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Cauvery case: Setback for Karnataka
October 26, 2004 15:47 IST
In a setback to Karnataka, the Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea for reconstitution of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and paved the way for the proposed visit of two of its members to the river basin.
A bench comprising Justice Ruma Pal and Justice Arun Kumar dismissed the petition filed by the Gandhi Sahitya Sangh Trust, which was supported by the Karnataka government, and imposed cost on it.
The court on September 10 had virtually lifted the stay on the controversial decision of two members of the CWDT to visit the river basin by refusing to extend its August 20 interim order in this regard.
The public interest litigation filed by the SST, a nongovernmental organisation, had challenged the decision of the two members, who despite the objection of the chairman of the CWDT, had decided to visit the basin.
Karnataka had supported the petitioner and said that such conduct of the members had led to the people losing confidence in the tribunal, and pleaded for its reconstitution.
However, Tamil Nadu had termed the petitioner as proxy for the state of Karnataka and accused the latter of resorting to delaying tactics to frustrate the efforts of the tribunal to give an award on the water dispute.
The court had on August 20 directed the CWDT to defer by 10 days its visit to the river basin when the petitioner expressed "deep distress" over the functioning of the CWDT, which has not been able to complete its work for nearly 15 years.
The proposed visit was to begin from August 23.
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