New Delhi, Sep 20

The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on a batch of cross petitions by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry challenging the 2007 Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal award.

However, during the course of the hearing, the court made it clear that the Centre will have to frame a scheme for the implementation of its orders on river water-sharing between these states and Puducherry after the judgement is pronounced.

Reserving the order, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Amitava Roy, and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar asked the parties involved to submit written submissions on various aspects of the issue that had emerged during the course of hearing on 29 days spread over eight months.

The issues on which written notes would be submitted to the court include the question of law by Karnataka, opposition to the proposition of question of law by Tamil Nadu, significant aspects of the 2007 award and the principles invoked by the tribunal, the genesis of the issues and other dimensions.

Soon after the Cauvery award in 2007, both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka had approached the top court to challenge it.

The hearing saw Karnataka telling the top court that the 1924 agreement between the then British province of Madras and the princely state of Mysore could not be the basis of sharing of Cauvery river water between the present-day Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and that the present-day needs must be taken into account.

Karnataka said the tribunal in 2007 decided on water sharing on the basis of 1890 and 1924 agreements without determining the equitable share and its apportionment.

Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, contended that the tribunal's award was erroneous as it allocated 192 thousand million cubic feet of water taking into account the cultivation of just one crop as against the prevailing two-crop cultivation in the state.

It sought the setting up of a mechanism for the award's implementation that includes the Cauvery Water Management Board.

Seeking more water than what was allocated to it by the tribunal, Tamil Nadu said that in the absence of the Cauvery Water Management Board it had not got its allocated share of water.

The award had come on February 5, 2007, and was gazetted by the central government on February 19, 2013.

Besides deciding on the sharing of water, the tribunal had recommended setting up of a Cauvery Water Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee.

 

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