New bench needed for Telangana Krishna plea

Two SC judges, hailing from Karnataka, Maharashtra, recuse.

Hyderabad: Two judges of the Supreme Court recused themselves from hearing arguments on a writ petition filed by the TS government seeking constitution of a fresh Tribunal on sharing of Krishna waters.

Supreme Court senior judge Justice Dipak Misra, who heads the three-member bench to refer the writ to another bench.

Earlier, soon after the Bench headed by Justice Misra began hearing the pending writ petition in the morning, senior counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan submitted to the court that though the TS government has no objection and it was ready to continue arguments before the three-member bench, there might be apprehensions among certain people that since two judges hailing from Karna-taka and Maharashtra were on the bench, it may not be proper due to the fact that both the riparian states fall within the ambit of Krishna water.

Mr Vaidyanathan said that since irrigation is linked with state interest, the judgement should not be looked as ‘undesirable’. He added that he was ready to put forth the arguments if Bench desired.

At this stage Justice Misra had a word with Justices Ajay Manikrao Khanwilkar from Maha-rashtra and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar who is from Karnataka, and adjourned hearing for the afternoon.

In the afternoon, Justice Mistra announced that registry was directed to refer the case to another bench.

The Telangana state government, soon after state formation in 2014, had filed a complaint with the Centre under Section 3 of the Interstate Water Disputes Act to constitute a separate Tribunal to adjudicate in the share of Krishna waters entitled to it as it was subjected to injustice all these years.

As per the Act, the Union government had to respond to the complaint within a year which it did not.

This prompted the TS government to file a writ petition in 2015. Following Wednesday’s development, the matter will be referred to another bench.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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