Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on Monday moved the Supreme Court, challenging its September 30 order to the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Management Board. Rohatgi argued that only the Parliament had the authority to create such an agency, reported NDTV. The matter will be heard in the top court on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Karnataka Cabinet will hold a special session to discuss the Cauvery water-sharing dispute on Monday.
The court had asked the Centre to set up the Cauvery Management Board, which will be headed by Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti, by October 4. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry were asked submit names of their representatives for the board by 4 pm on Saturday. The board was to study the ground reality in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and diffuse the ongoing tension over sharing the river's water.
The Centre’s move comes two days after the Karnataka government filed a review petition in the apex court against the same order, arguing that the court's order violates the National Water Policy of 2012. The policy allows Karnataka to prioritise the use of Cauvery water for its own drinking water purposes. In its review petition, Karnataka said the court's direction to form the board amounted to "judicial legislation". Earlier, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had urged the Centre to play a "greater and more proactive" role to resolve the interstate water-sharing dispute.
The Cauvery issue escalated after the Supreme Court, on September 5, directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water from the Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu. It later modified its verdict and reduced the quantity to 12,000 cusecs, but the order had led to widespread protests by farmers in Karnataka, who had argued that the state needed the water more than its neighbour.