Belagavi: According to information disclosed under the RTI Act, the State government has paid more than Rs. 76.21 crore as fee to the advocates representing it before the Supreme Court and water dispute tribunals (Cauvery and Krishna river waters) from 2005-06.
RTI activist Bhimappa Gundappa Gadad who obtained the information from the Water Resources Development Organisation, Bengaluru, said that the government paid Rs. 36,52,07,674 as fees to the advocates representing the State in the Cauvery dispute, including Rs.13,91,03,413 to senior advocate Anil B. Divan, which is the highest in the list of 21 advocates, followed by Rs.7,84,70,000 to senior counsel Fali S. Nariman; Rs.4,58,44,815 to S.S. Javali and Rs. 4,47,73,783 to M.V. Katarki from 1990-91 to August 8, 2016.
Meanwhile, the State government paid Rs. 39,69,16,098 as fees to the 20 advocates representing the State before the apex court and the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal from 2005-06 to July 31, 2016, including six advocate generals of the State. This included Rs. 1,99,69,698 towards travel and hotel bills of the advocates and five advocate generals. Divan was paid Rs.12,16,00,000 and Nariman Rs. 6,85,97,000; Javali Rs. 4,41,60,000 and Katarki Rs. 3,09,32,000 and Advocate General Uday Holla Rs. 97,70,000.
Rs. 11.93 crore was paid as fees to 11 advocates by the State government including three advocate generals arguing for Karnataka before the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal since the hearing on the dispute, informed Gadad. The highest fee of Rs. 2,60,30,000 was paid to Nariman, Rs.2,41,58,828 was paid to Katarki, and Rs. 1,14,52,900 to Javali. The lowest fee of Rs. 1 lakh was paid to Madhusudhan R. Naik, the Advocate-General.