NEW DELHI: Headed by former Supreme Court judge Balbir Singh Chauhan, the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) will meet on July 15 to take up Clarificatory Petitions filed by states party to the Cauvery water dispute against the final award of the tribunal given in February 2007.
The meeting comes after a gap of seven years as no hearing has taken place since February 2007. With the tribunal’s former chairman Justice N P Singh resigning in 2012 citing ill-health, the previous UPA government appointed Justice Chauhan to the post in May this year.
The Ministry of Water Resources issued a notification asking representatives of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry to appear before the tribunal on July 15. The meeting comes after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa demanded that the Narendra Modi-led NDA government set up the Cauvery Management Board to implement a water distribution plan as per a 2007 order of the CWDT.
However, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah met the Prime Minister last month asking him not to set up the board since the matter is pending in the SC. Jayalalithaa had also urged former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to appoint a new chairman to the tribunal pointing out that the Civil Miscellaneous Petition filed by Tamil Nadu was pending before the tribunal. The petition prayed for early disposal of pending applications.
Jayalalithaa pointed out that under the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, the tribunal cannot function with two members and its proceedings can only be continued if a new chairman is appointed. After many reminders from the Chief Minister, the Central government last year notified the final award of the tribunal on February 19, 2013, making it binding on Karnataka.