Release Water To Tamil Nadu Despite Resolution, Supreme Court Tells Karnataka
School girls write letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to intervene in Cauvery issue in Bengaluru on Saturday. (Photographer: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI)

Release Water To Tamil Nadu Despite Resolution, Supreme Court Tells Karnataka

Refusing to modify its earlier order, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Karnataka government to release 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu between September 28-30.

The apex court rejected Karnataka’s plea that they cannot release water as the state assembly had passed a resolution on September 23 against releasing water to Tamil Nadu from dams in Cauvery basin. The Karnataka government sought time till November end to release water, which was again rejected by the court.

The Karnataka assembly had last week passed a unanimous resolution during a special session directing the state to ensure that water is only used for drinking purposes to Bengaluru and regions surrounding the Cauvery basin.

“This is an end to our patience. We are tired of this litigation. How can constitutional bodies (Like Karnataka) not comply with court’s orders?” said Senior Advocate Shekhar Naphade, arguing on behalf of Tamil Nadu.

During the course of arguments the court observed that if orders by the highest court are “not complied with then it will not be tolerated..it hurts the court’s dignity.”

Centre Asked To Intervene

The apex court sought Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi’s assistance and asked the Centre to facilitate a meeting between the two states to resolve the dispute. The Justice Dipak Misra-led bench observed that there has to be a balance with respect to “conceptual federalism in a democracy” and state of Karnataka should follow court orders despite the state assembly’s resolution.

The apex court pulled up both states for creating an impasse and observed that these are not matters related to tenants and landlords that can be decided easily. “Let our earlier order continue and wait for two days till the next hearing,” observed Justice UU Lalit.

The court had revised its order on quantum of water to be released by Karnataka from time and time. In its latest order on September 20, the court had directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs water to Tamil Nadu government till September 27 which has now been extended till September 30.

The apex court will hear the two states and the Centre in the Cauvery water dispute on September 30.

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