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Jayalalithaa DA case: SC approves day to day hearing

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India today approved to carry a day-to-day hearing of the 66-crore disproportionate assets case on Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and three others. The decision was taken in response to an appeal filed against the earlier Karnataka High Court judgement.

A bench, constituting justices P C Ghose and R K Agrawal, asked both the concerned parties to give a list of disputes, which as per them, required to be considered in the case on January 8.

“Both of you (parties) settle among yourselves and give us the issues need to be decided by us so that it can be heard quickly and disposed of at the earliest,” the bench said.

The apex court had issued notices on July 27 in response to the Karnataka government’s plea pursuing a stay of the High Court verdict, to Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and two of her relatives, V N Sudhakaran, Elavarasi. The court had also probed them to file their responses within eight weeks.

Meanwhile, the bench also accepted an intervention request by lawyer and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in the case. The court further asked him to file questions he wanted to ask them.

Karnataka government in its plea, in contradiction of the May 11 judgement, alleged the state government’s prosecuting organisation was not represented before the High Court.

The petition asserted that the apex court made a mistake in computing the disproportionate assets of the AIADMK leader.

Meanwhile, a distinct petition was filed by a Chennai-based lawyer R Rajavel, who wanted to know the court’s course on questions of law which include infringement of fundamental rights as assured in the Constitution.

“Whether a Chief Minister interpreted as public servant under Article 141 of the Constitution can be treated on par with the functionaries specifically defined as public servants in the statutes, because both the categories, though they are engaged in public duty, they are governed by different set of norms, rules and regulations governing their functions,” the plea stated according to a daily report.

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Another Deadline Missed, No Draft Scheme on the Cauvery Dispute Till Now

On the expiry of the six-week deadline, the Centre sought extension of time till the completion of the electoral process in Karnata for submission of the Scheme.

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The court said that even if the Centre has not framed the scheme, Karnataka, under the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award, was obliged to make monthly releases to Tamil Nadu.
Supreme Court of India. Wikimedia commons

The Centre yet again failed to submit a draft Scheme on the Cauvery river water dispute before the Supreme Court on the ground that the Prime Minister and other ministers were campaigning in Karnataka, which Tamil Nadu flayed as “brazen partisanship”.

Seeking 10 more days to finalize the scheme, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud: “A draft scheme has been placed before the Cabinet. Because of Karnataka elections, the Prime Minister and all other Ministers are in Karnataka. Before that the Prime Minister was abroad (in China).”

It also sought response from the Centre on the steps taken by it since the pronouncing of the judgement for putting in place a scheme for implementing its order on the sharing of Cauvery water among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
Parliament of India, wikimedia commons

The Centre’s submission was countered strongly by senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, who said: “Sorry to say, the Central government is politicizing the issue. They are worried about their electoral fate in Karnataka. Election in Karnataka is on May 12 and somehow they don’t want to do it till then. We have enough of it. It is brazen partisanship of the Union of India. It is the end of co-operative federalism.”

The apex court in its February 16 judgement had directed the Centre to frame a Scheme within six months in accordance with the recommendation by the Cauvery River Water Tribunal for constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Regulatory Authority (CRA), which Karnataka opposes strongly.

On the expiry of the six-week deadline, the Centre sought extension of time till the completion of the electoral process in Karnata for submission of the Scheme. Tamil Nadu filed a contempt petition against the Centre for failure to act within the deadline.

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During Thursday’s hearing, the court directed the Karnataka government to respond on how much of the four TMC of water it can release by month end. It also sought response from the Centre on the steps taken by it since the pronouncing of the judgement for putting in place a scheme for implementing its order on the sharing of Cauvery water among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

In the course of the hearing, the court asked Karnataka to release 4 TMC of water by Monday.

The court said that even if the Centre has not framed the scheme, Karnataka, under the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award, was obliged to make monthly releases to Tamil Nadu.

The court directed the next hearing of the matter on Tuesday. (IANS)

 

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