PANAJI Amidst fresh row erupts over Mhadei dispute over State government’s failure to oppose notification of Tribunal Award, renowned environmentalist and Mhadei Bachao Abhiyan convenor Rajendra Kerkar said that “notification has no standing”
“Whether the Tribunal Award is notified or not..it has no standing pending special leave petitions filed by all the three States- Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra, challenging Mhadei Tribunal Award in the Supreme Court,” he said.
Kerkar said that notification is part of the process considering that the Award was passed.
“Till the Supreme Court hear the SLPs, we will have to wait,” he said adding ‘Goa will have to make a strong case before the Apex Court, failing which we will lose the Mhadei battle’.
The expert said that Tribunal in its award has made it clear that Karnataka cannot go ahead with the work, till fresh DPR is submitted and approved and EC, Forest clearance and other NOCs are obtained from the concerned authorities.
The row broke late on Sunday, after senior counsel Arvind Datar, who was holding brief for Goa in the Mhadei dispute case in the apex court, told a local news channel that in 2019 he had been directed by the Goa government to not object to Karnataka’s plea to the Supreme Court seeking directions to the central government to notify the award of the Mhadei Water Dispute Tribunal.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has however rejected the accusations made by the opposition.
“No instructions were given by anybody from the Government to not oppose notification of Mhadai award. Government instructions are always in writing,” a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office had said.
The Goa government has already filed a contempt petition accusing Karnataka of already diverting the river’s water, despite the Supreme Court hearing another special leave petition filed by Goa which has challenged the Tribunal’s award.