SC approves draft Cauvery Management Scheme, dismisses Tamil Nadu's plea seeking initiation of contempt against Centre

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday approved the Centre's draft Cauvery Management Scheme for smooth distribution of water among four southern riparian states.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra rejected the suggestions of Karnataka and Kerala governments over the scheme, terming them as devoid of merits.

 SC approves draft Cauvery Management Scheme, dismisses Tamil Nadus plea seeking initiation of contempt against Centre

File image of Supreme Court. AFP

The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal's award, which was modified by the apex court, has to be taken to the logical conclusion by the Cauvery Management Scheme.

It also dismissed Tamil Nadu's plea seeking initiation of contempt against the Centre for non-finalisation of Cauvery scheme.

Karnataka, which is facing political tug of war between BJP and Congress-JD(S) over government formation, had earlier made a failed bid to temporarily stall the finalisation of draft Cauvery management scheme.

The top court had made it clear that it would see that the draft scheme is "in consonance with its judgment only."

Earlier, the bench had red-flagged the provision empowering the Centre to issue the directions, saying "this part (power of Centre to issue directions) of the scheme is not in consonance with the judgement. We make it clear to you".

The observation was made after the Centre had submitted the draft Cauvery management scheme in the court for its approval.

The apex court, in its verdict delivered on 16 February, had asked the Centre to frame the Cauvery management scheme, including the creation of the Cauvery Managament Board, for release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

The scheme, once finalised, would deal with the issue of water share of the four states in different circumstances like normal and deficient water years in the Cauvery river basin.

The top court had modified the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) award of 2007 and made it clear that it will not be extending time for this on any ground.

It had raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu's share, while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin, saying the issue of drinking water has to be placed on a "higher pedestal".

Your guide to the latest cricket World Cup stories, analysis, reports, opinions, live updates and scores on https://www.firstpost.com/firstcricket/series/icc-cricket-world-cup-2019.html. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates throughout the ongoing event in England and Wales.

Updated Date: May 18, 2018 20:00:08 IST