The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, which met here on Tuesday after seven years, asked the Tamil Nadu government to move the Supreme Court and get an order allowing the tribunal to hear applications seeking an “explanation and guidance” on the final award passed on February 5, 2007, allocating the quantum of water for each State.

The applications had been filed by the Centre, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry even as the appeals against the final award are pending adjudication in the apex court.

In its last meeting on July 10, 2007, the tribunal, headed by the then Chairman N.P. Singh, had refused to hear the applications on the ground that since the Supreme Court had admitted special leave petitions (SLPs), it would not be proper for it to take up the clarificatory applications.

Senior counsel Vinod Bobde and counsel G. Umapathi, appearing for Tamil Nadu, submitted before the tribunal comprising chairman Justice B.S. Chauhan and members N.S. Rao and Sudhir Narain that in the absence of a stay by the Supreme Court on the final award there would be no impediment for this tribunal to take up and dispose of the pending applications.

Mr. Bobde said the award notified in the gazette would be final only after the applications under Section 5 (3) of the Inter State River Water Disputes Act were disposed of.

Justice Chauhan told the counsel, “Though there is no stay by the Supreme Court, it does not mean it [the court] has permitted the tribunal to hear the applications. Explanation or guidance may alter the award and it might be the subject matter of another appeal.”

Hindu