Hyderabad: The Division Bench of the Telangana High Court headed by Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice C.V Bhaskar Reddy on 18 August heard a PIL seeking to quash the Centre's notification through which the Indian government has taken control of all the major and medium irrigation projects in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The PIL was filed by D. Panduranga Reddy and two others of Telangana Development Forum (TDF).
The Registry of the High Court raised certain objections to the maintainability of the Public Interest Litigation (PIL). As per Section 11 of the Inter-State Water Disputes Act 1956, neither the Supreme Court nor the High Courts shall adjudicate pleas pertaining to inter-state river water disputes.
J. Ramchander Rao, the additional advocate general of Telangana, informed the court that the issue raised in the PIL is not an inter-state water dispute and further apprised the court of his advice to the state government to challenge this said impugned notification issued by the Central government before the apex court.
The petitioners in the PIL contended that the High Court has jurisdiction to adjudicate this issue as the plea in the PIL is not an inter-state water dispute and the notification issued by the Central government is illegal, arbitrary, and draconian as the Centre aims to usurp all powers of the state governments over all irrigation projects.
Further, the Central government, taking advantage of the hostile circumstances prevailing between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on inter-state river projects, has issued the impugned notification with a malicious intention to take control over all the irrigation projects which is nothing but infringing of the fundamental rights of the citizens of Telangana, the petitioners contended before the court.
The counsel representing Andhra Pradesh was not available for his arguments.
The matter has been adjourned to 20 September.