New Delhi: Karnataka told the Supreme Court Tuesday that it cannot spare any more water for Tamil Nadu as it would affect the water needs of its own people.
“We don’t say that their (Tamil Nadu) irrigation has not suffered. It is suffering. Ours is also suffering. But that is a different issue. Here we are talking of drinking water,” senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for Karnataka, told judges R.M. Lodha and J. Chelameswar.
As Karnataka appeared unrelenting on releasing more water as sought by Tamil Nadu, senior counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan, appearing for Tamil Nadu, told the court that “their (Karnataka’s intention is not to give anything. My people will go without water”.
Alleging that lower riparian states are suffering because of upper riparian states, he said: “You (Karnataka) utilize (water) lavishly and extravagantly and exhaust it.”
The court was hearing cross petitions by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka rooted in the Sep 19, 2012 interim order of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) directing Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu every day till Oct 15, 2012.
The apex court had Sep 28 pulled up Karnataka for not complying with the direction of CRA, which is headed by the prime minister.
With both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu not budging from their positions, Justice Lodha suggested that the matter be referred to CRA to look into the Cauvery Monitoring Committee’s decision on release of water.
“An order was passed by CMC. You are aggrieved with it. You can go before CRA, and if you are still not satisfied, then you can come to us. That is the logical course to follow,” Justice Lodha told Vaidyanathan.
As Vaidyanathan resisted the suggestion, Justice Lodha adjourned the hearing: “Let it then come on Feb 4” when the case is listed for hearing.
Noting that Karnataka was not acting above board, Justice Lodha said: “We would have sent you to CRA. But the problem is that you are not adhering to it. If we find that you are not following the orders of the Authority, then we will have to intervene.”
Wondering how could the water release for 2013 could be decided taking 1990 as base year, the court observed that it was a “jugglery of figures, some taken from here and some taken from there”.
“Would it not amount to diversion?” asked Justice Chelameswar when Nariman said the Cauvery Water Tribunal Award had only taken into account only 36 percent of Bangalore’s area for drinking water supply while 60 lakh people lived in the remaining two-thirds of the city.
“This is changing the stand”, Justice Lodha observed.
Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin
Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.
The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.
Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.
Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.
Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.
Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told
The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.
The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.
Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.
“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.
DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.
In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.
The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.
The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.
But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.
Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.
It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.
Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus
New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.
Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.
The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.
According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.