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Cauvery management scheme: Supreme Court reserves order

17 May 2018

Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, told the court that the Union has modified the provision of the scheme that had empowered it to pass directions from time to time with regard to water distribution.

The SC bench did not heed submissions of senior advocate Shyam Divan, who was representing Karnataka, that finalisation of the draft Cauvery scheme be put on hold till the first week of July as the process of government formation was underway in the state.

The scheme, once finalised, would deal with the issue of water share of the four states in different circumstances like normal and deficient water years in the Cauvery river basin.

The Chief Justice of India orally observed, "Central government's authority is not final".

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Almost three months after the Supreme Court directed the Centre to form a scheme implementing its judgment in the Cauvery dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the Centre has filed a draft of the scheme to the Supreme Court on May 14.

The state government has also objected to Centre's proposal to have the headquarters of the Management board in Bengaluru. However, the rules under the draft scheme are not in consonance with the legal position.

On February 16, the Supreme Court awarded its final verdict on the Cauvery water-sharing dispute, directing the Centre to frame a scheme within 6 weeks of the verdict. On February 16, the Supreme Court reduced the quantity of water Karnataka was asked to supply to Tamil Nadu by 14.75 tmc (thousand million cubic litres).

Cauvery management scheme: Supreme Court reserves order