NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on a batch of cross petitions filed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry challenging the 2007 Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal award. This comes after 10 years of hearing.A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, reserved its order and asked the parties to submit written submissions on various aspects of the issue that had emerged during the course of the hearing.
However, during the course of the hearing, the court made it clear that the Centre will have to frame a scheme for the implementation of its orders on river water sharing between these states and Puducherry after the judgment is pronounced.The bench also advised the parties concerned to submit their written submissions answering the question of law by Karnataka, opposition to the proposition of question of law by Tamil Nadu, significant aspects of the 2007 award and the principles invoked by the tribunal, the genesis of the issues and other dimensions.
The litigation between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka started at the apex court after the CWDT in 2007 finalised the water sharing formula.The award had come on February 5, 2007, and was gazetted by the Central government on February 19, 2013. Besides deciding on the sharing of water, the tribunal had recommended setting up a Cauvery Water Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee.
During the hearing, Karnataka told the bench that the 1924 agreement between the then British province of Madras and the princely state of Mysore could not be the basis of sharing of Cauvery river water between present-day Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu contended that the tribunal’s award was erroneous as it allocated 192,000 million cubic feet of water taking into account the cultivation of just one crop as against the prevailing two-crop cultivation in the state, and sought setting up of a mechanism for the award’s implementation that includes the Cauvery Water Management Board.
Seeking more water than what was allocated by the Tribunal, Tamil Nadu said in the absence of the Cauvery Water Management Board, it had not got its allocated share of water.On Tuesday, Tamil Nadu told the bench that they don’t trust the Centre as far as Cauvery is concerned as they took six years to publish the CWDT award in the gazette and haven’t even constituted the management board.