Bengaluru, Sept 26: Karnataka will tell the Supreme Court that it can release Cauvery water only at a later date. It will not be possible now, Karnataka would state in its petition seeking a modification of the Supreme Court's which directed it to release 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu between September 21 and 27.
Karnataka's contention is that it has no water to release now. It would tell the court that it will be able to release water to Tamil Nadu sometime in December or just before that. Apart from this, the petition would mention the resolution of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly and Council which unanimously decided to release Cauvery water only for drinking purposes.
Heading for a confrontation
Legal experts say that it is clear that Karnataka is heading for a confrontation on this issue. Since the ad-interim order of last week which directed the release of water, Karnataka has not yet implemented the same. Instead the state resolved to use the water only for drinking purposes in the Cauvery basin and Bengaluru.
However, for the Supreme Court to haul up the legislature for contempt will not be possible. It would have to first declare the the resolution as unconstitutional before it initiates contempt proceedings.
Also read: Cauvery issue: Karnataka message to SC, TN Cauvery is now only for drinking not irrigation
Karnataka would state before the Supreme Court on Tuesday that the intention is not to disobey the order.
The issue is that the release of water is not possible now. It can be done at a later date, sometime on or before December, Karnataka would tell the court. This point would be made when the Supreme Court asks Karnataka why it had not implemented its order passed last week.
Karnataka's chief secretary Aravind Jadhav and water resources minister, M B Patil held discussions with the legal team. A strategy was formulated on how to go about this matter and also avoid contempt proceedings.