The Supreme Court on Tuesday commenced final hearing on the appeals filed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala against the 2007 award of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT) on sharing of water. The final hearing before a three-judge bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar began with the submissions of senior advocate Fali S Nariman, appearing for Karnataka.
The apex court had on March 21 fixed the matter for Tuesday for hearing final arguments. Tamil Nadu had earlier alleged that Kerala was drawing water in excess of what has been allocated to it by the tribunal.
It had said the check dams were built by Kerala across the Bhavani river, a tributary of Cauvery, for its irrigation project. This will affect the flow of water to Tamil Nadu with its western part facing shortages for irrigation and meeting drinking water requirements, it had said.
The allegations were denied by counsel for Kerala who had said the state was not using the Cauvery water to build the dam or the irrigation project. Kerala had said that the height of dam will be at the optimum level and not hinder the flow of water from the river.
The apex court had on December 9 last year upheld the maintainability of appeals filed by the riparian states saying it has the “jurisdiction to decide the parameters, scope, authority and jurisdiction of the tribunal”.
The Court had rejected the Centre’s objection that the CWDT award amounted to a final decree and it had no jurisdiction to hear the appeals against the award.