Disregarding an earlier dressing down it had received from the Supreme Court during a hearing on the issue of sharing Cauvery River water, the Karnataka government on Monday took a bold stand when it said it was in no position to release any more water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
The submission by the counsel for Karnataka government came despite the apex court telling the state to follow the order of the Cauvery River Waters Authority.
The Tamil Nadu government has decided to file a contempt petition against Karnataka in the SC.
Can the SC hold the Karnataka government in contempt after it directly violated the court's directive? The issue is open to debate as it has to be taken into account that this year, rainfall in Karnataka has been scarce.
The Karnataka government has been making submissions on its appeal against the order of the Cauvery River Water Authority, which had directed it to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu. Karnataka has said that it cannot afford to give away such a large quantity of water while Tamil Nadu has stated that even that amount was not sufficient.
When Karnataka government finally started releasing the water, there were widespread protests across the state against the CRA's decision, which had brought life to a standstill.
While arguing its case in the Supreme Court, the Karnataka government pointed out the difficulties in releasing that amount of water and said that it was in no position to release any more water.
A member of the legal team representing the Karnataka government told rediff.com, "We were not trying to disobey an order. We just made our intention clear and placed before the Supreme Court the situation that we are in".
During the Karnataka government's protestations in the Supreme Court, the counsel for Tamil Nadu had not raised any objection.
The release of water from the Krishna Raja Sagara and Kabini rivers had also been stopped after the Karnataka government decided to seek a review of the CRA order, claiming it could not release any more water.