The Supreme Court warned on Wednesday that decrees passed in the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal dispute between Punjab and Haryana cannot be flouted, while directing both the states to strictly implement its orders.
“We will not allow the decree passed by this court to be flouted and it has to be implemented. How the decree is being implemented is the headache of the concerned parties,” a bench of justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy said.
The bench, which asked the Centre and Punjab to file their replies to Haryana’s plea seeking compliance of court’s order, said the interim order of status quo will continue.
The apex court said the reports of Union Home Secretary, Chief Secretary of Punjab and Director General of Police of Punjab, who were appointed as court receivers of the land and other properties of the canal, have indicated that status quo has been maintained.
However, senior advocate Jagdeep Dhankar, appearing for Haryana, objected to a finding of the Union Home Secretary and said the report says that on site visit by the committee “no deliberate damage” has been done.
“I have a problem with the word ‘deliberate’ used in the report,” he said.Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar appearing for Ministry of Home Affairs said their reply was ready and can be filed in the course of a week.
He said that Haryana has not challenged the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act, 2004 and therefore it has not been set aside till now.“The regulations are still there. The effect of apex court’s decree cannot be there unless the Act passed by legislature is nullified,” Kumar said, adding that the answers to Presidential reference fell under the advisory jurisidiction and hence the court has not set aside the Act.
To this, the bench said it will look into the issue when it hears the matter in detail.Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Punjab, said the Centre should intervene among the states involved in the dispute and sort out the issue.
“We would file the reply once the Centre has filed its reply on Haryana’s plea. Centre should behave like elder arbitrator and settle the issue once and for all,” Jethmalani said.