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Cauvery Verdict Decoded for Prelims 

Why in News

  • The Supreme Court in a verdict on the Cauvery river water ispute, reduced the allocation of  water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu.
  • Karnataka will now supply 177.25 tmc instead of 192 tmc – a reduction of 14.75 tmc, from its Biligundlu site to Mettur dam in Tamil Nadu

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  1. Original Jurisdiction of Supreme Court.

    • As a federal court, the Supreme Court decides the disputes between different units of the Indian Federation. More elaborately, any dispute between:
      • the Centre and one or more states; or
      • the Centre and any state or states on one side and one or more states on the other; or
      • between two or more states.
    • Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court does not extend to the following:
      • A dispute arising out of any pre-Constitution treaty, agreement, covenant, engagement, sanad or other similar instrument.
      • (b) A dispute arising out of any treaty, agreement, etc., which specifically provides that the said jurisdiction does not extent to such a dispute
      • Inter-state water disputes
    • Matters referred to the Finance Commission.
    • Adjustment of certain expenses and pensions between the Centre and the states.
    • Ordinary dispute of Commercial nature between the Centre and the states.
    • Recovery of damages by a state against the Centre.
  • Special Leave Petition

    • Appeal by Special Leave The Supreme Court is authorised to grant in its discretion special leave to appeal from any judgement in any matter passed by any court or tribunal in the country (except military tribunal and court martial)
    • Article 136 Provides for the Special Leave Petition
    • Article 136 of the Indian Constitution, allows the Supreme Court to grant special leave to appeal against any judgment or order in any matter or case, made by any court or tribunal in the country



  • Tributaries: Shimsa, Hemavathi, Honnuhole, Arkavathi, Kapila, Lakshmana Theertha, Kabini, Lokapavani, Bhavani, Noyil and Amaravathy. (Identify Right bank and Left Bank)
  • Riparian States: Karnataka, Kerala, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu

  • Talacauvery (also Talakaveri) located about 5000 ft above sea level is considered the source of the Cauvery. Talacauvery is located in Coorg district of Karnataka and is 47 km from Madikeri
  • The fourth oldest functional dam[8]Grand Anicut or Kallanai was present at this river. Banasura Sagar Dam also
  • Also, read about Peninsular Rivers:.


Inputs by Shrusti Deshmukh

1. Despite that the Inter-State river water disputes are beyond SC jurisdiction in ARTICLE 262, SC uses its superpower basic structure of Judicial review. Another Extraordinary power to SC comes from Article 142.
2. With regard to disputes in the matter of Treaties- agreements SC is bound to give advice to the President if asked for under Article 143(2).
3. Cauvery Originates in Brahmagiri Hills of KT
4. tributaries if Cauvery :
Left Bank: Hemavathi, Harangi, Shimsha, Arkavati (MEKEDATU PROJECT where it meets Cauvery)
Right Bank: Kabini, Lakshmantirtha, Suvarnavathi, Bhavani, Noyil

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