[Mullaiperiyar Dam] 'Not here to administer the Dam, need to decide legal issues': Supreme Court directs counsels to identify core issues

  • Thyagarajan Narendran, Salil Tiwari
  • 06:49 PM, 12 Jan 2022

In a matter pertaining to alleged “inaction” of Court-appointed Supervisory committee regarding safety of the Mullaperiyar Dam, the Supreme Court on Tuesday orally remarked that "This is not adversarial litigation. Safety, security, and health issues are involved.We are not here to administer the dam, we have to decide the legal issues."

A Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar, accordingly, asked the parties to articulate the issues and issues on which they have a difference of opinion.

Thus, directing the matter to be posted in the 2nd week of February, Court noted that counsels for the parties have agreed to have a joint meeting to identify the issue and they have assured the court that they will articulate the issues and issues on which they have a difference of opinion.

During the hearing, the Court said that administrative issues of water level management and dam seepage will be examined by an expert committee and the Court will not go into the administration of the dam.

Court said that parties before the Court in the case should not treat the matter as adversarial litigation, considering the fact that the primary object of the case before the Court is to ensure the safety of people. 

Counsels of all the parties have also been directed to submit their written notes by February 4.

The Court was hearing a plea highlighting the “inaction” of Supervisory committee appointed by the court to take care of material and safety aspects of Mullai Periyar Dam

The Mullaperiyar Dam has been a contentious issue between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The Dam is situated in Kerala's Periyar River and which supplies water to five districts of Tamil Nadu. Kerala has been maintaining for the past few decades that the Dam is unsafe, Tamil Nadu has all along vouched for its safety.

Case Title: Dr Joe Joseph v. State of Tamil Nadu