Petition to declare Indus-Waters treaty with Pak illegal rejected by SC
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a public interest litigation seeking declaration of the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan as illegal and unconstitutional. "This treaty is of 1960 and this treaty has held good for more than half a century," a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said while dismissing the PIL filed by lawyer M L Sharma in his personal capacity.
During the hearing, it was argued that the Indus water pact was not a treaty at all as the same was not signed in the name of the President of India.
"It was a tripartite agreement between three leaders and void ab initio (illegal at the outset) and hence cannot be acted upon," the lawyer said.
The court said that it has perused the entire petition and does not wish to agree with it.
The Indus water agreement was executed on September 19, 1960 between India, Pakistan and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or the World Bank. Besides Nehru, the then Pakistan President Mohammad Ayub Khan and W A B Iliff for the World Bank were its signatories.
The apex court had last year refused to grant an urgent hearing on the PIL, saying there was no urgency in the matter while Mr. Sharma, who filed the PIL in his personal capacity on the issue, to "keep politics aside".
Mr. Sharma, in his PIL, had referred to Article 77 of the Constitution and said it mandates that all executive action of the government shall be expressed to be taken in the name of the President.