The Supreme Court giving legitimacy to the Kerala law passed in 2006 to prevent Tamil Nadu from raising the level in the Mullaperiyar dam from 136 ft to 142 ft will be an invitation to lawlessness and will result in anarchy, argued Vinod Bobde, senior counsel for Tamil Nadu.
Mr. Bobde made this rejoinder submission before a five-Judge Constitution Bench of Justices R.M. Lodha, H.L. Dattu, C.K. Prasad, Madan B. Lokur and M.Y. Eqbar, hearing the suit filed by Tamil Nadu questioning the law passed by Kerala in 2006, constituting the Dam Safety Authority to regulate the dams in the State.
Mr. Bobde said, “I am placing my rights on the Supreme Court judgment of 2006 which permitted Tamil Nadu to raise the water level from 136 ft to 142 ft. The Kerala Legislature could not have nullified the judgment within 15 days without any new material, particularly when this court had adjudicated both on the safety of the dam as well as on public safety.”
When Justice Lodha reminded the counsel that according to Kerala it was only a regulation or correcting law, Mr. Bobde argued that whatever name one might call it was a fact that Kerala had defied the judgment of this court.
“This court will not shut its eyes to the reality of Kerala defying the judgment. If this court were to uphold the law then every Legislature will defy the Supreme Court judgment and it will be an invitation to lawlessness and anarchy,” Mr. Bobde argued.
He said the law empowered Kerala’s Dam Safety Authority to reach its own findings as to the safety of the dam after this aspect had been adjudicated.
He argued that by enacting the law, the Kerala had not only encroached upon the province of the judiciary but had also disobeyed this court’s judgment.