Hyderabad: The hearings resumed by the Justice Brijesh Kumar Tribunal were on Tuesday adjourned abruptly for a day following objection raised by one of the respondent states, Karnataka, over appointment of Justice Ram Mohan Reddy as one of the Tribunal members. The Tribunal, which was extended by two years by the Union government in 2014 consequent to bifurcation of AP to include issues concerning sharing of Krishna waters by residuary AP and TS were to be decided.
In December 2015, the Central government, in consultation with the Supreme Court, appointed retired judge of the Karnataka High Court, Justice Ram Mohan Reddy as a member of the Tribunal. On Tuesday, when the Tribunal resumed its hearing in Delhi, counsel for the Karnataka government filed an objection petition over the appointment of Justice Reddy as its member, stating any decision by the Tribunal may spark off a controversy since the member was a native of that state.
When the opinion of counsel of the Union government was sought on this, he replied that appointment was made in consultation with Supreme Court and they would have no objection if Justice Reddy continued as the Tribunal member. Counsel told the Tribunal that in January this year, Karnataka had written to the Centre objecting to the appointment. He argued that convention says that no judge can decide a matter in which his native state is involved.
When the Tribunal sought the opinion of AP counsel, he too supported this contention. Meanwhile, TS counsel sought time till Wednesday to consult the state government on the issue. Objections over the constitution of the Tribunal means there will be more delay in deciding if the issue of distribution of waters among the four states should be taken up afresh or not. In another month or so, the two-year extended term of the Tribunal will end....