New Delhi: The Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the Krishna river water sharing dispute with Telangana state required adjudication, flagging legal issues that needed to be settled, while being lukewarm to the suggestion by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana to resolve the issue through mediation.
As the Andhra Pradesh government lawyer G. Umapathy said, “The state doesn’t agree to mediation as suggested by the Supreme Court,” Justice Ramana, heading a bench also comprising Justice Surya Kant, said, “We will list the case before another bench.”
“We cannot force you (the Andhra Pradesh government) if you don't want mediation. Let the matter be listed before another bench,” Justice Ramana said, recusing from hearing the matter.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the states had no objection to Justice Ramana hearing the matter.
In the last hearing of the matter on Monday (August 2), Justice Ramana said, “I am from both the states. I am not interested in hearing legal issues but can help if parties agree to mediation.”
The Andhra Pradesh government approached the top court for notification of the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) as stipulated in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act of 2014. The bifurcation of the state as Andhra Pradesh and Telangana took place more than seven years ago, but the jurisdiction of the board has not been notified as yet.
Under the Act, the Union ministry of Jal Shakti was supposed to take over the administrative control to regulate the water supply in the Krishna basin in the two states.
Andhra Pradesh, in its plea, said despite the bifurcation of the state having taken place in 2014, and the apex council being formed, the jurisdiction of the KRMB which was to be declared under Section 87 thereof 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 said that it was forced 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 said that the rights of its people were seriously impaired and infringed due to unconstitutional, illegal and unjust acts on part of Telangana and its authorities....