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SC pulls up K’taka over Cauvery issue

The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up the Karnataka government for failing to comply with the Prime Minister-headed Cauvery River Authority’s (CRA) directive to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu.

A bench of justices D K Jain and Madan Lokur warned Karnataka that if it failed to comply with the CRA directive, it (the bench) will have to pass appropriate orders.

‘This is the order passed by the CRA, headed by the Prime Minister. You don’t want to comply with it. We are very sorry for the kind of respect you have for the highest authority. You comply with the directive or we will pass the order,’ the bench told the counsel appearing for the Karnataka government.

The apex court then directed the state to release 9,000 cusecs of water under the distress sharing formula from September 20 to October 15 and sought its reply within a week.

Earlier senior counsel C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for Tamil Nadu, urged the apex court to direct the Union government under Article 355 of the Constitution to protect the state’s interest.

He said the court may direct deployment of the Army in Karnataka to ensure compliance of the CRA order.

Under Article 355, it is the duty of the Union Government to protect states against external aggression, internal disturbances and to ensure that the governance of the state is carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

Karnataka on 10 September  had agreed to release 10,000 cusecs of water from Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu till 20 September as a goodwill gesture.

The court was hearing an application by Tamil Nadu to direct Karnataka to release 2 TMC of water.

Meeting for the first  time after nine years, the Cauvery River Authority session earlier in the month was supposed to resolve the water issue between the two states. Karnataka CM Shettar had stormed out of the session after Manmohan Singh had given his directive.
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