Cauvery row: Centre opposes appeals against 2007 tribunal award

The court ordered Karnataka to release 2,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu till further orders


Government’s top law officer Mukul Rohatgi tells the Supreme Court that the Constitution has totally ousted the jurisdiction of the apex court for inter-state river water disputes. Photo: AFP
Government’s top law officer Mukul Rohatgi tells the Supreme Court that the Constitution has totally ousted the jurisdiction of the apex court for inter-state river water disputes. Photo: AFP

New Delhi: The centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the 2007 award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal is final and binding on the states—Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

“The Constitution has totally ousted the jurisdiction of the apex court for inter-state river water disputes,” the government’s top law officer, Mukul Rohatgi, told the court.

A three-judge bench of justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and A.M. Khanwilkar began hearing if appeals filed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala against the 2007 tribunal award can be entertained by the court. Karnataka had contested the final verdict of the disputes tribunal, arguing a major share of the water will go to Tamil Nadu, leaving almost six Karnataka districts, including Bengaluru, without enough water for drinking and farming.

Tamil Nadu’s claims are based on agreements executed between the then governments of Mysore and Madras in 1892 and 1924, which the tribunal states cannot be held as “invalid”. Separately, the court ordered Karnataka to release 2,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu till further orders. “We do not have water to release. We do not have water in our reservoirs. They (technical team) have seen it as well. I will talk to our advocates (on the next course of action,” Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah said

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