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Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar Hails Supreme Court Decision on Sutlej Yamuna Link Issue

The Supreme Court on Thursday held as 'unconstitutional' Punjab's 2004 law intended to deny Haryana its share in the Sutlej-Yamuna waters

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Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. YouTube
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Chandigarh, November 10, 2016: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday hailed the Supreme Court decision on a 2004 Presidential reference on the sharing of the Sutlej-Yamuna rivers waters.

The Supreme Court on Thursday held as ‘unconstitutional’ Punjab’s 2004 law intended to deny Haryana its share in the Sutlej-Yamuna waters.

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The Chief Minister said the Supreme Court decision on the vital issue, which comes after 12 years, was a result of persistent efforts made by the present BJP government in Haryana.

He said the decision would enable the state to get its legitimate share of the surplus Ravi-Beas waters, that is 3.5 million acre feet.

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Holding that the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act, 2004, was not in conformity with the constitutional provisions, a Constitution Bench of Justice Anil R. Dave, Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Amitava Roy answered in the negative all the four questions referred to the top court in a Presidential reference.

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“The decision is a gift to Haryana’s people in the golden jubilee year of the state,” an official statement quoted Khattar as saying. (IANS)

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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)