The Supreme Court Monday clarified that its Sep 28 order directing Karnataka to implement Cauvery River Authority's (CRA) order to release 9,000 cusecs of river water will not come in the way of the prime minister taking a decision on the application seeking review of the order to release water to Tamil Nadu.
The prime minister is the ex-officio chairman of CRA.
An apex court bench of Justice D.K Jain and Justice Madan B. Lokur, said: "We clarify that our order dated 28th September, 2012, shall not, in any way, be an impediment for the chairperson to take a decision on the review petition, stated to have been filed by the State of Karnataka."
As the apex court gave the clarification, senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for Karnataka, told the court that it will not be able to release more water as it has already released 13,072 cusecs of water in excess of the CRA decision and the Sep 28 order of the apex court.
The apex court by its Sep 28 order had said: "In the meantime, the state of Karnataka is directed to release 9,000 cusecs of water daily from today up to 15th October, 2012, in terms of the decision taken by the chairperson, Cauvery River Authority in the seventh meeting of the said authority held on 19.9.2012."
The apex court's clarification on its Sep 28 order came after Nariman expressed apprehension that the order may come in the way of the prime minister taking a decision on Karnataka's review petition.
The apex court order could be treated as if the court has affixed its approval to the Sep 19 CRA order to Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs of water, Nariman told the court.
The court deferred the hearing on the application by Karnataka till Oct 12, taking note of Nariman's plea that "he is expecting some orders by the chairperson of the Cauvery River Authority on the review petition filed by the state of Karnataka".
Tamil Nadu's counsel told the court that Karnataka could not by way of clarification invoke an authority on the CRA's chairperson who is just an individual and the decision is that of the CRA.
He told the court that CRA had met Sep 11 and no decision could be taken.
The court said that it has just clarified that its Sep 28 order could not come in the way of the decision on the review application.
As the head of CRA, the prime minister in his Sep 19 order had asked Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from Sep 20 through to Oct 15. Since Karnataka did not obey the CRA ruling, the Supreme Court Sep 28 rapped the state and directed it to release the water.
Karnataka is releasing 9,000 cusecs to Tamil Nadu from Sep 29, a move which has led to daily protests in Bangalore and Cauvery basin districts of Mandya, Mysore and Chamarajanagar.