SC slams Centre for showing “sheer contempt of court” by not framing Cauvery scheme

The Hindu

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 Adjourns the case to May 14, after the Karnataka Assembly elections on May 12 and before the counting of votes on May 15.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rapped the Central government for showing “sheer contempt of court” by not framing a Cauvery draft scheme but adjourned the case to May 14, after the Karnataka Assembly elections on May 12 and before the counting of votes on May 15.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal asked a Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra for 10 days time to add the “finishing touch” to its draft scheme and get the nod of the Union Cabinet.

In a previous hearing, Mr. Venugopal said the Prime Minister and all Ministers were travelling and campaigning in Karnataka.

The Bench ordered the Union Water Resources Secretary to personally come to the court with the draft scheme on May 14.
Release of water

The court chose not to delve into pleas and counter pleas by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over the release of Cauvery water. The CJI said this would only retard the implementation of the judgment and the nitty-gritties of water-sharing should be looked in by the authority that would be put in place by the Centre as per a scheme. The court refrained from intervening in this issue for the time being.

On April 9, the Supreme Court categorically directed the Centre to frame a draft scheme by May 3 and prove its bona fide resolve to end the dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

On May 7, Tamil Nadu said Karnataka could “easily spare” 4 tmc ft. for May and within hours, Karnataka filed a counter, saying it has already released 116.697 tmc ft. to Tamil Nadu at the inter-State Bilingundlu border despite this being a distress year for the third consecutive year. It said Tamil Nadu had received an excess of 16.66 tmc ft.

Tamil Nadu said the Centre was “duty bound” to implement the orders passed by the Supreme Court on February 16, 2018 to frame a scheme to provide for ae Cauvery management board and a Cauvery water regulation committee.

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