The Supreme Court said on Wednesday that it would hear the dispute over sharing of Cauvery river waters — mainly between upper riparian Karnataka and downstream Tamil Nadu — on a daily basis.
A Bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and AM Khanwilkar said the day-to-day hearing would begin on February 7. Karnataka has been ordered to continue releasing 2,000 cusecs of water for Tamil Nadu every day until further orders.
The Bench had previously rejected central government’s argument that the court had no jurisdiction to hear appeals of the two states, as well as that of Kerala, against the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s final award in 2007.
The Centre had pleaded that the tribunal’s award could not be challenged in the Supreme Court. The Bench said that although under the Inter-State Water Disputes Act 1956 and Article 262(2) of the Constitution, the tribunal’s decree should be implemented treated as one by the Supreme Court, it should not be taken to mean that Parliament intended to curtail the powers of the country’s highest court to entertain appeals against such tribunals.
“Be it clearly stated that Section 6 (of the 1956 Act) cannot be interpreted in an absolute mechanical manner and the words ‘same force as on order or decision’ cannot be treated as a decree for the purpose for excluding the jurisdiction of this Court. To elaborate, it cannot be a decree as if this Court has adjudicated the matter and decree is passed,” the court had explained.