Release Cauvery Water to TN or Face Consequences: SC to Karnataka

SC told Karnataka to “be ready to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu or face consequences.”

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India
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Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have been sparring over the Cauvery waters for over two decades.
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The Supreme Court on Thursday, 3 May, asked the Centre to apprise it on 8 May about steps taken for the setting up of the Cauvery Management Board, in order to implement its judgement on the distribution of the river’s water among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.

The apex court told Karnataka: "Be ready to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu or face consequences.”

The Centre, which was asked by the court to frame and file a draft Cauvery management scheme by 3 May, had asked it to hear the matter a day after the Karnataka polls, on the grounds that the draft scheme has to be put before the Union Cabinet for approval.

The reason, the Centre told the bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, was that the “prime minister and ministers are busy in the Karnataka polls and can’t approve the scheme for releasing water to Tamil Nadu, as directed.”

Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, took strong exception at the submission saying:

"This is the end of cooperative federalism and the rule of law in the country. This is the partisan attitude of the Union of India to favour Karnataka." He referred to the ongoing summer and the water crisis being faced by citizens of Tamil Nadu.

The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, initially asked the Karnataka government to release four TMC of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu by 8 May, but later directed the state to apprise it "as to how much water can be released.”

The apex court had asked the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka governments to ensure that peace prevails till it finalises the Cauvery management scheme for implementation of its judgment on water distribution.

It said that once the Centre places the draft scheme, which would also include Cauvery Water Management Board and the Monitoring Authority, it would consider the grievances of all the stakeholder states.

Responding to the Court’s directive, Fisheries Minister Jayakumar of the AIADMK said the party strongly objects to the Centre’s stand.

“The Supreme Court has also asked the Centre to file an affidavit regarding the steps taken by the central government for the formation of CMB,” he told ANI.

India is a democratic country. The Government of India should protect interests of the states. The Supreme Court order has to be obeyed. We condemn the central government. 
Jayakumar, Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister, to ANI

He further alleged that the party had been “mounting pressure” on the central government and that the Supreme Court had given directions to the central government, on the very basis of the party’s argument.

“Court has felt the feelings of Tamil Nadu,” he said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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