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Tuesday, April 16 2024

Krishna River dispute: SC judges recuse themselves from hearing case

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Bengaluru: A Supreme Court bench on Monday January 10 recused itself from hearing a matter connected with the distribution of Krishna water dispute between Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Karnataka.

A bench comprising Justices D. Y. Chandrachud and A. S. Bopanna, after the case was called out for hearing, told counsel in the matter they belonged to Maharashtra and Karnataka.

As the State governments counsel, involved in the matter, contended that they have no objection to the bench hearing the case, the judges said that earlier Supreme Court judges Justice A. M. Khanwilkar and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar had recused themselves from the matter due to similar reasons. “We don’t want ourselves to be the target of invectives,” said the bench.

The bench further added that it is better that this case is taken up for hearing by a different combination of judges. Now, the matter will go before the Chief Justice N. V. Ramana, to assign it to some other combination of judges.

The Andhra Pradesh government had earlier claimed that the Telangana government is depriving it of its legitimate share of water for drinking and irrigation purposes and this is “unconstitutional and illegal.”

Andhra Pradesh, in its plea, submitted that Telangana is refusing to follow decisions taken in the apex council constituted under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, directions of Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) constituted under this Act, and directions of the Centre.

The plea cited that under Section 87(1), the board can exercise jurisdiction only in respect of such aspects as are notified by the Centre, but no such notification has been issued so far.

The plea argued that in view of no progress on notification of the jurisdiction of KRMB, Telangana by its acts of commission is seriously affecting the water supply to Andhra Pradesh for irrigation and other purposes.

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