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Mullaperiyar Dam Case : 'Not Looking At It Adversarially', Supreme Court Says Adjourning Hearing To Nov 22

Srishti Ojha
13 Nov 2021 9:53 AM GMT
Mullaperiyar Dam Case : Not Looking At It Adversarially, Supreme Court Says Adjourning Hearing To Nov 22
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The Supreme Court on Saturday observed that it was not looking at the dispute between the States of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the Mullaperiyar dam issue in an adversarial manner.A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar made this oral remark while adjourning a batch of petitions filed by Kerala-based petitioners seeking directions to ensure the safety of the 126-year old...

The Supreme Court on Saturday observed that it was not looking at the dispute between the States of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the Mullaperiyar dam issue in an adversarial manner.

A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar made this oral remark while adjourning a batch of petitions filed by Kerala-based petitioners seeking directions to ensure the safety of the 126-year old dam, especially in the light of flood alerts. The bench said that it will ultimately go by the opinion of the Expert Committee constituted by the Court for supervising the dam.

When the matter was taken, Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta, representing Kerala, requested for time to respond to the reply affidavit filed by the State of Tamil Nadu yesterday.

The bench posted the matter to November 22, taking into account the convenience of Senior Advocate Shekhar Naphade,  who represents the State of Tamil Nadu. The bench directed that the order passed on October 28, as per which the water level in the dam has to be maintained as per the decision of the Supervisory Committee, will continue to operate till the next hearing date.

Advocate VK Biju, who appeared in a fresh writ petition filed by Periyar Protection Movement, requested for issuance of notice on a prayer for interim direction to Tamil Nadu to produce the seepage data. Before hearing, the seepage data should be made available to the Court, he said.

"5 districts of Tamil Nadu need water, 5 districts of Kerala need protection", Biju submitted while stressing that the issue needs an amicable solution than an adversarial approach.

The bench said that they are also not approaching the issue adversarially.

"We are not  having an adversarial approach...ultimately we'll go by the Expert Committee's opinion", Justice Khanwilkar said.

At this point, Naphade said that the new writ petition was "one more attempt to keep the pot boiling". "The main intention of such applications is to harass us", the senior counsel added, while assuring the bench that all records will be produced before the Court.

Justice Khanwilkar then said, "It is not a one time consideration matter, it is a continuous matter. If there's an evolving situation, how its been addressed has to be seen. If some input is available, we will have a look at it and then we'll proceed".

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. Yesterday, 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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