The Supreme Court on Monday was stunned after the Centre showed its reluctance to fund court-appointed techno-legal panel formed to examine the strength and capacity of over a century-old Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice D K Jain expressed shock when Additional Solicitor General Harin Rawal pleaded to direct Kerala and the Tamil Nadu to bear the cost for the panel, as it has been formed to deal with an inter-state dispute.
The bench was irked on reading the Centre’s affidavit, citing difficulties in funding the panel. It said Union of India didn’t want to bear the cost due to budgetary allocation problems.
The court said: “It’s shocking that the Centre has raised such a plea showing unwillingness to bear the expenses of the panel. Tomorrow, you may also ask us how much we had spent on hearing the case.”
It also added that the panel’s functioning is not an inter-state dispute.
It also dismissed Tamil Nadu’s plea to scrap the panel on the ground that court could not delegate its judicial work.