K’taka says “no water” as SC asks to release 2,000 cusecs

RSTV Bureau
FILE: Bengaluru: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah during Special assembly session on cauvery issue at Vidhan Soudha in Bengaluru on Bengaluru on Monday. PTI Photo

FILE: Bengaluru: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah during Special assembly session on cauvery issue at Vidhan Soudha in Bengaluru on Bengaluru on Monday. PTI Photo

Reacting to the Supreme Court order directing Karnataka to release 2,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu till further orders, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today said there was no water in the state’s reservoirs.

“There is no water at our reservoirs, I have not yet seen the order copy. I will speak to the advocates after going through the order copy,” he told the press in Bengaluru.

The apex court had on Tuesday retained its direction to Karnataka to release 2,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu till further orders and asked the two governments to ensure peace and harmony, saying citizens should not become law unto themselves.

“We intend to first adjudicate the issue of maintainability of appeals filed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. At this juncture, the interim order dated October 4 directing Karnataka to release 2,000 cusecs of water per day to Tamil Nadu will continue till further orders,” the bench comprising of Justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar said.

File photo of Supreme Court of India.

File photo of Supreme Court of India.

A three-judge bench is holding a crucial hearing on various issues arising out of the dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over sharing of Cauvery waters. The bench said it first intended to adjudicate the issue of maintainability of appeals filed by both the states and Kerala against the tribunal’s 2013 award.

Both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu said they were in dire need of water, which was even supported by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.

During the hearing, Rohatgi submitted that the apex court-appointed Supervisory Committee, formed to inspect Cauvery basin to assess the ground realities in the region, has submitted its report.

The Attorney General further argued that the appeals filed by the states were not maintainable as per article 131 and 262 of the Constitution and the provisions of Inter-state River Water Disputes Act, 1956. He said as per the constitutional provisions, a decree passed by a tribunal will be like a decree of Supreme Court which cannot hear the appeals against its own order.

But senior advocate and noted jurist Fali S Nariman, appearing for Karnataka, said the appeals are maintainable as Supreme Court can only adjudicate the disputes between two states.

The hearing remained inconclusive and will continue on Wednesday when Tamil Nadu will advance its arguments on maintainability of appeals.