New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana on Monday said as he belonged to both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, he could not hear legal issues involving them, but offered to mediate if both the states agreed.
Heading a bench also comprising Justice Surya Kant, Justice Ramana said, “I am from both states. I am not interested in hearing legal issues but can help if parties agree to mediation.”
Displaying his neutrality between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana which are embroiled in a dispute over the sharing of the Krishna river water, the CJI adjourned the matter to Wednesday (August 4), giving time to the lawyer appearing for Andhra Pradesh to take instructions if it wanted to resolve the matter through mediation which he (CJI Ramana) offered to facilitate.
Asking both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to explore if the matter could be settled through mediation, Ramana said otherwise he would have to send the matter to another bench. “List the matter on Wednesday, the 4th of August, 2021, to enable the senior counsel appearing for the State of Andhra Pradesh to obtain instructions in the matter,” said the brief order passed by the CJI.
Citing the recent problems in the northeast and other incidents, senior lawyer Dushyant Dave appearing for Andhra Pradesh sought time to take instruction on the suggestion by Justice Ramana on resolving the matter through mediation.
Andhra Pradesh, in its plea, said despite the bifurcation of the state having taken place in 2014, and the apex council formed, the jurisdiction of the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) which was to be declared under Section 87 thereof the 2014 Act, had not been notified as yet.
Andhra Pradesh said the non-declaration of the jurisdiction of KRMB was “resulting in illegal acts on part of Telangana and its authorities, giving rise to serious constitutional issues.”
The petition by Andhra Pradesh says that it is constrained to move the top court invoking Article 32 of the Constitution in order to protect the fundamental right of its people, including right to life of its citizens involving water for drinking and irrigation. It says that the rights of its people are seriously impaired and infringed due to unconstitutional, illegal and unjust acts on part of Telangana and its authorities.
It further says, “This has caused immense hardship to people of Andhra Pradesh as availability of water has been seriously prejudiced by depletion in Srisailam dam project as well as other projects such as the Nagarjuna Sagar project and the Pulichintala project.”