The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear on Monday the Karnataka's plea to stay its September 28 order to the state to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu from the Cauvery river basin.
A bench headed by Justice D K Jain directed listing of the Karnataka's fresh plea for stay of the court's order in the mentioning list of Monday after senior counsel S S Javali, appearing for the state, sought early hearing of the matter.
Karnataka has pleaded that it would be unable to comply with the apex court's directive due to the decline in the river's water level as otherwise it would adversely affect its own irrigation and drinking water needs.
A bench of justices Jain and Madan Lokur, while directing release of the water on September 28, had pulled up the Karnataka government for failing to comply with the prime minister-headed Cauvery River Authority's directive to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu.
The bench had 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 had 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.
Irked by the Karnataka's refusal to release the water, Tamil Nadu had urged the apex court to direct the Union government to protect its interest invoking Article 355 of the Constitution.
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.
The court is hearing an application by Tamil Nadu to direct Karnataka to release 2 TMC of water. At the CRA meeting held on September 19, had failed to produce a solution as both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu had rejected the Prime Minister's award of 9,000 cusecs of water to save standing crops in the delta region.
Tamil Nadu subsequently moved the apex court for a directive to Karnataka.
The CRA, headed by the prime minister, comprises of chief ministers of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala. In its application, Tamil Nadu had said during the current irrigation year 2012-2013, though the south west monsoon is not vigorous in the Cauvery catchment of Karnataka, the state of Karnataka has received 21.9 TMCft of inflow in its four major reservoirs up to July 20.
"But it has not shared the water with Tamil Nadu. Instead it started to build the storages in its 4 major reservoirs and letting water in the canals of Krishna Raja Sagar for irrigation with the result that the state of Tamil Nadu has been deprived of its due share of water as per the interim order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal," the application said.