J. Venkatesan

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday decided to hear a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition filed by Pattali Makkal Katchi for a direction to restrain the Andhra Pradesh Government from constructing a check dam across river Palar, along with the suit filed by the State of Tamil Nadu seeking the same relief.

A three-Judge Bench comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice Tarun Chatterjee and Justice R.V. Raveendran told senior counsel V. Kanakaraj: “When the State has filed a original suit, where is the need for another petition? We cannot allow all political parties to file PILs one by one for the same cause. There are over a dozen parties in Tamil Nadu, can we entertain all of them to file PILs?”

Mr. Kanakaraj, however, submitted that certain events subsequent to the filing of the suit had been brought on record. He said the petition might be tagged and heard along with the Tamil Nadu suit.

The Bench accordingly tagged the matter with the suit.

The writ petition filed by the PMK President G.K. Mani said that Andhra Pradesh had unilaterally taken steps for construction of a check dam across the Palar in violation of the 1892 agreement in which the rights of the riparian States were duly recognised.

It said that the AP Government had planned to impound more than two tmcft of water in the dam and also to divert water to other parts. Such diversion would have an impact on the livelihood of lakhs of people in the northern districts of Tamil Nadu dependent on Palar water.