In a fresh twist to Mullaperiyar dam row, Tamil Nadu on Monday told the Supreme Court that it was not interested in adjudicating the dispute with Kerala before the special “empowered” committee appointed by the apex court for settling the inter-State issue.
Instead, Tamil Nadu urged the apex court to decide the Constitutional validity of Kerala passing the impugned legislation restricting the dam water level to 136 feet even though the Supreme Court had earlier permitted the State to extend the level to 142 feet.
In a fresh application filed through counsel P Nedumaran, Tamil Nadu urged the apex court to recall the five-judge Constitution Bench’s February 18 order setting up an “empowered” committee headed by the former Chief Justice of India A S Anand to decide the dam’s safety aspect.
It urged the apex court to recall the order and pleaded that the Constitution Bench decide the validity of Kerala’s legislation as the empowered committee, it said, had no jurisdiction or authority to decide the same.
“The judgement of this Hon’ble Court dated 27.02.2006 had clearly mandated that the State of Kerala cannot unilaterally affect the applicant’s right, either by legislation or by executive action.
“Being a federal dispute, this Hon’ble Court considered and decided upon the effect of Section 108 of the States Reorganisation Act passed under Articles 3 and 4 of the Constitution and declared the law that no State may unilaterally, by executive or legislative action, interfere with the rights under the inter-State agreements protected by Section 108,” Tamil Nadu said in its fresh application.