21 October 2016 Current Affairs: The Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal II (KWDT-II) headed by Justice Brijesh Kumar, has decided to maintain status quo on the allocation of Krishna River water among all four riparian states viz. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. However, tribunal decided to confine the reallocation of Krishna water to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The KWDT-II pronounced its judgement on the litigation prompted by Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Both states in their petition had sought fresh allocation of Krishna River water among all four riparian states. They had urged that Section 89 in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 meant redistribution of Krishna water among all the four riparian States not just between both of them.
KWDT-II verdict : In its verdict, the tribunal said that Section 89 the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 was not applicable to all four riparian states but is meant only for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Thus, there was no need to re-allocate of Krishna River water among all four riparian states. The river water should be re-allocated between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, from the share of undivided Andhra Pradesh.
Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) : Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) is a tribunal set up by the Central Government in 1969 under the Interstate River Water Disputes Act, 1956 to resolve the disputes between the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra and then undivided Andhra Pradesh over sharing of Krishna river water.
Under the Article 131 of the Constitution which deals with the Supreme Court’s exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes between States is not an unrestricted one. The apex court can exercise its jurisdiction under Article 131 in an inter-State dispute, provided other Articles in the Constitution allowed it to do so. Article 262 (2) of the Constitution allows Parliament, by law, to bar the Supreme Court from interfering in an inter-State water dispute. It means that award of water tribunal appointed under a law to resolve inter-State water dispute would be final and deemed to have the force of a Supreme Court order or decree. Thus, it can be said that the award of the tribunal formed under the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956 eclipses the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction.