The constitution bench of the Supreme Court consisting of five judges has come upon with a heavy hand on Kerala and Tamil Nadu for adding fuel to the Mullaperiyar dam fire rather than dousing it. It said that the states were whipping up the emotions of the people and inciting people in their respective states.
A five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Justice D.K. Jain urged both the states to observe sanity and sensitiveness, the apex court directed Tamil Nadu to ensure that the water level of Mullaperiyar dam did not breach the 136 feet level however Kerala’s plea for restricting the limit to 120 feet was not entertained by the court.
The court while considering the prevailing hostilities that exists among the two states over the century-old Mullaperiyar dam row remarked, Both the parties instead of dousing the fire are adding fuel to it. There has to be sanity and sensitiveness. It also asked both the states to exercise restraint on the comments and statements made on the issue of the Mullaperiyar dam as they seem to be adding fuel to the fire than dousing it.
The bench consisting of Justices D K Jain, R M Lodha, Deepak Verma, C K Prasad and A R Dave also ordered the Central Government to file its reply by Thursday on Tamil Nadu’s plea for the deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) for guaranteeing the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam.
The Additional Solicitor General Harin Rawal and senior counsel Ashok Bhan, who at the outset had put forward that Kerala had taken adequate measures to protect the Mullaperiyar dam, later agreed to file a response after seeking necessary directions from the government.
The constitutional bench also reprimanded Tamil Nadu for the wrongly using the apex court’s earlier orders and oral observations through vast newspaper announcements and also rejected its appeal to restrain the leaders of Kerala from making any proclamations on the Mullaperiyar dam issue.
Report by Radhalakshmi R