SC delay in deciding Presidential reference
State demands union minister’s intervention
Chandigarh, April 22
Peeved at the inordinate delay by the Supreme Court in deciding the Presidential reference on the Termination of Agreements Act passed by the Punjab Assembly, the Haryana Government has sought intervention of Union Minister for Water Resources Salman Khurshid in the issue.
The Punjab Assembly had passed the controversial Act in 2004 when the Congress ruled the state so that the construction of the SYL canal could not be completed as ordered by the Supreme Court. Following a representation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi by party MPs from Haryana, among others, the matter was referred by the President to the Supreme Court to decide on the constitutional validity of the Punjab Act. The apex court is yet to pronounce its verdict.
Haryana Irrigation Minister Ajay Singh Yadav urged Khurshid to take up the issue with the Attorney-General of India, who, in turn, should request the apex court for an early decision. Yadav pointed out to Khurshid that this was perhaps the only Presidential reference, which had not been decided by the Supreme Court for more than seven years.
Yadav regretted that the matter was not being listed despite being mentioned several times by the Haryana Government in all these years. He said an application was also filed in this regard in August, 2010. “It gives us a feeling that the Government of India has not followed up the matter with the Supreme Court,” he added.
He said the issue was very important for Haryana, especially for the southern part of the state, which was deprived of water due to the non-completion of the SYL canal by Punjab. Yadav also expressed the hope that the early decision on the Presidential reference by the Supreme Court would also help resolve the Hansi-Butana canal issue.