November,10,2016:In a major setback to the ruling SAD-BJP Government in State of Punjab, the Apex Court today ruled that the state government’s law seeking to terminate the agreement of water-sharing with other neighbouring states by constructing the Satluj-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal on its territory, is illegal.
A Constitution Bench of five-judge thus answered the Presidential Reference, while opining that Punjab State can not terminate the agreement unilaterally as it sought to do and its 2004 Act was therefore unconstitutional.
The Constitution Bench led by Justice Anil R Dave, said that every question referred to it by the President has been answered by it in negative.
The verdict means that now effectively the Punjab’s attempt to shirk away out of the agreement to share water with Haryana, Delhi and other states has been finally shot down by SC.
The 2004 decree passed by the Supreme Court standsrestored.
Constitution Bench judgment now means that Punjab will have to construct the SYL canal on its territory. The detailed text of the judgment by the Bench would come out shortly.
Haryana would now seek the execution of the court order.
The SC Benchhad also stayed the SAD-BJP government’s attempt to de-notify and return to farmers the land acquired for construction of the canal.
While protesting against this apex court judgment, Party state president Amarinder Singh resigned as Member of Parliament. Congress MLAs also resigned en masse and called for a press conference at 4.30 pm today.
This judgment is being looked as a huge setback for the SAD-BJP alliance.
It acquires importance ahead of the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections.
Haryana CM ML Khattar has hailed the court’s decision,as it has brought a big smile on the face of every Haryanvi.
Ironically in March 2016, Punjab Assembly had passed a resolution that it will not share a single drop of water with Haryana.