Cauvery dispute: India's top court tells Karnataka to release river water from October 1 to 6

The two states -- Karnataka & Tamil Nadu -- have been fighting for decades over sharing of the Cauvery river waters. This bout of violence was brought about after the Supreme Court ordered Karnataka to release 12,000 cusecs of water by September 16 Photograph:( AFP )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Sep 30, 2016, 11.44 AM (IST)

India’s Supreme Court (SC) today asked the southern state of Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of water daily to its neighbouring state from October 1 to 6.

The apex court pulled up Karnataka for defying its earlier orders regarding sharing of Cauvery waters, which have been the reason behind the decades-old fight between the two south Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The court also on Friday asked the Centre to set up the Cauvery Management Board by October 4 and submit a report about the ground realities next week.

The Karnataka government had on Wednesday deferred the court’s order to share Cauvery waters stating that it wasn’t in a position to release water.

A meeting of the chief ministers of the two states with Union water resources minister Uma Bharti in New Delhi on Thursday, as directed by the court, was inconclusive, with Bharti threatening to go on a hunger strike if the issue is not amicably resolved by the two states.

The Supreme Court said that Karnataka cannot disobey its orders, considering Article 144 of the Indian Constitution which mandates everyone to obey SC orders. The state will have to face "the wrath of law" otherwise, the court said.

“It is not defying the order. The National Water Policy says the first priority should be given to drinking water and then to irrigation and other purposes. This is what we are demanding," Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah had earlier said.

Eminent lawyer Fali S Nariman today withdrew as the state counsel citing its refusal to comply with the court order.