Tamil Nadu's plea referred to Constitution
The Supreme Court has referred the state of Tamil Nadu's suit,
seeking implementation of the Cauvery Waters Dispute Tribunal's
interim award, to a five-judge Constitution bench.
bench in Cauvery
The interim award of June 25, 1991, had directed Karnataka to
release 205 TMC of Cauvery waters annually to Tamil Nadu from
the Mettur Dam.
The suit was referred to the Constitution bench by a three-judge
bench comprising Chief Justice A M Ahmadi, Justice S B Majumdar
and Justice B N Kirpal.
The bench noted that the Cauvery Waters Tribunal is trying to
find a solution to the 25-years-old water-sharing dispute between
The apex court's bench directed that the Constitution bench would
answer issues of:
- Whether, in view of provisions contained in Article 262 of
the Constitution and Section 11 of the Inter-State Water Dispute
Act, 1956, the suit was maintainable.
- Whether a suit for the enforcement of an interim order of
the tribunal is 'relatable' to the water dispute.
- Whether the jurisdiction of the apex court under Article 131
of the Constitution cannot be invoked unless the tribunal has
recorded the finding that there has been a violation of its order
dated June 25, 1991, and April 3, 1992. (By the second order,
the tribunal has clarified its interim order dated June 25, 1991).
- Whether by its order of April 3, 1992, the tribunal can be
said to have modified its order dated June 25, 1991, under Section
5(3) of the Inter-State Water Dispute Act. And if so, what is
- Whether it is open to the state of Karnataka to unilaterally
restrict the release of water required to be made as per the interim
order dated June 25, 1991, read with the order dated April 3 1992,
under the distress clause stated to have been provided by the
- Whether the plaintiff state (Tamil Nadu), is entitled to all
or any of the release it had sought for.