In a vindication of Tamil Nadu’s stand on the Mullaperiyar dam, the Supreme Court on Wednesday declared unconstitutional a law passed by Kerala in 2006 to prevent the neighbouring State from raising the water level in it from 136 feet to 142 feet.
A Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice R.M. Lodha and Justices H.L. Dattu, C.K. Prasad, Madan B. Lokur and M.Y. Eqbal, in its 157-page judgment on a suit filed by Tamil Nadu in 2006, stopped Kerala from carrying out any repairs on the dam structure. The Bench said an empowered committee appointed by the court found the dam safe. Investigations, tests and studies led to the conclusion that there was no need to depart from the view taken in the 2006 judgment on the dam’s safety. The Bench said: “The Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation (Amendment) Act, 2006, is unconstitutional and ultra vires in its application to, and effect on, the Mullaperiyar dam.”