The Supreme Court on Friday directed its Registry to digitise the final report of the Empowered Committee relating to the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam as well as the study and investigation reports relied on by this committee for reaching a conclusion.
A five-judge Constitution Bench comprising Justices D.K. Jain, R.M. Lodha, H.L. Dattu, C.K. Prasad and A.R. Dave gave this direction during the course of hearing of the Tamil Nadu’s suit challenging the law enacted by Kerala to restrict the water level in the dam to 136 ft.
The expert committee in April had in its reported that the dam was structurally and hydrologically safe and that Tamil Nadu could be permitted to raise the water level beyond 136 ft and up to 142 ft at the first stage.
During the last hearing, the Bench directed the Centre to furnish the copies of the report and other records to the parties concerned.
On Friday, the court was told that since the documents were voluminous copies could not be taken and digitisation was suggested.
Accordingly, the Bench passed this order after hearing Additional Solicitor-General Haren Raval that the Ministry of Water Resources would render all assistance in the digitisation process and that there could be a paper-less hearing in the case. Senior counsel Harish Salve appeared for Kerala and senior counsel Vinod Bode for Tamil Nadu.
The Bench asked the Registry to complete the process in 10 days and thereafter supply the compact discs to the Centre and the States concerned.
The Bench directed the matter to be listed for further directions on October 5.