A day after the Supreme Court held as “unconstitutional” the 2004 law passed by Punjab to terminate the SYL canal and other water-sharing agreements, the state on Friday said that a three-member legal team will critically examine the ruling and advice the government on this matter.
“A legal team will study the judgement and examine it critically and then give some recommendations and advice to the state government,” Punjab advocate general Ashok Aggarwal said. The team comprises additional advocate fenerals Kamal Sehgal, Vinod Bhardwaj and Rajat Khanna. “By Saturday evening, we may be ready to advise the government on this matter,” he said.
Asked whether Punjab had any legal option left regarding the SYL matter, he said, , “Maybe there are (legal options), maybe there is none. We do not know right now.” Aggarwal added that the apex court had just given its advice on the matter and the President may or may not accept it.
The water dispute assumed a new dimension with the Supreme Court holding as “unconstitutional” the 2004 law passed by Punjab to terminate agreements. The judgement made it clear that the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004 was unconstitutional and that the state could not have taken a “unilateral” decision to terminate the pacts with Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Chandigarh.
Asserting that not even a single drop of water would be allowed to go outside the state, the Punjab cabinet has already decided to call on President, requesting him not to accept the opinion of the apex court. It has also decided to hold an emergency session of the state assembly on November 16 to discuss the issue.