No New Material will be Accepted on Mullaperiyar
A five – judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Friday declined to accept any fresh material other than what has been submitted by the expert panel on the controversial Mullaperiyar Dam row between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The Supreme Court said it would not accept any fresh material as otherwise the entire process would be unending. A bench comprising justices D.K. Jain, R.M. Lodha, H.L. Dattu, C.K. Prasad and A.R. Dave adjourned the matter till November 5th, when it would fix the date for final hearing on the contentious issue.
“We will not accept any new material or data. How do you expect the matters to come to an end? Otherwise it will be an unending process,” the bench told senior counsel V. Giri, appearing for Kerala. The bench made the observation after Mr. Giri submitted that the expert committee had collected fresh material on the basis of which it had given a report certifying the safety of the century old dam. Kerala argued that the committee had relied on its own empirical data and material, rather than the material and evidence submitted by Kerala and Tamil Nadu, in arriving at the conclusion.
The Supreme Court, however, said the committee may have its own views and cannot be faulted for it. The bench said Kerala and Tamil Nadu can raise any objections on the committee’s findings only on the basis of existing material and pointed out that the high – powered panel had members from both the squabbling States besides from the Centre. “Committee had your nominee, Tamil Nadu and experts from both the sides beside Centre. Tomorrow you will say you will call experts from England, Spain or Japan. We can’t permit it. It is an expert committee and not an ad – hoc mechanism. It is a high – powered committee. A body constituted of top level experts,” the bench told Kerala firmly.
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