Cauvery River Water Dispute: Supreme Court frames eight issues and lists the matter for directions on May 07

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In a recent order, the Supreme Court (SC) framed eight issues in connection with a suit filed by the State of Karnataka against the States/Union territories of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, and Kerala over the Cauvery River water dispute. The bench also directed the parties to file documents within six weeks and listed the matter for direction on May 07, 2024. Justice Abhay S. Oka and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan passed the order on March 19, 2024. The issues framed are as follows:

  1. “Whether the Suit is barred by Section 11 of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 read with Article 262(2) of the Constitution of India?
  2. Whether the Suit is barred by principles of Res Judicata?
  3. Whether the plaintiff is entitled to commit, enjoy or utilize “Karnataka Cauvery Water” as defined in paragraph 6(a) of the Plaint?
  4. Whether defendant Nos.1 and 3 are not entitled to commit, enjoy or utilize any water in the Cauvery basin in addition to “Tamil Nadu Cauvery Water” as defined in paragraph 6(b) of the Plaint?
  5. Whether the Suit premised on the bifurcation of waters of River Cauvery as “Karnataka Cauvery Water” and “Tamil Nadu Cauvery Water” is at all maintainable?
  6. Whether the projects sought to be undertaken by the first defendant prejudicially affect the rights and interests of the plaintiff-State?
  7. Whether the Suit is at all maintainable in the absence of existence of any cause of action?
  8. What relief, if any?”