Satluj Yamuna Link Case: SC refuses Punjab’s plea for hearing after polls
The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused Punjab�s plea for adjourning the hearing over the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal dispute till the new government assumed office in the state.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused Punjab’s plea for adjourning the hearing over the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal dispute till the new government assumed office in the state.
The apex court said that it would not tolerate flouting of its decree directing Punjab to construct the canal.While polling is slated for February 4, counting of votes will take place only on March 11 along with other states facing assembly elections – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. The apex court posted the hearing for February 15.
The SYL case row over sharing of the Ravi-Beas waters has been going on for decades. While Haryana wants its share, as was decided when the state was carved out of Punjab along with Himachal Pradesh 50 years ago, successive Punjab governments have refused to share water.
A bench comprising Justices PC Ghose and Amitava Roy granted three weeks’ time to Punjab for responding to Haryana’s plea for executing apex court’s 2004 directive for completion of the SYL canal. It asked Haryana to file its reply in one week thereafter.
Arguing for Punjab, senior counsel Ram Jethmalani pleaded that the Centre should show statesmanship and resolve the dispute over sharing the waters of Ravi and Beas rivers, instead of letting the two states fight a legal battle.
The bench, however, clarified that there was no way Punjab could shirk its responsibility as the apex court would ensure implementation of its orders for completing the construction of the SYL canal, which would enable Haryana to draw its share of Ravi and Beas waters.
Appearing for the Centre, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said the apex court’s decrees could be executed only if the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act-2004 was struck down by the SC.