Krishna water dispute | CJI recuses from hearing Andhra Pradesh’s plea against Telangana

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana. File   | Photo Credit: R.V. MOORTHY

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Wednesday recused from hearing a petition filed by Andhra Pradesh accusing neighbour Telangana of depriving its people of their legitimate share of water for drinking and irrigation.

The Chief Justice, who had said that he hailed from both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, withdrew after Andhra Pradesh rejected the court’s suggestion to send the case for mediation.

“The matter requires adjudication,” advocate G. Umapathy, for Andhra Pradesh, informed the Bench also comprising Justice Surya Kant.

“In that case, if you do not want mediation, I cannot hear this case. Let the matter be listed before another Bench,” Chief Justice Ramana observed.

Also read: CJI offers to send Andhra-Telangana Krishna water dispute for mediation

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that he personally and the government had “full faith” in the Chief Justice in the case and urged the CJI to not recuse.

“Thank you, but I cannot hear this case,” Chief Justice Ramana addressed the law officer.

In the previous hearing, the CJI had asked the Andhra Pradesh counsel to get instructions on whether they wanted the case to be sent for mediation or continue with the adjudication. Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, who represented the State, had asked for some time to get instructions from the officials.

Andhra Pradesh, in the petition filed through State counsel Mahfooz A. Nazki, accused Telangana of refusing to follow decisions taken on river water management in the Apex Council constituted under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act of 2014. The State said its neighbour also ignored the directions of the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) constituted under the 2014 Act and directions of Central government.

“Fundamental rights, including right to life of its citizens, are being seriously impaired and infringed on account of unconstitutional, illegal and unjust acts on the part of the State of Telangana and its officials, resulting in the citizens of the State of Andhra Pradesh being deprived of their legitimate share of water for drinking and irrigation purposes,” the Andhra petition said.

The focus of the petition is a Telangana government order of June 28 that said, “To tap more hydel generation in the State, the government has taken a decision to generate hydel power up to 100% installed capacity”.

Andhra said the government order was issued only days after the Ministry of Jal Shakti in its communication on June 17 to Director (Hydel), TSGENCO, had urged the latter “to stop further release of water immediately through Srisailam Left Power House and follow the water release orders issued by KRMB, except in case of extreme grid urgency”.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 4:51:10 AM |

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