The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to grant urgent hearing to a plea urging initiation of contempt proceedings against Punjab Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister regarding their alleged statements against the verdict in the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal water sharing agreement.
A five-judge constitution bench had recently termed as "unconstitutional" the 2004 Punjab law which terminated the SYL water pact, saying the state cannot "unilaterally" terminate it or legislate to "nullify" the verdict of the highest court.
A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice D Y Chandrachud on Tuesday told lawyer Rakesh Dahiya, who sought urgent listing of a criminal contempt petition, that the plea would come up in due course.
The plea, which was filed by one Satbir Hooda, a resident of Rohtak in Haryana who runs an NGO, alleged that Prakash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal, Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab respectively, have made statements that the apex court verdict in the case will not be allowed to be implemented.
"This constitutes the offence of criminal contempt," the lawyer said.
In its verdict, the apex court recently responded in the"negative" to all the four questions referred to it for the opinion by then President APJ Abdul Kalam on the validity of the law passed by then Punjab government, led by Captain Amarinder Singh to nullify the court verdicts and unilaterally terminating the almost three decade old SYL water sharing agreement.
The controversial 1981 water sharing agreement came into being after Haryana was carved out of Punjab in 1966.