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Inter-state dispute over water sharing can't be dealt by PIL: Supreme Court

Monday, 28 April 2014 - 7:47pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

The Supreme Court today expressed surprise that the water-sharing dispute between two states Haryana and Delhi was sought to be addressed by way of court proceedings on a Public Interest Litigation which amounts to "high-jacking" of the judicial process.

"How does a dispute between two states for sharing of water can be dealt by the PIL? This is like highjacking the judicial process," a bench comprising Chief Justice R M Lodha and justices Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph said. The remarks were made during the hearing of the plea by Delhi government accusing Haryana of not releasing adequate share of water. The bench asked "why this matter continued to be pending for 22 years".

Maintaining that "the Constitution provides a mechanism for dealing with the dispute between two states," the bench said such matters are covered by Article 131 of the Constitution and law suit was the remedy for dealing with it judicially.

"Whatever be the thing, it is a dispute between an upper riparian state and a lower riparian state and it has to be dealt with the procedure laid down in the Constitution," the bench said while adjourning the matter. 

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