New Delhi: The Supreme Court today directed digitisation of a voluminous expert committee`s report on safety aspects of Mullaperiyar dam which would be the basis for determining validity of an Act passed by Kerala Government to allegedly circumvent the apex court`s earlier direction on the issue.
The direction was given by a five-judge Constitution Bench of justices D K Jain, R M Lodha, H L Dattu, C K Prasad and A R Dave.
The expert committee had recently given a report in a sealed cover indicating that the century-old dam, which is the bone of contention between Tamil Nadu and Kerala, was structurally and hydrologically safe.
Though the apex court had earlier permitted Tamil Nadu to raise the water level upto 142 feet, Kerala had bought in an enactment in March 2006 restricting the hike to 136 feet compelling Tamil Nadu to approach the apex court again.
The five-judge bench of the court had earlier constituted the expert committee to examine afresh the safety aspect of the dam. The committee had submitted its report recently.
Observing that "we will have a paperless hearing", the bench directed the registry to digitise the 50,000-odd page report so as to enable the court to examine it.
The court also recorded the submission of Additional Solicitor General Haren Raval that the Ministry of Water Resources will render all assistance in the digitisation process.
The bench said after the digitisation, the respective states will be furnished copies of the report in digital format.
It posted the matter to October five for further directions.