Karnataka to file fresh plea before Cauvery panel



New Delhi: Karnataka will file a review petition on Tuesday before the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made it clear that only the authority can revisit the decision about the state releasing water to Tamil Nadu.

Congress' ministers from Karnataka SM Krishna, Mallikarjun Kharge and KH Muniyappa and 16 BJP MPs from the state, led by M Venkaiah Naidu, met Dr Singh separately on Monday seeking a review of the CRA decision.

Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who was also present in the meetings said: "Both the groups sought a stay. The Prime Minister told them that it is not permissible as there is no mechanism under CRA to change its award...it is not the decision of the prime minister but of the CRA. The CRA will have to meet again for any such thing."

Later, talking to media, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar said the state would file a review petition before the CRA on Tuesday and demanded that Singh take up the issue immediately.

"The Cauvery case came up in the Supreme Court today (on Monday). Our counsel said the state is not in a position to release any water (to Tamil Nadu). This is the stand of the government," he said.

The Cauvery Monitoring Committee panel will decide the amount of water to be released from Karnataka after October 15.

The Supreme Court had earlier directed the Karnataka Government to release daily 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu to comply with Dr Singh-headed Cauvery River Authority (CRA).

An apex court bench of Justices DK Jain and Madan Lokur warned Karnataka that if it failed to comply with the CRA directive, it (the bench) will have to pass appropriate orders.

"This is the order passed by the CRA, headed by the Prime Minister. You don't want to comply with it. We are very sorry for the kind of respect you have for the highest authority. You comply with the directive or we will pass the order," the apex bench told the counsel appearing for the Karnataka Government.

The apex court then directed the state to release 9,000 cusecs of water under the distress sharing formula from September 20 to October 15 and sought its reply within a week.

Senior counsel CS Vaidyanathan, who appeared for Tamil Nadu, earlier urged the apex court to direct the Union Government under Article 355 of the Constitution to protect the state's interest.

Under Article 355, it is the duty of the Union Government to protect states against external aggression, internal disturbances and to ensure that the governance of the state is carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

The apex court was hearing an application by Tamil Nadu to direct Karnataka to release 2-tmc ft of water daily for 24 days till the onset of the northeast monsoon.

ANI