NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana won Wednesday while hearing the Krishna Water dispute ordered for the case to be sent to another bench for adjudication. The bench comprising of the CJI and Justice Surya Kant was hearing the plea filed by the State of Andhra Pradesh which alleged that Telangana has deprived it of its legitimate share of drinking and irrigation water from River Krishna. After taking note of the submissions of the counsel appearing for AP that the state wanted adjudication of the case by another apex court bench, instead of mediation as suggested by the SC earlier, the CJI issued orders for the case to be transferred to another bench. The Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Union of India (UOI) said that we have no objection to the Andhra Pradesh government hearing the matter.
CJI NV Ramana had on August 2, recused from hearing the case and said that he belonged to both the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and thereby did not want to adjudicate the legal issues involved in the case. At the same time, the CJI asked the parties involved in the case to settle the matter through mediation as another option, or it would have to be sent to another bench.
The petition had been filed by the AP government because Telangana was clearly in violation of a binding Award, also known as "Bachwat Award" made on May 31, 1976, and express provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act of 2014 Act. This has caused immense hardship for the people of the State of Andhra Pradesh as the availability of water has been seriously prejudiced by depletion in Srisailam Dam project as well as other projects such as the Nagarjuna Sagar Project and the Pulichintala Project, the petition filed before the Supreme Court, claimed.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has also written to Prime Minister Modi and the Jal Shakthi Ministry about the irregularities and sought the Centre’s urgent intervention in this issue.