Tamil Nadu

Cauvery controversy: Tamil Nadu files contempt petition against Centre in Supreme Court

A view of the bone dry Cauvery River, in Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu on March 13, 2018.   | Photo Credit: M. Srinath

The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday moved the Supreme Court with a contempt petition against Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha and Union Water Resources Secretary U.P. Singh for not having framed a scheme on the Cauvery issue within the stipulated period of six weeks.

Filed by S.K. Prabakar, Principal Secretary (Public Works) of the State government, the petition wanted the apex court to initiate contempt proceedings against the two officers for “wilful disobedience” in carrying out the "clear mandate" set out by the apex court in its judgment delivered on February 16, 2018.

The State government also requested the court to direct the officers to frame a scheme in accordance with its judgment by providing for a Cauvery management board and a Cauvery water regulation committee vested with all powers to give effect to the February 2007 decision of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal as well as the judgment of the court.


March 9 meeting

Referring to a meeting held by the Union Water Resources Secretary on March 9, Tamil Nadu contended that the meeting, by itself, did not “any way make any substantial progress in the matter of constitution of a Cauvery management board and a Cauvery water regulation committee.”

The State had submitted then that the court’s mandate was to constitute the authorities in terms of the 2007 final order of the Tribunal, as affirmed by the court, and that “the Central government is bound to frame a scheme providing for a Cauvery management board and a Cauvery water regulation committee.”

Three letters

Between March 13 and 23, Tamil Nadu wrote three letters to the Union Water Resources Ministry, seeking the constitution of a board and a committee within six weeks so that water was made available to its farmers for the irrigation season commencing from June 1.

Pointing out that the period of six weeks expired on March 29, the State government said that “till date, the Central government has not complied” with the judgment of the court. It “failed” to constitute the scheme, providing for the authorities for the implementation of the Tribunal’s decision as modified by the court.

The government contended that the non-formation of a board and a committee, “in the absence of any cogent reasons,” and “not making any substantial steps” amounted to “wilful disobedience” of the judgment of the court.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 12:35:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/cauvery-dispute-tamil-nadu-files-contempt-petition-against-centre-in-supreme-court/article23398361.ece

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