The issue regarding water distribution from river Cauvery between States of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu (including the Union Territory of Puducherry) was heard in appeal by Supreme Court on 2nd September 2016. After recording the arguments from both sides, the SC on 5-9-2016 held that the Supervisory Committee, constituted under notification dated 22.05.2013, shall pass the final order with regard to whether water shall be released by the State of Karnataka to the State of Tamil Nadu and if it shall, then what quantity of water be released. Until the Committee passes the final order in this regard, the Supreme Court had directed the State of Karnataka to release 15 cusecs of water per day for the sustenance of the ‘samba’ crops and in interest of the farmers in the State of Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Post-5th September, 2016 order of the Supreme Court, agitations were seen across cities of State of Karnataka including Bangalore, Mandya, Mysore and Hassan which had paralysed the daily lives of citizens and destroyed public and private properties causing huge loss of life and money. Therefore, modification of the order dated 5-9-2016 was sought for by the State of Karnataka on 12-9-2016.
In the appeal made to Supreme Court on 12-9-2016, the Court held that agitation can never be the ground for seeking modification of an order. It is the duty if the Executive to maintain law and order in the State and see that the order of the Court is complied with. It is also the duty of the citizens to obey the same. In the event there is any public objection or grievance, they shall take recourse to legal remedies and not take it out on streets.
State of Tamil Nadu claimed that they would be requiring 50 thousand million cubic feet water for the purpose of sustained relief until the Supervisory Committee passes the final order. But releasing such huge quantities of water at one time would leave the State of Karnataka with scarcity of drinking water and water for irrigation. Therefore, it held that the State of Karnataka shall release 12000 cusecs of water per day and the said direction, shall remain in force till 20th September, 2016.
Though the matter was directed to be listed on 16th September, 2016, but as there is difficulty, the matter has been listed on 20th September, 2016 at 2.00 p.m.
The Indian Lawyer