Supreme Court of India has ordered that status quo be maintained on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal and has appointed the Union home secretary and Punjab chief secretary and director general of police (DGP) as receiver of the canal.
A Constitution Bench of the Court observed:
…it appears that an effort has been made to see that execution of a decree of this Court is being made inexcutable and this Court cannot be a silent spectator of the said fact and therefore, we direct that status quo shall be maintained by the parties with regard to the following properties referred to in para (d)(ii) of the application:
“(d)(ii) lands, works, property and portions of the SYL canal and all lands within the alignment of the SYL canal within the territories of the State of Punjab which are covered by the judgments of this Court in State of Haryana vState of Punjab, (2002) 2 SCC 507 (paragraphs 18 and 19) and State of Haryana v State of Punjab, (2004) 12 SCC 712 (paragraph 96),”
Constitution Bench comprising of Justices AR Dave, PC Ghose, SK Singh, AK Goel and Amitava Roy, passed the order in a 2004 Presidential reference regarding the validity of a 2004 law — Punjab Termination of Agreements Act — under which Punjab had sought to ease out of its liability to share the waters of Ravi, Beas and Sutlej.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar and ASG Pinky Anand appeared for the Union of India. Senior Advocate Ram Jethmalani appeared for Punjab while Haryana was represented by senior advocate Shyam Divan and ASG Tushar Mehta.