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SYL canal: Not getting due share of water, Punjab tells SC

Punjab on Monday claimed in Supreme Court that it was being ‘unfairly treated’ on the issue of water sharing and sought the setting up of a fresh tribunal to resolve its disputes on the Satluj-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal with other states.

“Throughout the course of history, it is Punjab which has been unfairly treated, so much so that now people have started opposing their own government. Why are farmers in the state being deprived of irrigation? 

“Today what Haryana has got is not being noticed at all.It has got a windfall by taking the share of Yamuna water. Punjab is not getting its due share even in Ravi and Beas rivers. The state has preferential right as far as these rivers are concerned. We are getting nothing from Yamuna, Ravi and Beas,” Punjab government told a five-judge constitution Bench headed by Justice AR Dave.

Referring to Article 262 of the Constitution, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for the state, said the apex court does not have jurisdiction over the matter and water dispute matters can be heard only by a Tribunal created for the purpose.

“Inter state water disputes are very special in nature and they occupy unique position in Constitution of India,” Jethmalani said.

Article 262 says ‘Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of, in any inter- State river or river valley’ 

“In sub clause II it says, “Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, Parliament may, by law, provide that neither the SC nor any other court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint as is referred to in clause (1),” he said.
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