The Supreme Court today modified its earlier order on Cauvery River water dispute and asked Karnataka to release 12,000 cusecs Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu till September 20.
The apex court had previously ordered Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs to feed parched farmland of Tamil Nadu in the ‘interests of justice’.
Today’s modification comes on the plea of Karnataka government that sought to suspend its order because Tami Nadu is not having a water crisis. The Karnataka government argued that the agony claimed by Tamil Nadu on the water crisis doesn't exist.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and UU Lalit, which sat on a holiday to consider the urgent plea of Karnataka, however, expressed deep anguish over the "tone and tenor" of the fresh plea and said the law and order situation cannot be taken as a ground for non-compliance of the order of the court.
"Citizen and the executive of this country have to accept and obey the order of the SC unless it is modified. If the court passes an order, either comply or come for modification. People cannot take law into their hand," Justice Dipak Misra said.
The court also rejected one of the prayers of Karnataka that the apex court direction asking it to release 15,000 cusecs water per day to Tamil Nadu be kept in abeyance till next date of hearing on the ground that there has been a fault in the Cauvery Water Tribunal award, which does not deal with the issue of deficient water in the reservoir in a particular month.
Referring to the content of Karnataka's fresh plea, the bench said, "If we are allowed to say then we must say that the tone and tenor of the application is absolutely disturbing and to say the least, totally depricable...that apart the application for modification contain certain averment which follow the tenor or similar language which cannot be conceived of in a court of law seeking modification of an order."
"Agitation, spontaneity or galvanised riot or any kind of catalystic component can never form the foundation for seeking modification of an order. An order of this court has to be complied by all the concerned and it is the obligation of the executive to ensure that the orders are complied in letter and spirit,” the bench said.
The apex court's decision to hear the plea, filed late Saturday evening, came after it was mentioned before the court's registry, which consulted Chief Justice TS Thakur.
On the other hand, a group of unidentified assailants today attacked a hotel owned by a Karnataka-based group here over the ongoing Cauvery River dispute between the two neighbouring states.
According to police, the assailants, numbering 15 who came in three auto-rickshaws, hurled six crude bombs at New Woodlands Hotel on Dr Radhakrishnan Salai in Chennai in the wee hours.
Security guards at the hotel said that the attackers raised slogans against the Karnataka government and Kannadigas. They also vandalised the windowpanes and furniture at the reception area, an ice cream parlour and an office room.
“Around 3.15 am, a group came to the hotel and damaged glass panels. It seems the group attacked the hotel in protest against Karnataka's attitude in the release of Cauvery river water,” a police official said.
A hotel employee confirmed the incident, adding that no person was injured in the attack.
The incident took place a day after an online video showed Tamil engineering student being thrashed in Bengaluru. The victim 22, was slapped, kicked and humiliated by a group for commenting on the Cauvery dispute.
The attackers also left a letter at the incident site that warns of more attacks on Karnataka people and establishments in the state if people of Tamil Nadu living in Karnataka were attacked.
“If Tamils are attacked continuously in Karnataka, Kannadiga workplaces here (in Tamil Nadu) will be attacked. Kannadigas live here too. Beware,” the message reads.
No organisation claimed responsibility for the attack, police said, suspecting that the attack might have been the handiwork of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (TPDK).
In a separate incident, news agency ANI reported that a bus from Karnataka was vandalised by Naam Tamilar Katchi party workers in Rameswaram. The driver was allegedly beaten up before the goons asked him if he was ferrying Kannadigas.