional water supply from the Pune civic body for ground and pitch maintenance for six IPL matches shifted to that city from Chennai.

The MCA stadium at Gahunje in Pune will host the remaining six ‘home’ matches of IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) after these were shifted from the southern city following protests over the Cauvery water-sharing issue in the Tamil Nadu capital.

A division bench of justices A S Oka and Riyaz Chagla sought the MCA response while hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO Loksatta Movement in 2016.

Opposing holding of IPL matches in Maharashtra, the NGO had raised concerns over water usage for ground management at a time when the state was reeling under drought.

The bench was today informed by the petitioner’s lawyer that while originally 11 matches were to be played in Maharashtra during the ongoing IPL, six games, which were to be played in Chennai, have now been shifted to Pune.

The lawyer argued that the Pune city and rural areas of the district were already facing water shortage.

The judges then sought to know from the MCA, which manages the stadium, if it would be seeking more water than what is being already supplied to it by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

Last week, the high court had posed the same query to the Mumbai Cricket Association, which manages the Wankhede stadium, another IPL venue.

The court had asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) if it would supply additional water to the stadium in South Mumbai.

The BMC today filed an affidavit, saying no special water supply would be given to the stadium.

The court posted the petition for further hearing on April 18.

The M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai was the home ground of the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK. The IPL franchise played its first home match on April 10 against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Political parties and other groups in Tamil Nadu had demanded that all the IPL matches scheduled in Chennai be cancelled till the Centre forms the Cauvery Water Management Board. They held protests in support of their demand.

The Supreme Court had on February 16 pronounced its verdict on the Cauvery dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

“The matches had to be shifted out of Chennai as police had said that they were unable to provide security in the prevailing situation” IPL Chairman Rajv Shukla had said on April 12.

Cauvery: SC asks K’taka to release 2000 cusecs of water to TN

Cauvery: SC asks K'taka to release 2000 cusecs of water to TN
Cauvery: SC asks K’taka to release 2000 cusecs of water to TN

The Supreme Court today retained its direction to Karnataka to release 2000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu till further orders and asked the two governments to ensure peace and harmony, saying citizens should not become law unto themselves.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, which commenced the crucial hearing on various issues arising out of the dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over sharing of Cauvery waters, said it first intended to adjudicate the issue of maintainability of appeals filed by both the states and Kerala against the tribunal’s 2013 award.

“We intend to first adjudicate issue of maintainability of appeals filed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. At this juncture, the interim order dated October 4 directing Karnataka to release 2000 cusecs of water per day to Tamil Nadu will continue till further orders,” the bench also comprising Justices Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar said.

The bench said “morality of respect for both the states, among people of both the states and properties, should be maintained”.

The court also noted the submission of Karnataka that it has complied with the earlier order of releasing 2000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu.

Both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu said they were in dire need of water, which was even supported by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.

During the hearing, Rohatgi submitted that the apex court-appointed Supervisory Committee, formed to inspect Cauvery basin to assess the ground realities in the region, has submitted its report.

The bench said it would first go into the issue of maintainability of appeals filed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry against the award of tribunal and then hear the arguments on the report filed by the committee.

The Attorney General said the appeals filed by the states were not maintainable as per article 131 and 262 of the Constitution and the provisions of Inter-state River Water Disputes Act, 1956.

He said as per the constitutional provisions, a decree passed by a tribunal will be like a decree of Supreme Court which cannot hear the appeals against its own order.

Senior advocate and noted jurist Fali S Nariman, appearing for Karnataka, said the appeals are maintainable as Supreme Court can only adjudicate the disputes between two states.

( Source – PTI )

Cauvery: Karnataka moves SC seeking urgent hearing

Cauvery: Karnataka moves SC seeking urgent hearing
Cauvery: Karnataka moves SC seeking urgent hearing

Karnataka has moved the Supreme Court for urgent hearing on its plea seeking a direction to restrict the quantum of water to be released from River Cauvery to Tamil Nadu, from 15,000 cusecs to 1,000 cusecs.

The application filed late last evening has also sought modification of the apex court’s Sep 5 order in which it directed release of 15,000 cusecs of water for 10 days as an immediate relief to Tamil Nadu farmers.

Karnataka’s decision to move the Supreme Court comes even as the Cauvery Supervisory Committee is meeting here tomorrow to decide on the quantum of the river’s water to be released to Tamil Nadu and other states.

The application has sought that instead of 10 days, the apex court should restrict the flow of water only for 6 days as the state itself was facing distress situation in view of massive agitation and loss of Rs 500 crore per day.

When contacted, advocate V N Raghupathy said, “We are trying to get the matter listed for an urgent hearing.”

The early listing of the matter is important as the courts are closed for the next 2 days on account of holiday.

In the application, Karnataka has stated that there has been huge public pressure and the state police, with great difficulty, have been able to prevent attempts to damage public property.

“Even the minimum arrangement mentioned by your lordships has caused distress and havoc in the entire southern part of Karnataka, paralysing civil life. The agitation of farmers has been that their dry crop is equalled with that of the farmers in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu’s need for the rice crop consumes more than twice the water which is needed for light crops in Karnataka” the application said.

The application has stated that people, particularly farmers in the districts of Mysuru, Hassan, Mandya and Bengaluru, have been squatting on the roads and streets, affecting the IT industry in Bengaluru which earns revenue as income tax, service tax, and foreign exchange of USD 60 billion to the country.

The application has also referred to inputs from security agencies that said if the flow of water is allowed to continue further, the situation may go out of hand.

The application is likely to be placed before Chief Justice T S Thakur, who is likely to take a call on it and if it all an urgent hearing is required, it will be assigned before a bench, which on September 5 had passed some interim directions.

In an interim

order on September 5, the court directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu for the next 10 days to ameliorate plight of the farmers there.

The apex court also directed Tamil Nadu to approach the Supervisory Committee, set up to implement award of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT), within three days for the release of Cauvery water as per the final order of the Tribunal.

( Source – PTI )