The Supreme Court on Friday constituted a Supervisory Committee with the Secretary, Union Ministry of Water Resources as its Chairman and chief secretaries of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Union Territory of Puducherry, as members as a pro-tem measure for implementing the Cauvery tribunal award.
A Bench, comprising Justices Lodha and Kurian Joseph, issued directions in this regard after briefly hearing the submissions of senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for Karnataka and Guru Krishna Kumar, Additional Advocate General of Tamil Nadu.
And, in case of any doubt or difficulty, the Chairman of the committee could seek directions of the apex court with notice to the three States and the Union Territory, Justice Lodha added.
Guru Krishna Kumar suggested the inclusion of one technical member in the supervisory committee and sought a time-frame for the constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Board.
To this, Additional Solicitor General Siddhartha Luthra told the Bench that a proposal in this regard has been sent by the Union Water Resources Ministry to the Union Law Ministry.
The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) Award was notified by the Central government on February 19, this year. It was on April 22 that the apex court had issued notice to the Centre, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry on an application filed by Tamil Nadu seeking directions from the apex court to the Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India to constitute the Cauvery Management Board.
Senior counsel C S Vaidyanarthan, appearing for Tamil Nadu had told the same bench that this has to be done as per the final order passed the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal dated February 5, 2007.
Tamil Nadu, in its application averred that the Central government had constituted the tribunal in June, 1990, following a mandamus issued by the apex court to adjudicate the disputes over sharing of Cauvery waters.
The tribunal had, in its final order, recommended for the constitution of the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee with the roles, functions, powers etc. Therefore, the Central government is mandated to constitute the Cauvery Management Board at the earliest, Tamil Nadu had pointed out.