Can’t be asked to set up Cauvery Board, Centre tells SC

The Centre on Monday told Supreme Court that it cannot be directed to set up the Cauvery Water Management Board (CWMB), but was setting up a technical panel to assess the ground realities to defuse the wrangle between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:October 3, 2016 8:52 pm
Cauvery water row, Cauvery water, Cauvery river, Cauvery water karnataka, Cauvery water tamil nadu, karnataka news, india news Supreme Court. (File Photo)

Taking a call on the Cauvery water dispute for the first time, the Centre today told Supreme Court that it cannot be directed to set up the Cauvery Water Management Board (CWMB), but was setting up a technical panel to assess the ground realities to defuse the wrangle between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

As the apex court ordered the Karnataka government to apprise it by tomorrow afternoon whether it has released water to Tamil Nadu as per its directions of September 30, the Centre urged it to review or recall the order asking it to set up the CWMB on the ground that the issue fell under the domain of the legislature.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who mentioned the Centre’s application before a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, brought to the notice of the bench that it should not have asked it to set up the CWMB as the main civil appeal on the issue was still pending and it was not a party before the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal which had sought the establishment of the CWMB.

“Since the central government was not a party to the proceedings before the Tribunal, it did not have opportunity to submit to the Tribunal that the Tribunal will not have any power of recommending to create a Board as suggested. Setting up of a Board is part of legislative exercise…

“It is submitted that constitution of a Board as suggested by the Tribunal and ordered by this Court on September 20 is not contemplated by the statute. By setting up of a Board of this nature, the Central Government is denuded of its power under the Act of 1956 to frame a scheme based on an award which goes through a legislative process by placing thereof before the Parliament and the final say is vested in the Parliament,” the government said in its plea.

The petition contends that the Centre is conscious that the “sanctity” of the court orders must be upheld besides “dignity and majesty” of the judicial system.

“In order to make another attempt to defuse the matter and find an amicable solution, the central government proposes setting up of a High Power Technical Team.

“The composition of High Power panel would be G S Jha, Chairman/Member of Central Water Commission (CWC), (who would be the chairman of the said team), Syed Masood Hussain, member of CWC, R K Gupta Chief Engineer, CWC and such other experts as decided by Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources in consultation with the Chairman, CWC to proceed immediately to the site so that an inspection of the entire basin is done for assessing the ground realities and prepare a report forthwith for being placed before this court,” it said.

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  1. R
    Rayman
    Oct 3, 2016 at 11:25 pm
    Katcha theevu was ceded with the consent of parliament and TN state embly. Get back Katcha theevu Tamil Nadu. Modi days are numbered. He is the most irrational and erratic PM of India. I hope Mamta Bannerji would become the next Prime Minister. I had great respect for Modi, but now he has proven that he is a cheap politician.
    Reply
    1. K
      Kannan Kandasamy
      Oct 3, 2016 at 3:54 pm
      Why another panel to ess the situation? Is Central Govt started ditching tamilnadu farmers?
      Reply
      1. M
        M RAMANAN
        Oct 3, 2016 at 4:35 pm
        Focussing to the forthcoming embly election in karnataka our bjp government would have taken this decision.. in karnataka not a single party is to obey SC rule but every one is willing to ( earn votes) by projecting themselves Guards of farmers of their own state. Till yesterday they were adamant of anti releasing..opposing to release a single drop of water. In over night they have changed their stand to release 3000 cusecs of water. Why this sudden Twist ? If they are really heros they should have resigned from power till the end they Should disallow releasing water. Atleast they should have won peoples sympathy..now they have shown is power is most important and moral responsibility is secondary.
        Reply
        1. S
          saravanan
          Oct 3, 2016 at 4:33 pm
          BJP wants vote at any cost. They have nothing to loose in TN.
          Reply
          1. S
            Sarvjit
            Oct 3, 2016 at 4:13 pm
            SC has decided and the same should be obe. Review if its earlier order can always take place. Open defiance in a Republic does not behold good for the country in future. Majesty of Law ought to be upheld or both parties should have come to a mutual acceptable solution. Now the ball is in SC yard....Ostritch like atude will not solve the water crisis
            Reply
            1. C
              Chandrasekaran Venkataraman
              Oct 3, 2016 at 4:29 pm
              It is surprising that such an about-turn stand has been taken by the Centre before the Supreme Court under the Union Law Minister Mr.Ravi Shankar Prasad. If the AG had acted without authority during the previous hearing, he should put in his papers.
              Reply
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