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TN files for contempt against Centre

Union government seeks three months’ extension to frame scheme for sharing of Cauvery water
Tamil Nadu moved the Supreme Court to initiate contempt proceedings against the Union government for its “wilful disobedience” in not implementing the court’s February 16 judgment in the Cauvery dispute.

In its petition, the State said the Centre had failed to frame a scheme within the time limit set by the court, by not setting up the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee to monitor the allocation of the river water among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.

Election constraints
The contempt petition has been filed at a time when the Centre has also moved the court for a three-month extension of time to implement the verdict. The Karnataka Assembly election is to be held on May 12.

While seeking clarification on some aspects of the verdict, the Centre claimed that notifying the scheme during the election process would lead to “public outrage” and “cause law and order problems.” Tamil Nadu accused the Centre of refusing to act to “protect the interests of the farmers and the larger interests of the State.”

Six-week deadline
The contempt petition wants the court to “purge the contempt forthwith” by directing the Centre to frame a scheme by providing for the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee as per the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s order of 2007. As per the February 16 judgment in the appeals, the Centre had to frame the scheme in six weeks. The deadline ended on March 29.

(Adapted from The Hindu)

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