IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
ORIGINAL SUIT NO.1 OF 2017
State of Odisha ….Plaintiff
State of Chhattisgarh & Ors. ….Defendants
O R D E R
This suit has been filed by the plaintiff � State of
Odisha seeking the following reliefs inter alia by way of
injunction against the contesting defendant no.1 � State
of Chhattisgarh :
(a) Grant an injunction restraining Defendant
No.1, its servants and agents from continuing
with the construction and operation of the six
ongoing industrial barrages namely Samoda,
Seorinarayan, Basantpur, Mirouni, Saradiha and
Kalma, pending constitution of the Tribunal as
sought in the complaint dated 21.11.2016 filed by
the Plaintiff for resolution of the water
disputes in respect of waters of the Mahanadi
(b) Grant an injunction restraining Defendant
No.1, its servants and agents from continuing
with the construction and operation of seven
ongoing projects for utilization of 2.95 MAF of
water annually viz., Kelo, Arpa-Bhaisajhar
Barrage, Sondhur, Rajiv Samodanisda Diversion
Project, Phase-II, Mongra Barrage, Ph-II
Sukhanalla barrage and Ghumariya Nalla Barrage,
pending constitution of the Tribunal as sought in
the complaint dated 21.11.2016 filed by the
Plaintiff for resolution of the water disputes in
respect of waters of the Mahanadi Basin;
(c) Grant an injunction restraining Defendant
No.1, its servants and agents from taking up any
projects against the category of future projects
mentioned in the letter dated 27.08.2016 of the
State of Chhattisgarh in ANNEXURE P-1, pending
constitution of the Tribunal as sought in the
complaint dated 21.11.2016 filed by the Plaintiff
for resolution of the water disputes in respect
of waters of the Mahanadi Basin.
Union of India is defendant no.2 and the States of
Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand are proforma
defendant nos.3, 4 and 5 respectively, in the instant
Having regard to the provisions of the Inter-State
River Water Disputes Act, 1956 (for short, the ‘Act’), a
submission was made before us that it would be
appropriate to refer the matter to a Water Disputes
Tribunal under the said Act. We were then informed that
such a Tribunal has not been constituted so far. From
time to time, adjournments were sought in the matter on
behalf of Defendant No.2 � Union of India to report the
stage at which the matter pertaining to the constitution
of Water Disputes Tribunal, rests. We find that no such
Tribunal is constituted till date by the Central
Mr. Atmaram N.S. Nadkarni, learned Additional
Solicitor General appearing for Defendant No.2 � Union of
India, submits that the Water Disputes Tribunal could not
be constituted because one of the disputing States did
not come forward to resolve the disputes by negotiations.
Therefore, according to Mr. Nadkarni, learned
Additional Solicitor General appearing for Defendant
No.2, the Central Government has not come to the
conclusion that the dispute cannot be settled by
negotiations, as contemplated by Section 4 of the Act.
Mr. Mukul Rohatgi, learned Senior Counsel appearing
for the plaintiff, has pointed out a statement made by
the Minister of State for Water Resources, River
Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, on the floor of the
Rajya Sabha, Parliament of India, to the following
�The Negotiation Committee held two meetings
on 28.02.2017 and 22.05.2017 and submitted its
report in which it is mentioned that any
further meetings of this Committee would not
be fruitful as there had been no participation
from complainant State i.e. State of Odisha in
both the meetings. Accordingly, the Ministry
concluded that the dispute cannot be resolved
by negotiation and it has been decided to
constitute a Tribunal for adjudication of the
dispute. Draft Cabinet Note in this regard has
It is clear that the above statement made by the
Minister is with reference to this very dispute and the
Ministry has concluded that the disputes cannot be
resolved by negotiations.
We, therefore, have no hesitation in directing that
the Central Government shall issue appropriate
notification in the Official Gazette and constitute a
Water Disputes Tribunal for adjudication of the water
dispute between the parties herein within a period of one
month from today. Accordingly, the plaint in Original
Suit No.1 of 2017 is returned to the plaintiff for its
presentation and adjudication by the Water Disputes
Tribunal to be newly constituted by the Central
We order accordingly.
With the aforesaid directions, the instant suit is
disposed of as having returned to the plaintiff for its
presentation to the Water Disputes Tribunal.
Needless to mention that questions of all reliefs as
may be allowed to the parties, are left open.
[S. A. BOBDE]
[L. NAGESWARA RAO]
JANUARY 23, 2018.
ITEM NO.10 COURT NO.7 SECTION XVII
S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
Original Suit No.1/2017
STATE OF ODISHA Plaintiff(s)
STATE OF CHHATTISGARH & ORS. Defendants
(IA No.60623/2017-PERMISSION TO FILE ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS
FOR [APP FOR PERMISSION TO FILE ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS] ON IA 2/2017
and IA No.134950/2017-CLARIFICATION/DIRECTION and IA
Date : 23-01-2018 This Suit was called on for hearing today.
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE S.A. BOBDE
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE L. NAGESWARA RAO
For Petitioner(s) Mr. Mukul Rohatgi, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Rakesh Dwivedi, Sr. Adv.
Mr. S.P. Mishra, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Mohan V. Katarki, Adv.
Mr. Mahesh Agarwal, Adv.
Mr. Karan Lahiri, Adv.
Ms. Parul Shukla, Adv.
Mr. Abhinav Agrawal, Adv.
Mr. Raghav Dwivedi, Adv.
Mr. E. C. Agrawala, AOR
For Respondent(s) Mr. Nitin Sonkar, Adv.
Mr. Nishant Ramakantrao Katneshwarkar, AOR
Mr. C.S. Vaidyanathan, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Atul Jha, Adv.
Mr. Sandeep Jha, Adv.
Mr. Dharmendra Kumar Sinha, AOR
Mr. Atmaram N.S. Nadkarni, ASG
Mrs. V. Mohana, Sr. Adv.
Mr. S. Wasim A. Qadri, Adv.
Mrs. Swarupma Chaturvedi, Adv.
Mr. Mukesh Kumar Maroria, AOR
Mr. Tapesh Kumar Singh, AOR
Mr. Mohd. Waquas, Adv.
Mr. Aditya Pratap Singh, Adv.
UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following
O R D E R
The instant suit is disposed of as having returned to the
plaintiff, in terms of the signed order.
Pending interlocutory applications, if any, stand
(SANJAY KUMAR-II) (INDU KUMARI POKHRIYAL)
COURT MASTER (SH) ASST.REGISTRAR
(Signed Order is placed on the file)