ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Narmada Judgment

Two minor errors and an omission in my article on the Supreme Court judgment in the Narmada case (November 4) have been brought to my notice, and I wish to correct them.

(i) The article says that the majority judgment allows construction to proceed up to 90 m, and thereafter to be subjected to check for compliance with the conditions in stages of 5 m. The ‘stages of 5 m’ stipulation is there only in the judgment of Justice Bharucha. The majority judgment merely talks about checks. This error does not affect the argument in any way.
(ii) The statement in the article that the Report of the FMG was filed in the SC by NBA is not correct. The Report of the FMG was then in a sealed cover as directed by the Gujarat High Court. NBA wanted it to be made public. The SC called for the Report, made it public, and asked for submissions on it by the governments and by NBA. This error too has no bearing on the argument.
(iii) The article does not refer to the fact that the judgment invests final decision-making powers in the PM (in the event of a difference in the Review Committee). This was not quite an innovation as something similar had been done in the case relating to the Cauvery dispute, but whether this was novel or not, the conversion of the PM (a political animal) into a kind of judicial authority was a very questionable proposition.

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