NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Karnataka to release at least 2 tmc of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu or "face serious consequences."
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra slated the next hearing for Tuesday on the plea filed by Tamil Nadu for framing of scheme for releasing Cauvery water as per the judgment.
The court also directed the Centre to file an affidavit by Tuesday stating the steps taken to frame the scheme.
Attorney general K K Venugopal told the court that the scheme has to be approved by the Cabinet which could not meet because of non-availability of PM, who after returning from his foreign visits is busy with campaigning for the upcoming Karnataka elections.
This prompted CJI to ask AG, “Weren't you supposed to frame the Cauvery draft scheme by May 3?”
AG requested the court to postpone the hearing on this issue to after May 12, the date for Karnataka assembly elections.
Objecting to this, Tamil Nadu counsel Shekhar Naphade blamed the Centre of playing politics over Cauvery water and said, “Not a day more sir. You made a statement that everything is ready. Do we not believe it now? Apart from the summer temperature, the temperature over Cauvery water is rising in the state.”
“What do we tell the people of Tamil Nadu as no scheme is framed even after two months of SC judgment on Cauvery water sharing? There is no drinking water. This is completely against the federal structure.” he questioned.
Last month, the apex court had asked the Centre to frame a draft scheme by May 3 for the implementation of the judgment on the distribution of Cauvery water between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.
The apex 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.