Cauvery Issue

Supreme Court reserves verdict on Centre’s draft scheme for Cauvery water management

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it could postpone the verdict to May 22 or 23 if it was not possible to pronounce it on Friday.

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order on the Centre’s draft scheme for Cauvery river management, which is supposed to deal with the smooth distribution of water among four southern states, PTI reported. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said the court will pronounce its verdict on Friday.

“We will pronounce the order on Friday,” Misra said. “If that is not possible, then we will pass the order on May 22 or 23.”

On May 14, the Centre had submitted a draft scheme on the sharing of Cauvery water between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, after several delays that prompted warnings from the court. On May 15, the court had rejected the Karnataka government’s request to delay the finalisation of the scheme.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, who appeared for the Karnataka government, told the court on Thursday that the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal had provided that minimum water be allowed to remain in the reservoir, so that a steady flow is maintained. He said the Centre’s draft scheme did not take this into account.

Attorney General KK Venugopal told the bench that the Centre had modified certain provisions of the scheme that authorise the Centre to issue directions about the distribution of water from time to time.

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