The Supreme Court is on Tuesday likely to hear the Karnataka government's plea to modify an earlier order on the sharing of Cauvery waters with Tamil Nadu. In its plea, Karnataka has said its reservoirs are dry and it can only release water to Tamil Nadu by the end of this year. Sources in the Tamil Nadu Government told ANI that the state government is likely to file a contempt plea against Karnataka Government for not following the apex court's order.
Tamil Nadu had alleged that its neighbhour should not be heard till it complied with directives of the Supreme Court and the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT). Tamil Nadu, being agrrieved by the non-compliance of apex court order, said "the state of Karnataka is acting as judge in its own cause and refusing to comply with the orders passed by this court by consciously failing to ensure the release inspite of the matter being sub-judice before this court."
"The present is a case where the instrumentalities of the state in utter defiance to the constitutional mandate have failed to honour and obey the order passed by this court. "It is reiterated that the State of Karnataka and its instrumentalities are bound to obey the order and the failure to do the same, amounts to recurring contempt of this court's order dated September 20 and the earlier orders," the Tamil Nadu plea said.
The petition came three days after Karnataka's legislature passed a resolution saying the river will be used only for meeting the drinking water needs of villages and towns in the Cauvery Basin and Bengaluru. The resolutions, however, did not mention the top court's order directing the state to release 6,000 cusecs every day (cubic feet per second) of water to Tamil Nadu till September 27.
On September 20, the apex court had directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu till September 27, doubling the quantum fixed by the Supervisory Committee. The apex court had on September 20 also directed the Centre to constitute within four weeks the Cauvery Water Management Board (CWMB) as directed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) in its award.
Karnataka has said its citizens would go thirsty and crops in the state will be ravaged if it releases any more water to Tamil Nadu. Over the past month, both states are fighting a legal battle in various courts over the sharing and distribution of Cauvery waters.