Bangalore: Karnataka today rejected Tamil Nadu’s contention that it has committed contempt of court by stopping release of Cauvery river water to that state.
“There is no contempt of court. Karnataka’s senior counsel Fali S Nariman yesterday brought to the Supreme Court notice that the state is not in a position to release more water to Tamil Nadu,” Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar told reporters, apparently reacting to Tamil Nadu’s decision to file a contempt of court petition over Karnataka’s decision to stop Cauvery water release.
Shettar, who returned from Delhi this evening after consultations with legal experts on the vexed Cauvery water sharing issue, said he could not get an appointment with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh due to the latter’s preoccupation.
“Since yesterday I tried to meet the Prime Minister, but could not get an appointment. I wanted to plead with him for an early review of the Cauvery River Authority decision,” he said.
Singh, also chairman of CRA had on September 19 directed Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu till 15 October. Under the direction from Supreme Court to honour the CRA order, Karnataka released water to Tamil Nadu from 30 September till yesterday when it stopped release, citing low storage levels.
Karnataka has already filed a review petition before CRA and another one before the Supreme Court on the Cauvery issue. Shettar said he was unaware of the demand by Puducherry, another riparian state, seeking release of 1,000 cusecs of water daily from Karnataka.
He said the state had informed the Apex Court about the prevailing scarcity conditions and also water shortage. The Tamil Nadu government today decided to file a contempt petition “immediately” against Karnataka in the Supreme Court, saying its action in stopping release of water amounted to impeding the country’s federal structure.