SC upholds maintainability of appeals by TN, Karnataka, Kerala
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said that all the appeals filed by the southern states against the Tribunal's award are maintainable, though the Centre had asserted that the apex court had no jurisdiction to hear appeals against the award of the tribunal.
"We hold all the appeals maintainable. Interim order to continue. List the matter for further hearing on December 15," a bench also comprising justices Amitava Roy amd A M Khanwilkar.
On October 18, the apex court had directed Karnataka to keep supplying Tamil Nadu with 2,000 cusecs of water till further orders.
The bench had also said it would first go into the issue of maintainability of appeals filed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala against the award of tribunal and then hear arguments on the report filed by the Supervisory Committee formed to assess the ground realities in the Cauvery basin region.
The Centre, through Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, had raised a preliminary objection claiming that the CWDT award amounted to a final decree in the dispute and the apex court had no jurisdiction to hear appeals against the award of the tribunal.
But the states had contended that their appeals were maintainable saying the Supreme Court had the jurisdiction to adjudicate the appeals filed by the state against the award of tribunal and that no statute can take away the appellate powers of the apex court under Article 136 of Constitution.
However, Puducherry supported the stand of the Centre that the appeals filed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are not maintainable.
Earlier, Rohatgi had argued that Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to adjudicate the appeals pertaining to the dispute relating to use, distribution and control of inter-state water or river valley.
The attorney general had said as per the constitutional provisions, the inter-state water dispute tribunal is headed by a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge and its decree has a force like that of a decree of the Supreme Court and thus the apex court cannot hear the appeals against its own order. .