KOCHI: As Mullaperiyar dam decommissioning campaign is gaining momentum, Kerala has spent over Rs 6 crore for cases related to it at the Supreme Court from April 2009 to August 2021. Of this, over Rs 5 crore was for hiring lawyers to appear for the state. An RTI reply from the Irrigation Design and Research Board (IDRB) chief engineer’s office revealed this. The RTI query was filed by social activist Raju Vazhakal.
It was since April 2009 the case-related expenses were met by IDRB. “The data was collected since there have been frequent cases between Kerala and Tamil Nadu at the SC regarding the dam’s water level. It is revealed that Kerala has spent a big sum for the services of top lawyers. This is when Kerala has a standing counsel at the SC. Earlier, it was revealed the state hired lawyers for sensational cases even at the High Court,” Raju said.
As per the RTI reply, Rs 6,34,39,549 has been spent on Mullaperiyar-related pleas at the SC. Of this, Rs 5,03,08,253 was paid to 10 lawyers alone. The highest amount was for the services of leading lawyers Harish Salve and Mohan V Katarki.
While Salve charged Rs 1,82,71,350, Katarki got Rs 1,09,05,000. Advocate Rajeev Dhavan was paid Rs 82,65,000 and Jaydeep Gupta Rs 51,70,000. Advocates P Giri, Ramesh Babu, G Prakash, Aparajith Singh and Gayathri Goswami were paid Rs 27,60,000, Rs 22,76,854, Rs 13,30,049, Rs 6,05,000 and Rs 4,50,000, respectively.
Rs 5,03,08,253 Lawyers’ fees
Rs 58,34,739 Empowered committee visits
Rs 56,55,057 Travel expenses
Rs 16,41,500 Honorarium
Orange alert in six districts today
T’Puram: South Kerala is likely to receive heavy rainfall on Saturday and Sunday as the IMD has sounded an orange alert in six districts — Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam and Idukki — on Saturday, warning of heavy to very heavy rain. Orange alert has been issued in Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Idukki on Sunday. The IMD said a cyclonic circulation lies over the Gulf of Thailand and neighbourhood tilting southwestwards. It may emerge into south Andaman Sea and under its influence, a fresh low-pressure area is likely to form over the sea and neighbourhood by Saturday.