BENGALURU: The state government's defiance of the Supreme Court order on release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu could invite contempt proceedings but would have no impact on the longevity of the Congress government headed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
The decision to take such a tough stand in view of low storage levels in four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin was arrived at a meeting of leaders of all parties, but those of the BJP abstained in protest against the decision to release 15,000 cusecs beginning September 15. It was ratified soon after by the state cabinet.
"We will defer release of water to Tamil Nadu till a special session of the legislature, convened on September 23, decides on the future course of action," a senior minister told Deccan Chronicle on Wednesday night.
The move would set off contempt proceedings-either suo motu by the bench consisting of Justices Dipak Misra and Uday Lalit, the Tamil Nadu government or even a farmer in the basin area of the neighbouring state.
The apex court would then issue notices to the chief secretary, the chief minister and others. The state government, however, could take a stand that it took the decision not to release water on grounds that it was not "reasonably possible" to implement the order passed on September 20 because of low storage levels in the reservoirs.
"The state government can defend its decision saying it was a case of expression of helplessness. The law does not expect anyone to do anything which is impossible," said legal experts....