New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana on Wednesday (August 4) recused himself from hearing the plea of Andhra Pradesh alleging that Telangana has deprived it of its legitimate share of drinking and irrigation water from River Krishna.
The bench, which also comprised Justice Surya Kant, took note of the submissions of the counsel appearing for Andhra Pradesh that the state wanted adjudication of the case by the apex court bench instead of opting for mediation.
“Then let the matter be listed before another bench. We are not forcing you, if you don’t want mediation. Place it before another bench,” the CJI ordered.
“They don’t want mediation, and I don’t want to hear the matter,” CJI Ramana said during the brief hearing.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that the central government has no objection if the CJI-led bench hears the plea of Andhra Pradesh.
Earlier, the SC suggested “mediation” to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for settling their dispute, saying it did not want to interfere “unnecessarily”.
“I don’t want to hear this matter legally. I belong to both the states. If the matter can be settled in mediation, please do that. We can help with that. Otherwise I will transfer this to another bench,” the CJI, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, had observed on August 2.
“I wish that both of you (lawyers representing the two states) convince your governments and settle the matter. We do not want to interfere unnecessarily,” said the CJI .
In July, Andhra Pradesh government moved the SC claiming that Telangana refused to follow the decisions taken by the Apex Council constituted under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, the directions of Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) formed under this Act, and the Centre’s directives.
The petition also said the fundamental rights including right to life of the people living in Andhra Pradesh was “seriously impaired and infringed” upon as they were being deprived of their “legitimate share of water” due to “unconstitutional, illegal and unjust” acts of the Telangana government.
(With inputs from PTI)