Millennium Post

Centre must give specifics of reference on SYL: Punjab

The Punjab government on Friday asked the Centre in the Supreme Court to come up with details of the presidential reference over the Satluj-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal issue, including why it was made.

“This reference is of fundamental importance. It is important for the Union of India to explain why reference has been made by it. We want to know what we have to answer,” senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan told a five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Justice AR Dave.

Appearing for the Punjab government, Dhawan told the Bench, conducting a hearing on the Presidential Reference pertaining to the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004, that “this case has come from the Centre and not from Haryana. We would like to see the views of Union.” 

With regard to Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi, the question of quantum of water also arise and it has to be seen whether it is violative of Article 262 (adjudication of disputes relating to waters of inter State rivers or river valleys) of the Constitution, he said.

At the outset, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, also on behalf of Punjab, said the Bench should consider preliminary objections raised and the hearing on Haryana’s applications on which interim order has been passed. He said the interim order passed by the Apex Court has been complied with by Punjab.

The Bench agreed with Jethmalani and said he could share with the parties the note on the preliminary objections. The Centre had yesterday told the apex court that it was maintaining a “neutral” stand in the tussle between Punjab and Haryana over sharing of water through the SYL Canal. 
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