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Mullaperiyar Dam Case : Supreme Court Agrees For Expeditious Final Hearing; Posts On Dec 10

Srishti Ojha
22 Nov 2021 8:06 AM GMT
Mullaperiyar Dam Case : Supreme Court Agrees For Expeditious Final Hearing; Posts On Dec 10
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The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear the Mullaperiyar dam case expeditiously for final settlement of all the points of dispute and posted the matter to December 10.A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar stated that the hearing of the case on December 10 will be subject to the completion of hearing in two other on-going part-heard matters.Senior Advocate...

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The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear the Mullaperiyar dam case expeditiously  for final settlement of all the points of dispute and posted the matter to December 10.

A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar stated that the hearing of the case on December 10 will be subject to the completion of hearing in two other on-going part-heard matters.

Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta, appearing for the State of Kerala, submitted that emergency orders are not required now, as the water level situation is under the monitoring of the Supervisory Committee. However, he added that the objections raised by Kerala to the rule curve suggested by Tamil Nadu needs to be settled.

"We are not focusing on emergency orders, though there were heavy rains, your lordships asked the supervisory commmittee to monitor. Now the rule curve issue is there, which needs to be settled", Gupta submitted.

The bench said that it will be a matter for final adjudication.

Senior Advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for the State of Tamil Nadu, also agreed that immediate directions are not needed and the matter can be posted for final hearing.

"We've heard the counsels. In all fairness, it's submitted that there is no immediate direction needed at this stage. Instead, it is submitted that the main matter be proceeded expeditiously. We've no difficulty in acceding to request of expediting main proceeding", the bench noted in the order.

Advocate Wills Mathew, appeared in the petition filed by 'Suraksha Public Charitable Trust', which seeks the termination of the lease agreement the erstwhile Madras Presidency and the Travancore Kingdom, which was later continued by the States of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, as per which the latter gets the rights over the water in the Mullaperiyar reservoir.

"Our intention is while Tamil Nadu should get water, the security concerns of people in Kerala cannot be overlooked", Mathew submitted.

Advocate VK Biju, appearing in the writ petition filed by Periyar Protection Movement, sought for a direction that Tamil Nadu should furnish the seepage data relating to the dam. Tamil Nadu's counsel told the bench that all records are exchanged with Kerala on the weekly basis.

The bench is hearing a batch of petitions filed by Kerala-based parties seeking directions to ensure the safety of the 126 year old dam.

The Kerala Government had earlier filed an affidavit disputing the rule curve adopted by the Supervisory Committee at the suggestion of Tamil Nadu. Kerala also stated that the long term solution to the problem was the decommissioning of the existing dam to construct a new dam. Later, Tamil Nadu filed a counter-affidavit, refuting the arguments of Kerala. It asserted that the dam has been found to be "hydrologically, structurally and seismically safe" by the Supreme Court and that it has been repeatedly strengthened under the supervision of the Committee.
(Cases : Dr.Joe Joseph and others versus State of Tamil Nadu and others(WP(c) No.880 of 2020), Suraksha Public Charitalbe Trust versus State of Kerala and others (SLP(c) No.3924/2021).

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