Free Press Journal

SC rejects K’taka’s plea against finalisation of mgmt Cauvery scheme


 New Delhi : Karnataka, which is facing political uncertainty, on Wednesday made a failed bid to temporarily stall the finalisation of draft Cauvery management scheme, telling the Supreme Court that it could not give any suggestion as the process of government formation was on in the state.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also asked the Centre, represented by Attorney General K K Venugopal, to “rectify” and “modify” certain provision of the draft scheme that authorises the Centre to issue directions “from time to time” on Cauvery water distribution between the four southern riparian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

The bench made it clear that the provision empowering the Centre to issue directions was “not in consonance with the judgement”.

The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, rejected Karnataka’s submission that the draft scheme be finalised in the first week of July so that it will have the assistance and instructions from the elected government, reports PTI.

“Neither of the four states has any role in framing of the scheme. We had asked the Centre to formulate the draft scheme,” the top court said.

It then took note of the submission of Tamil Nadu government, highlighting certain provisions of the draft scheme including that the Centre was keeping the power to issue directions from time to time.

“All that they (committee or authority) have to see the availability of water. The Centre is creating some room for further adjudication. This is the worry. I am in the hands of the Lordships,” senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, said.

To this, the bench said “this part (power of Centre to issue directions) is not in consonance with the judgement. We make it clear to you (Centre).”

It then asked the Centre to modify the provision of the scheme and submit them for approval on Thursday, while making it clear that the scheme has to ensure compliance of its February 16 judgement only.

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