The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Prime Minister's Office for the way it was dealing with the Cauvery water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
The Centre's lawyer told the court that he needed time to file a proper reply on this issue and the date for convening the Cauvery River Authority, headed by the prime minister, has not been fixed.
When the apex court sought to know the reason for not fixing the date, the Centre stated that letters had been written to chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry
The SC said, "It is surprising and shocking that you require consent of the states for even fixing the date for the meeting. For fixing a date, it requires the convenience of the PM or the convenience of the states"
The Tamil Nadu government's lawyer told the court that the letter was written by an official in the water resources ministry and the Centre was not serious about the issue
The SC observed, "It is shocking. It seems officers in the PMO have not seen the affidavit filed by Karnataka. Karnataka's affidavit used serious words (Karnataka had said that the CRA was toothless). We expressed our anguish on that during the last hearing itself .Please call senior officers. The PMO may not be aware of this. We are short of words because it involves the highest functionary"
The apex court has fixed September 7 as the next date of hearing and asked the additional solicitor general to consult officers and inform the court about CRA meetings.
The SC was hearing TN's plea for directing the PM to convene a CRA meeting to decide the Cauvery water sharing formula during distress period.