Determined to get the river Cauvery water from neighbouring Karnataka to its irrigation starved fields, Jayalalithaa government in Tamil Nadu will move the Supreme Court on Wednesday morning seeking contempt action against the Jagadish Shettar government for snapping discharge of legally assured 9,000 cusecs water to it.
Following the status quo order passed by the Supreme Court and leaving it for the prime minister-led Cauvery River Authority (CRA) to resolve the long standing dispute between the two states over equal distribution of water, Karnataka stopped the release of water as it claimed paucity of water for its own farmers and that the CRA would meet end this month.
It caused ripples in Tamil Nadu and chief minister Jayalalithaa decided to file a contempt petition ‘immediately’ against its counterpart in the Supreme Court, saying its action amounted to ‘impeding country’s federal structure’.
A top lawyer, an expert in arbitration law and inter-state disputes, had to cancel his tour to a distant destination and drove back from the airport to address to the problem being faced by his client, Tamil Nadu. “We shall move the petition on Wednesday’’, he told DNA.
It is learnt that the basic issue that Tamil Nadu’s law suit for contempt against Shettar government may be the willful defiance of the court’s order for the release of 9,000 cusecs water to the AIADMK-ruled state by the BJP government.
It may also raise another issue whether a party to a pending dispute before the court can unilaterally take such a decision which violates the judicial mandate.